The youth of a community is where change is created; there is life, energy, and hope in the way they view the world. Empowering the youth with knowledge and skill that translates into the real world is the best way to facilitate lasting change. With this model in mind the Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation runs a scholarship program that invests in long term community development by sponsoring the education of youth in the greater Magbenteh area.
Families in the community request support through writing a letter explaining the need for sponsorship and detailing the child’s future aspirations. The sponsorship includes children from the polio camp, children of hospital workers, and other families in the community. To complement the project’s goal of creating long term change, a bag of rice is provided as a form of short term relief.
Students and their families gathered at Magbenteh Community Hospital for each student to collect their bag of rice. The students collecting rice visibly had pride in having worked hard throughout the first half of the academic year to earn their rice. For me having been born and raised in a country where access to an education is a right, it is easy to take for granted the advantage an education gives someone.
By Lydia Prebeck
SSLDF Logistics Officer