Front and side view, construction, Bonnie Memorial Children’s Home, Sierra Leone
About Sierra Leone
Our Practical Work
In response to the ‘felt need’ of amputees, we did a one-time project called ‘Ship Hope to Africa’ from 2010- 2011. Soldiers had been compensated for turning in weapons, but those who had been perpetrated received nothing. As a result, a team of countless Omaha volunteers in schools, churches and community groups spent an entire year gathering donations, doing inventory and finally sending a metal shipping container across the sea, so that every single amputee across the nation of Sierra Leone would receive something equivalent to the ‘gifts’ soldiers received for walking away from the war. Samuel Menyongar and his dedicated team distributed these items to each and every community.
One such place was Newton Amputee Camp. When boxes were unloaded there, the community elders brought up their concern about many children who were becoming orphaned as their amputee parents died in great pain from blood clots. This initiated our first children’s home and adjacent school in the Newton community. Being a teacher herself, it caught Katja’s attention that classroom instruction began before the building’s walls were even complete, with just a tarp in place of the roof. Such eagerness to learn made a deep impression.
Building projects have expanded into the Kondie Farm community as well, where Samuel and Mariama Menyongar reside. Mariama is the principal at the school which continues to expand. Students helped carry cinder blocks and bags of cement up the steep hills each day in order to cut down on costs for construction.
In light of the ebola outbreak in 2014, we began construction of a children’s home adjacent to the existing school.
- $ 11 provides one school bench to 3 or 4 children who now sit on the dirt floor
- $100 provides a scholarship to send a child to school for a year, including the cost of a uniform, shoes, back pack, and school supplies.
- $1,500-$2,000 provides a well with clean drinking water to an entire community