Africa Sierra Leone

Our goal is to deliver 1,000 community education projects to villages, enabling 100,000 children to receive primary school education.

Sierra Leone is an English-speaking sub-Saharan country located on the coast of West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The country was involved in a civil war from 1992 until 2002 and blood diamond conflicts with neighboring Liberia that crippled the economy. It was then hit with the Ebola epidemic in 2013-2016. Sierra Leone is considered one of the poorest countries in the world and faces an education crisis, as unemployment and illiteracy levels are high, particularly among youth in rural areas.

The Concern

Since the end of Civil War in 2002, communities in Sierra Leone have managed to self-start low cost schools without government support. However, the school structures are basic and often unsafe, and when it rains children are unable to attend school. The government is making education a priority but does not have the funds to build schools in rural areas. However, if a school has a safe structure, one qualified teacher, and running water it potentially becomes eligible for government funding for the running costs of the school.

Our NGO partner in Sierra Leone has successfully built on these community efforts, showing that access to simple education can be provided in communities at an affordable cost. Chaloner Children’s Charity’s plan is premised on scaling-up the model in order to build low cost primary schools. An achievable goal would be to deliver up to 1,000 community schools in villages which would enable all children living in these communities to receive a primary school education. Each school would accommodate approximately 100 children.

The Plan

The Plan

The proposed plan is to build new schools, rebuild existing schools – which do not have a safe structure – and renovate schools to a standard that is considered a safe building. The schools would have three classrooms with a mud block, iron roof and concrete floor structure. We would also support the development of teaching and resources in the schools.

Sustainability at our schools is an important part of the project. Our NGO partner will ensure that each community is supported to develop a focused micro-finance initiative, usually some form of community agriculture, to pay for the on-going costs of the school. This would promote self-sufficiency after the initial start-up period. The longer-term goal is for the schools to qualify for government support.

Our IMPACT so far…

60 Schools Built in 2019
50 Schools Built in 2020

children are now accessing improved learning environments

of those children are girls

Cost Per School for 100 Students
New Construction: C$8,000
Rebuild Construction: C$4,000
A renovation: C$2,500
Class Furnishings: C$600
Teaching materials: C$400
Teacher training: C$2,500

Sierra Leone Update (2019)

In 2019 Chaloner Children’s Charity Canada completed its first project in Sierra Leone.

The program was for 60 schools and involved new builds, rebuilds, and renovations. The average cost per school was US$5,000 (C$6,500) for a total commitment of US$300,000 (C$390,000). The project was divided into two phases, with 23 communities completing their school structures in just four months. The second phase saw 37 communities finish their schools by September in time for the start of the new academic year.

Of these 60 schools, 15 were new constructions, 29 dilapidated schools were rebuilt and 16 were renovated structures; creating a total of 180 classrooms. Each school was provided with a start-up learning materials package.

Sierra Leone Update (2020)

In 2020 Chaloner Children’s Charity Canada completed a second program for 50 schools. This consisted of 25 new builds, 12 rebuilds and 13 renovations. This also included 78 newly constructed classrooms, and 86 rebuilt and renovated classrooms. All the schools were provided with furniture and start-up learning materials. The program was completed in time for the start of the new academic year, and included a higher percentage of new constructions than the previous year. The program came in under budget at US$295,000 (C$400,000).

Help Us Reach Our Goal

We can do more with your help. Let’s build 1,000 school together and brighten thousands of children’s futures.