Schools for Salone Programs
Since 2005, Schools for Salone has raised funds and, through our Sierra Leone non-profit partner Masanga Children’s Fund, helped 15 communities in Sierra Leone build new schools, libraries, wells and latrines where before there were only buildings destroyed by 11 years of civil war, temporary mud and thatch structures or nothing at all.
We have conducted four annual week-long training workshops to help over 100 rural teachers improve local learning environments by employing interactive teaching techniques and using locally available resources. We are currently making plans for a 6th workshop this coming summer and supporting local Sierra Leone teachers conduct their own workshops for their colleagues. To make this endeavor successful, we are looking for partners to help us expand our teacher training programs.
We are providing scholarships to over 60 students to help them go to and stay in school rather than drop out to help support their families and we have begun a scholarship program to help rural teachers obtain professional training and credentials needed for government certification.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The compassion for Sierra Leone and indefatigable networking skills of our Executive Director/Founder, Cindy Nofziger, who is a 2012 Washington State Jefferson Award winner, is Schools for Salone’s strongest asset.
The key to Schools for Salone’s success is our long-standing partnership with Masanga Children’s Fund, which has grown into a new and better organization called Programme for Children, a trustworthy locally run non-profit organization on the ground in Sierra Leone which is expert in working with local communities, in constructing schools and in managing the logistics of getting things done in this small developing country.
Each of our projects stands on a three way partnership between Schools for Salone, Programme for Children and the local village. Without local participation, there is no project.
In the U.S., Schools for Salone benefits from the combined experience and support of many returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have lived in these rural villages, members of the Sierra Leone Diaspora and many others with family or historical ties to Sierra Leone who advise us on what is needed and what works best in and for Sierra Leone.
Schools for Salone’s biggest challenge is making good progress in its transformation from a nearly all-volunteer organization to a more enduring and self-sustainable operating model with sufficient paid staff to manage the growing interest in and demands for our work.
“Salone” is the indigenous Krio language name for Sierra Leone.