Forging a Path of Progress

PUBLISHED August 28, 2023

Sierra Leone like many other African countries faces challenges in provisioning adequate resources towards education, healthcare, and water management systems. This inability increases the vulnerability of millions of persons, reduces living standards and quality of life experienced by millions of households and threatens the ability of a growing youthful and working population to earn a decent wage. To address these challenges, Engineers Without Borders-Denmark supports SEND Sierra Leone, a Sierra Leonean non-governmental organisation (NGO) which implements strategic development programs that address these inequalities in vulnerable communities and districts.

In line with this, Engineers without Borders has taken the bold step of providing additional critical logistical support acquired through donations from individuals and institutions in Denmark to further bolster the impact these developmental actions experienced by thousands of households within the Kenema district.

Enhancing access to quality education in Kenema district

The Nyapui Secondary School of Excellence is a novel science school, designed for girls, established in 2021 through collaboration between the Government of Germany, Terra Tech Fördeprojekte e.V, and SEND Sierra Leone with the aim of fostering girls' interest in science education. In conjunction with EWB’s commitment to promoting STEM education in Sierra Leone, EWB has generously provided a substantial collection of science textbooks targeted at enriching the school's library and enhancing the availability of educational resources. This strategic move not only elevates the school's administrative capabilities but also contributes to the enhancement of education delivery. From indispensable school supplies like bags, jackets, pens, and T-shirts, to essential utilities including pencils, bookcases, graph papers, and whiteboards, the school has been meticulously cultivated to nurture a conducive learning atmosphere. Additionally, the institution has received additional computer workstations, 3-d printers, screw machines and circular saws for the existing ICT laboratory to intensify the empowerment of students with essential digital proficiencies and foster a culture of technological literacy.

In 2022, EWB partnered with SEND Sierra Leone to establish a primary school in the Vaahun community. This endeavor aimed to tackle the pressing challenges in educational infrastructure faced by the Roman Catholic Primary School, which struggled to accommodate its growing student population. The existing scenario of conducting all elementary classes within a single room and beneath the shade of a mango tree posed significant hurdles to accessing quality education in Vaahun.

To alleviate this situation, EWB initiated the construction of a new 6-unit classroom building, a project that gained momentum in response to the urgent need. In August 2023, EWB took additional steps to underscore their commitment by supplying the school with an array of essential resources, including sporting equipment, computer supplies, sturdy metal and wooden chairs, tables, bookcases, and whiteboards. These resources once construction is completed will go a long way to improving the education quality in the community of Vaahun. Notably, their commitment to sustainable practices was evident through the provision of lithium batteries, aimed at supporting green energy generation and supply within the school premises.

Strengthening healthcare service in Baoma

The successful construction of the first Community Health Post (CHP) in the Baoma community was a milestone facilitated by EWB in 2022. Providing healthcare services to hundreds of households, this initiative marked a turning point in local healthcare delivery. Baoma witnessed yet another leap forward, as EWB enhanced the operational capacity of the Baoma Community Health Post.

In August 2023, the CHP has received critical healthcare supplies including gloves, syringes, mattresses, protective gear, and advanced medical apparatus and equipment including compressors, scalpels, pumps, patches and disinfection pipes, as part of EWB’s commitment to strengthening the healthcare ecosystem in the region. These supplies will compliment and enhance the capacity of the health facility to provide quality healthcare services to patients especially nursing mothers and children under the 5 years. It will contribute to the reduction of maternal and child deaths as well as promote health literacy amongst the households within the Nomo chiefdom.

Improving water supply in Baoma

Recognizing the paramount importance of reliable water access for communities, EWB has provided essential water supply equipment to bolster the Baoma’s WASH system as part of a pilot action to assess scalability of the improved water access system across the district of Kenema. In August 2023, EWB supplied water distribution tools and equipment such as circulation pumps, groundwater pumps, and pressure pipes signifying a substantial advancement in enhancing water distribution networks. This equipment will facilitate efficient water transportation and equitable distribution, effectively reaching hard to reach areas within the community. This equipment represents part of a multifaceted and sustainable approach to water sourcing especially in times of fluctuating of water availability due to varying climatic conditions.

Forging Partnerships for a better world

This initiative not only serves as a beacon of hope but also stands as a testament to the potential for global collaboration to drive impactful change in underserved sectors. Engineers Without Borders, through their thoughtful donations, exemplify the belief in education's transformative power, the crucial role of water management, and the promise of improved health systems. Ultimately, the partnership between Engineers Without Borders and SEND Sierra Leone has ignited a spirit of progress. As students of Nyapui Secondary School of Excellence and the Roman Catholic Primary School embrace knowledge and curiosity, the communities of Baoma, Vaahun, and others are grateful for the life-altering contributions of Engineers Without Borders. These contributions are paving the way for a brighter and more promising future, resonating with the words of the community, "Engineers Without Borders remains an inspiration, illuminating a path towards a future defined by progress and boundless possibilities.".