September to June
Literacy rate (15+ years old)
Primary school – 37.8%
Upper secondary school – 23%
Children (6 to 11 years old) – 6,104
Adolescents (12 to 14 years old) – 267,640
Youth (15 to 17 years old) – 431,814
This school will be located in the village of Barbara, in Sierra Leone’s Port Loko District — an agricultural region where most families have an income of less than $2 per day.
In rural areas like this, more than 50% of males and 70% of females are illiterate. Most disabled children have never attended school.
The Barbara community already has a school, but it’s nearing collapse. The building was built out of mud bricks and sticks by community members with little construction experience. Its foundation has been attacked by termites, and the classrooms are narrow, dark, and lacking furniture. Out of the 13 school teachers, only three are paid by the government, while the rest are supported by the villagers.
The new school building will be designed to let in plenty of natural light, with a roof designed to let in fresh air and cool the rooms. It will have amenities to support disabled children, and locals will be able to take an active role in the construction process as laborers.
With a safe and convenient new building, more parents are expected to send their kids to school. A hygiene room for girls — as well as the distribution of reusable hygiene kits — will allow them attend the school without shame.
This new building will put Barbara’s school into the focus of the Ministry of Education, hopefully increasing the number of teachers receiving a government salary and easing the economic burden for the community.
About the country
The Republic of Sierra Leone
8 million people
The climate is tropical and humid all year. Between November and June, it is very hot and dry, although the coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. In December to February the dry dusty winds blow from Sahara.
Annual average temperature
December to May
May to November
Tacugama is a 100-acre sanctuary situated outside the historic and picturesque Regent Village, just 30 minutes from Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown. Established in 1995, the sanctuary is home to 90 chimpanzees that have been victimized by the illegal poaching and smuggling of their species. Tacugama is the perfect place for those wishing to escape the heat and hustle of Freetown in favor of fragrant forest breezes — and the company of some extraordinary creatures.
The Loma Mountains Forest Reserve stretches across a range of rivers and hills, the highest of which is Bintimani Mountain (1945 m). A wide variety of fauna can be found here, including endangered birds, monkeys, elephants, hippos, and antelope.
A small, secluded island chain south of the Freetown peninsula, the Banana Islands are both exotic and extraordinary. Enjoy clean beaches, lush forests, and a variety of exciting tourist activities, like sport fishing and scuba diving amongst the local shipwrecks.
A picturesque and colorful village north of Freetown, Yongoro paints a rich, full picture of local life. Don’t miss your chance to relax on its famous beaches.
About two hours from Freetown, Bureh offers a delightful beach with white sand, palm trees, pleasant breezes, and a scenic mountainscape. Enjoy fresh seafood at the local restaurants, and hotels with newly-built bungalows and friendly staff.
Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel
Home Suites Boutique Hotel
The Swiss Hotel
Places to eat
Mamba Point Lagoonda Restaurant
Best souvenirs from the country
Grass and reed baskets, wooden masks, cutlery, crockery, material called gara
Proposed one week tour
Day 1: Bureh beach and Freetown city tour (Old Wharf Steps, King’s Yard Gate, Cotton Tree, Sierra Leone National Museum, St. John’s Maroon Church)
Day 2: Loma Mountains Forest Reserve
Day 3: School visit
Day 4: Banana islands
Day 5: Yongoro village
Day 6: Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Day 7: York cemetery, Town Bell, York Centenary, Brunswick Methodist Church