Offering education opportunities in Sierra Leone’s capital

30/01/2020 – We Yone Child Foundation (WYCF) is an NGO founded in 2009 and based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The organisation, which has been a member of the Fight for Peace Alliance since 2015, operates in two communities, Kroo Bay and George Brook, where they run education, sports and income generation programmes.

Their mission is to provide sustainable education and care, and to help overcome the social and environmental problems that deepen and perpetuate the cycle of poverty in the communities in which they work. Hassan* and Aminata* are two examples of young people to have entered and made substantial progress in education with the support of WYCF.

16 year-old Hassan moved to Freetown in 2016 from Sierra Leone’s Northern Province with the hope of enrolling in school. Following some issues he was facing at home at the time, Hassan missed out on the opportunity to begin studying when he arrived in the capital and instead began a job labouring in order to earn the money he required to live.

Through a conversation while on a job, Hassan was put in touch with a WYCF Social Worker which led to him being enrolled in a school in the George Brook community. On beginning at his new school, Hasan received educational materials and a scholarship and, in 2018, he passed his National Primary School Examination.

“Had it not been for WYCF, I would have returned back to my village”, said Hassan “But I am still here in the capital city receiving my Junior Secondary School education and I am at peace with the relatives with whom I am living.”

Aminata, meanwhile, was 12 years old when she first came into contact with a WYCF Social Worker. At this time she was not attending school. She had had to discontinue her studies as her family had insufficient money to ensure that she had the shoes, uniform and food she required to attend.

Following a visit at home from the WYCF Social Worker however, Aminata was enrolled at the We Yone Child Foundation primary school in George Brook, Freetown and immediately started attending classes. “WYCF supported me with educational materials like a bag pack, books, pens, pencils, shoes, proper uniform and a scholarship. I felt very happy to be in school like other children”, explained Aminata.

In addition, Aminata’s family has been further supported by WYCF with the awarding of a Family Business Grant. This financial support assists families in generating the income required to pay for rent, medical bills and groceries.

Aminata also received psychosocial support and scholarships as well as continued support to buy educational materials. “I also had the opportunity to partake in football competitions, athletics and other sports, which I loved so much”, added Aminata. Last year, Aminata passed her National Primary School Examination and moved on to Secondary School. She continues to receive ongoing educational and psychosocial support from WYCF.

*The name of this young person has been changed to protect their privacy.