SIERRA LEONE

The Unforgotten has active programs at the trashdumps in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Freetown has
two main dumpsites (referred to as Bome
hs in Sierra Leone), located on the east and west ends
of the city, the Kissy and King Tom Dumps, respectively.
 We currently have twenty girls enrolled in
our schools -- bridge programs designed to prepare them to enter primary school.
 
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Country Office:
13 Gharawani Street
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Projects Manager:
Sheku Seymour-Wilson
011 232 76603690
FIELD VISITS

Our Sierra Leone Team was overwhelmed by
the numbers of mothers and girls that were
trying to get into our programs at the Kissy
and King Tom dumpsites during their visit in
January 2014.  We c
onducted an interview
and screening process, trying to identify the
most vulnerable.  
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
In January 2014, we constructed two small schoolrooms; one in each of the
bome
hs.  The communities are very energized, and helped with the
construction.
In January 2014, we also brought on board two certified school teachers:
Alimatu Jusu for the King Tom site (sitting at the desk, on the left) and
Francis Sesay (right) for the Kissy site.  We hired a local carpenter (who also
lives in the bome) to build the chairs and desks, and h
ired two certified
cooks to prepare meals for the children and their mothers.  Our goal is to
prepare the girls to enter primary school in the fall of 2014 – we will be using
these facilities to tutor the children (it will be a bridge program).
UNFORGOTTEN TEAM SIERRA LEONE

Director, Board: Madina Alharazim
Director, Board: Aminata Alharazim
Projects Manager: Sheku Seymour-Wilson
Teacher: Francis Sesay
Teacher: Alimatu Jusu
Field Coordinator: Huratulai Bah
Intern: Amanda Ward
Outreach Coordinator
: Abu-Bakarr Sesay
Cook: Francess Barlay
Cook: Kadiatu Kargbo
Kissy Teacher, Mr. Francis Sesay and Field Assistant,
Ms. Huratulai Bah distributing the UNFF uniforms, shoes,
school supplies, book-bags, and textbooks to each girl.
Projects Manager Sheku Seymour-Wilson (center), and our team in
Sierra Leone, organized a parent-teacher conference at our newly
constructed school.
King Tom teacher, Ms. Alimatu Jusu discussing the program's
requirements with mothers and their daughters.
The Unforgotten
First day of School

On March 4, 2014, we officially began our school sessions!  
Pictured below are the 10 girls in our program at the King Tom
Bomeh.  On the right, girls from the Kissy Bomeh -- they started
school on May 5, 2014.  These girls had never set foot inside a
classroom before.  Many thanks to the tireless efforts of our
Projects Manager Sheku Seymour-Wilson, and our teachers
Alimatu Jusu and Francis Sesay.  EVERYTHING you see here
was made possible by your support: schoolroom, desks,
chairs, blackboard, uniforms and teachers!
Mary Williams and Mariama Bangura:
Profiles of a Mother and Daughter in the
King Tom Bomeh-- Freetown, Sierra Leone
.  

Mary Williams is the mother of Mariama
Bangura—both are in The Unforgotten’s
program at the King Tom Bomeh
(trashdump) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Mary
Williams was born and raised in the King
Tom Bomeh, which is a dumpsite on the
west end of Freetown.  Several generations
of Mary’s family were born and raised in the
Bomeh.  Her mother was born and raised in
the Bomeh and her siblings all live in the
Bomeh.  She has seven children and one
grandchild; all of them were also born in the
Bomeh.  Her oldest child is eighteen and her
youngest child is two years old.

Mary, her seven children and her grandchild
all live in a dwelling made of rusted
aluminum, which her mother built inside the
Bomeh. The dwelling is about 11-ft by 9-ft in
size.  It is a single room: it has no toilet, no in-
house plumbing, and no electricity. She
draws water from the nearby public water
spout and uses the Bomeh as a toilet.  She
and her two youngest children sleep on a
mattress laid on the floor while the other
children sleep on the bare floor.

Mary is a single mother who has never
attended school. She does not know how to
read or write. All of her children, except
Mariama Bangura who is in our program, are
presently not attending school, because she
cannot afford to pay their school fees.  She
waste-picks and sells trash, earning not
more than LE 6,000 (about $1 US) a day.  
She does not earn enough to feed her family;
she has difficulty even providing a meal a
day.  So she relies on handouts from her
community, and discarded and expired food
she can find in the Bomeh.

Mariama Bangura (the daughter of Mary
Williams) is in The Unforgotten’s Bridge
Program.  She, because of donor support, is
being tutored by The Unforgotten’s teachers,
in a schoolroom constructed by The
Unforgotten in the community.  The plan is to
enroll Mary in one of the private schools on
the west end of Freetown next academic
year, once she is ready.  Our field team
convinced Mary and Mariama that they need
not feel ashamed of their living conditions,
and not to worry about Mariama being
ridiculed in school.  Mariama is now excited
to be in the Bridge Program, and sincerely
appreciates the opportunity.   She is
performing well, and has a perfect
attendance record.  Mariama has a chance at
a future outside of the Bomeh.  

Mary knows the Bomeh is not a suitable
place to raise a family, but she feels trapped
in the circumstances that she has been
raised in, with no way out.  She and her
family often suffer from diseases like
malaria, typhoid fever, skin infections and
other contagious diseases.  During the rainy
season, there is flooding in her surroundings
and there is no way she can prevent runoff
water from entering her dwelling.  The place
becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes,
rodents and pathogens.  She is an outcast in
the community, and people do not want to
associate themselves with Mary because of
her situation.  They say she is filthy and
odorous.  

Mary prays nightly for her family to be rescued
from this dreadful existence.  Her dreams are
to live in a more decent environment with her
children, start her own business, and to
educate her children.  With your support we
can start her on that path.

Our field team in Sierra Leone is working in
dire conditions.  The desperate women and
girls we are helping are literally fighting over
the food we are trying to deliver.  Hunger
relief is our primary activity at the moment,
and we simply do not have the resources to
meet the overwhelming need.  So, we are
trying to reach those who most urgently need
aid.  We also must maintain an eye on the
long term, by investing in the children’s
education, to break this cycle of extreme
poverty.  
Track and Field Sport Meet—King Tom,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
 

Our girls from King Tom have come such a
long way in only 4 months – truly, truly
unbelievable.  In just January of this year The
Unforgotten built a school in the King Tom
Bomeh of Freetown (trash dumps are
referred to as bomehs in Sierra Leone).   
These girls had never been to school and
suffered from hunger.

But in April, our girls were invited to
participate in a track meet by the neighboring
school, Jasmine Primary, at the Prince of
Wales Secondary School playground.  Our
Sierra Leone field team was a bit worried
about the expense and whether our girls
would be ready in time.  But the girls
exceeded our expectations!

On April 11, 2014, The Unforgotten children,
competed with three other primary schools.  
They not only competed in all track and field
events, but they placed second in the
competition!!  The girls attributed their
success to their loose fitting uniforms and
the refreshments they received prior to the
competition.  Our field team also credits the
success to the two weeks of training to get
the girls fit for the competition.

Because of the solid performance of our
girls, we were promised by the heads of the
other competing schools that they would be
sending invitations to us to participate in their
upcoming sport meets and other
extracurricular activities.

Keep in mind all we have in the bomeh is a
“Bridge Program” – designed to prepare the
children to attend a primary school next year.  
With very little in the way of resources (a
small classroom and a teacher), these
children are showing us what the human
spirit can accomplish!
Meet Amanda Ward — Cornell University,
Ithica New York.  


Please wish Amanda Ward safe travels as
she leaves Cornell University the summer of
2014 to spend it in Sierra Leone.  She will
focus on developing the sponsored mothers’
business ideas. Our mothers can’t yet read
nor write, but are full of entrepreneurial spirit.  
Amanda is looking forward to this challenge
with great enthusiasm.  She hopes to put
them on a path towards self-sufficiency, so
that they would not be reliant upon donor
support.    

Amanda is currently a graduate student at the
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, working on
her master’s degree in Public
Administration.  Amanda is concentrating in
International Development with a focus on
women’s economic empowerment.  She is
currently involved in the Cornell Policy
Review, Women in Public Policy student
organization, the International Affairs Forum,
CIPA New Orleans Partnership Program, the
Arab Student Association, and the Cornell
Latin American Student Society.  Prior to
attending graduate school, Amanda was a
corps member in Teach for America in
Memphis, Tennessee, where she taught 8th
grade history at the Memphis Academy of
Science and Engineering.  Amanda received
her bachelor’s degree in Political Science
and International Social Justice from Hobart
and William Smith Colleges in May 2007.   
Introducing the UNFF Sierra Leone Staff.  

The success of UNFF-SL can be attributed to
our talented and dedicated staff and
volunteers.  Pictured from left to right are
Sheku Seymour-Wilson, Abu-Bakarr Sesay,
Huratulai Bah, Francess Barlay, Alimatu
Jusu, and Francis Sesay.

Sheku Seymour Wilson is our Projects
Manager, and led the effort to legally
establish our presence in Sierra Leone.  
Sheku is a graduate of The University of
Sierra Leone - Fourah Bay College with a
Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.  Before
joining UNFF Sheku worked with youth
organizations within the Freetown
communities. In the past few months he led
our efforts to identify aid recipients, secure
land to build the Bridge  Schools (at both the
Kissy and King Tom sites), and network with
other nonprofit organizations in Sierra Leone.

Huratulai Bah is our Field Coordinator. She
is a graduate of The University of Sierra
Leone - Fourah Bay College with a Bachelor’
s Degree in Commerce.  Huratulai worked
for Africell SL Ltd before joining our team.  
She has developed relationships with the
community youth organizations and elders to
ensure that the UNFF programs are
implemented as designed.

Francis Sesay is the teacher at the Kissy
Site. Francis is a graduate of Freetown’s
Teachers College - Jui Kossoh Town with a
Higher Teacher’s Certificate (HTC).  Francis
is fluent in Temne, the tribal language of the
Temne people, which is the primary
language of our sponsored mothers and
children at the Kissy site.  He has been
instrumental in organizing the community
and rallying them to get the project up and
running at Kissy.
Alimatu Jusu is the teacher at the King
Tom site. Alimatu will graduate from
Freetown’s Teachers College - Jui
Kossoh Town in 2016.  Alimatu is a
member of the Kolleh Town Youth
Organization, and lives in the King Tom
community.  Before joining UNFF she was
teaching students at the neighboring
schools, and tutoring children in the King
Tom community.  Her dedication to teach
and give young girls a better life is known
throughout the community.  She performs
assessments to ensure the girls will be
ready when the new school year begins in
September.

Francess Barlay is the cook for the King
Tom site. Francess is a graduate from the
Devine Grace Vocational Institute.  
Francess is a member of the Kolleh Town
youth organization, and lives in the King
Tom community.  Francess has provided
nutritious foods for all the aid recipients in
the King Tom site.  

Kadiatu Kargbo (pictured here) is the cook
for the Kissy site. Kadiatu is a member of
the the Kissy community. She is well
known in the community for her delicious
foods and cooking skills.

Abu-Bakarr Sesay is a volunteer who has
dedicated much time to UNFF.  Abu is a
graduate of Freetown’s Teachers College
- Jui Kossoh Town with a Higher Teacher’
s Certificate (HTC).  Abu-Bakarr currently
works for the Ministry of Youth Affairs in
Freetown Sierra Leone.  Abu is the liaison
for UNFF, attending the monthly Freetown
City Council Child Protection meetings,
and networks with other youth
organizations who attend these meetings.