Sierra Leone

Click here to see the Sierra Leone Update March 18th 2012

Click here to see the Sierra Leone Update May 2012

Click here to see the Sierra Leone Update September+ 2012

York is a small Creole fishing village nestling in dense rainforest and backed by the peninsular mountain ranges – a veritable paradise. The people, although poor, are warm and friendly. We are also setting up autumn 2011 forward bases in Mende Town, in the mangroves behind Sherbro Island (Manatee, Chimpanzees, Leatherback turtles) and Kabala (Elephants, Lion, Baboon). We are running a full range of AWF programmes and volunteers split their time between each, but can focus where their special interest lies if required.

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Normal AWF rates apply
Pounds/Euro 110pw for stays of four weeks or more, (slightly dearer for shorter stays- see booking form),includes multi bedded and simple accommodation and half board....and funds the project! Volunteers work on a variety of projects but can focus on areas of specific interest for dissertation use etc. See booking form for all information on booking. Participants must check out their own national guidelines regarding entry visas and inoculations. ALL volunteers must provide evidence of comprehensive medical insurance covering repatriation in a worst case scenario.

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Projects 2011/2012
York Youth Action Movement Following a meeting with the YYAM, the following projects were agreed.
A. L10,000,000 education budget to be established (February 2012) for the further education of the youth of York. The funds to be lodged with the York Community fund- Kofi to administer in collaboration with YYAM. This initiative is to be an on- going part of the AWF's educational work in Sierra Leone.

B. Eco Tourism courses to be delivered through AWF York free of charge from February/ March 2012. These courses will be UK accredited through BTEC.

C. It was further suggested that 2-3 of the business units to be constructed in Mollyana's Plaza (March- April 2012)should be allocated to YYAM initiatives. (subject to York Committee approval)

D. To provide materials, expertise and equipment for development of a beach bar and facilities on York beach as a YYAM project.

Schumacher College resource library for York Village
Schumacher College resource library for York Village , first in West Africa with photocopier etc. This will be part of the Mollyana' development and will house a huge collection of technical guides on low cost alternative technology applications. The AWF will fund the employment of two people from the local community in interpreting all materials and training others on the basis of the resources available and these training courses will be accredited through the UK. March- April 2012.

Kings Yard
The AWF will complete this eco tourism development once agreement has been secured from the relevant government department that it can be used as a York Community resource.

York Island
The AWF is waiting for permission to supply materials for the local community to build eco lodges from the relevant government departments. This is to be the AWF's biggest eco tourism project in West Africa in 2012.

Secondary School project
(Initial request for blackboards x 4 agreed)

L17,000,000 budget for renovation and development of York Secondary School agreed 25%

instalments to be paid Dec 2011 Feb, April, June 2012. Funds direct to Richard Metzger- Coker, school principal. LINK to building schedule

In exchange, the school's children will collaborate with the Plant a Tree, Fund a Dream programme, planting (115- one set for each child in the village and including children currently unable to afford to go to school) sets 100 trees Project Manager -Sarah.

Museum of Creole Culture
The AWF supports the creation of a Museum of Creole Art and Culture York Community to identify suitable building

Promotional Films
Shark finning Kolleh

Mende Town 'Musa and Kate's chimp project. Also, Mende town as an AWF base

Forest eco warriors Kate Tacugama, Freetown urban spread Olu

Kofi/ Olu/ Musa day in life of Humpback whales Thursday Kolleh

Projects school (kate), Bicycle, restaurant, jungle treks, jewellery Trading baskets, mats, etc etc Kolleh

Shaman York/ Mende Town Kate

Jetty project Kate

Business Development
Through its Eunomia project, the AWF will be developing trading opportunities for locally produced products by supplying container transport free of charge (March 2012) to help access the UK market. Products identified of particular interest- Bamboo, Basketware, woven rattan mats. Foodstuffs- Ginger, Gari , Gin, Fufu , Palm Oil/ Wine, Groundnuts..

Renovation of village
50 creole houses to be selected The community need calculate timber, zinc and paint needed individually and totally (the AWF will buy materials February 2012). The AWF will also sponsor an annual competition for the best presented Creole house with a 3 million leone prize fund.

The AWF will fund as much jewellery production as can be made and endeavour to sell same with benefits accruing to York Community fund

Mollyana's Business Centre
10 business units to be constructed. Feb/ March 2012

Heart Centre
Art and music centre. See HeART programme June 2012

Business Development

Micro Finance
Continuous through its Eunomia project, the AWF aims to support or establish at least two businesses each month, on average. Report on AWF' Eunomia work in Sierra Leone to follow November 2011.

UNESCO World Heritage status
The AWF strongly believes that York Town is of outstanding cultural and architectural significance and symbolic of a very important part of world history capturing, as it does, the spirit of emancipated slaves after the abolition of slavery. The AWF will lobby for world heritage status for York Village.

Food Security
Olu Tejan Cole's work at the family farms in and around Newton has been outstanding. He wants to 'feed the nation' and is working with all he has to this end. The AWF will endeavour to support his work through volunteer labour and practical funding and resource procurement. Projects of particular interest-

A. Procurement of second hand bottling plant (fruit juices)

B. Gari production equipment

C. Construction of a Tilapia fish farm.

D. Palm Oil press

E. Chain saws to help harvest firewood for charcoal production (Acacia plantations)

F. Solar powered water pumps (to irrigate fruit production during dry season)

G. Construction of piggery

H. Continuous supply of proven seeds.

I.Procurement of farm tools to include small tractors.

Nature conservation initiatives
We will have at least one PhD student in place by January 2012 and part of his/ her role will be supervising research initiatives.

A. Plant a Tree, Fund a Dream planting trees at York, Newton, and Blama (Bo District)

B. Humpback whale project to be functional by May 2012 for migration to breeding grounds and Sept/ Oct 2012 for return to feeding grounds in Antarctica. The AWF is particularly interested in recording the songs of the whales before and after the migration.

C. Chimpanzees Mende Town. There are a number of chimp in and around Mende Town which, for apparent cultural reasons, are not taken as bush meat. We will be researching them and are currently working on conservation and education within the local communities.

D. Manatee, Mende Town There will be a ReACT visit to Mende Town December 2011 with a view to setting up a research project there.

E. Birds The AWF will be sending its bird expert to Sierra Leone early in 2011 to set up on going bird research and eco tourism initiatives.

F. Butterflies The butterfly house at York will be an on going facility with, in addition to research goals, an objective of creating pupae sales opportunities in Holland.

G. Pygmy Hippo, Tiwea island We have agreed an eco tourism initiative with the island and will use this as a base to work with such as pygmy hippo, rare species of primate and rare bird species such as the Rufus Fishing Owl.

H. Turtle there area range of potential turtle projects to be established in 2012.

I. Kabala rumours persist of elephants, lions, baboons in the lands north of kabala and we will be sending a team there early in 2012 to locate suitable accommodation as a research base.

Mende Town
Forward research base to be built December 2012.

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About Sierra Leone
The country is one of the hottest and wettest places in West Africa, the rainy season lasts from May to November and is followed by the dusty Harmattan winds. The Portuguese called it Sierra Lyoa which means Lion Mountain. In 1787 philanthropists brought 52 sq km of land from the local Temne tribal chief. They purchased this land for the slaves to found a province of freedom. This province is now the capital of Sierra Leone and is called "Freetown".

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