We started this project with 50 women who wanted to be able to grow crops to feed their children and possibly sell the remainder for some income. We were helped by many donations of farming/gardening tools and also from the charity WorkAid. With two crops a year ground nuts, potatoes, okra and rice are now produced and many more women have joined the scheme.
When we suggested building a clinic the community asked instead for a library – somewhere for their children to learn about the wider world and have access to many books. Now the library is used 24/7 by the school, the children coming to do their homework and late at night the university students coming to take advantage of the solar lighting to study. Sunday School is held there and families bring their children to borrow books.
Washable Sanitary Towels
The prototype for these was designed by Ann Hay who continues to make many of them for shipping to Kori district. She has shown many other people how to make them too and now the girls of Taiama will learn how to make them when the sewing room is built. By providing washable sanitary towels in little pouches the girls can continue to attend school without losing study time.
Many people are making simple dresses for the girls – of all sizes. Many Soroptimist clubs are involved with this, sourcing great materials and producing wonderful outfits for girls who would otherwise have only one dress apart from a school uniform.
Baby Hats and Blankets
By providing little baby hats and blankets for every newborn in the clinic, mothers are now coming in much greater numbers to have their babies, enabling their babies to be vaccinated much earlier than before.
Many supporters continue to knit and natter in the UK, sending dozens of blankets for all the old folk. These are very popular.
CleanConscience, another successful charity, kindly gave us soap moulds and soap granules so that bars of wonderful scented soap could be made and sold. This has been a very good project, making money almost from the start for the Kori projects.
Fundraising made it possible to build a piggery slightly away from the village. The four pigs very quickly turned into 28 piglets which are being fed from crops on the adjacent land. It is hoped that this will be another successful Kori project, providing funding for pig food and care and a home for the pig farmer and his family.
During the Ebola crisis the villages were sealed off which quickly led to starvation.
Rose’s cry for help at the Soroptimist International Conference raised almost £9,000 which enabled us to pay for shipping the rice, getting it out of the port and with the help of the army to get it distributed to the very young and very old, saving many lives.
We approached this topic by encouraging the normal celebration at this time but instead of girls being cut we sent out new clothes and small jewellery to make them feel good. Cutting has almost ceased in this area. The women who used to carry out this practice now run a micro loans business instead which brings them a small income and just as much status. FGM is now illegal in Sierra Leone.
This village came to our attention because the school had only three walls and a partial roof. Paying a small stipend to the Headmaster so that he could continue to feed his family and educate the children we set about fundraising to rebuild the school. We were donated funds to build the school, given chairs for the children and subsequently, thanks to a large fundraiser by the Sikh community here, we were able to build a well with a pump and some latrines. The school originally had about 50 children, now there are 150! It is now called the Gill Curry School.