The Energising Development (EnDev) project which is based in Liberia and acts as one of the execution agencies of GIZ’s post-Ebola Recovery initiatives, in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the Playhouse Foundation and the Danké Koroma Foundation have provided solar electrification to primary and secondary schools, a youth centre, a Girls’ Resource Centre as well as to 6 peripheral health units in Kono District.
The beneficiary schools during first phase were R.C. Desembadu, Mafindor Chiefdom, R.C. Koardu and Melliseh, Junior Secondary School in Gbane Kandor Chiefdom, Tamba Songu-Mbriwa Memorial Secondary School in Fiama Chiefdom, U.M.C. Samiequidu, U.M.C. Sukudu, U.M.C. Mayama in Kamara Chiefdom and U.M.C. Kuakor in Gbense Chiefdom.
The Youth Centre in Desembadu, Mafindor Chiefdom was also provided with solar electrification. K.D.E.C. Yardu and Koidu Boys Secondary School in Gbense Chiefdom, U.M.C. Primary and Secondary Schools, Yengema, Nimikoro Chiefdom, Bafinfeh Secondary School, Nimiyama Chiefdom, Gorama Kono Secondary School, Gorama Kono Chiefdom will be amongst the beneficiaries during the second phase.
Six peripheral health units (PHUs) in Kamiendor, Mafindor Chiefdom, Koardu, Mbane Kandor Chiefdom, Gbetema, Fiama Chiefdom, Samiequidu and Sukudu in Kamara Chiefdom and Kuakor, Gbense Kandor in Gbense Chiefdom received solar freezers for storing vaccines and blood plasma in addition to solar electrification.
EnDev’s lighting in schools will allow pupils sitting for national examinations such as the NPSE, BECE and WASSCE to prepare for their examinations in the evenings whilst those at junior secondary and senior secondary schools in the most remote parts of Kono District can now study at these facilities when it is dark. In addition, adult literacy classes and community learning, including accelerated learning for teenage mothers and pregnant teenagers, can now be conducted in the evenings at these facilities.
School libraries that were in place in some of these facilities also received solar lighting. At the PHUs, babies can now be delivered safely at night with appropriate lighting and emergencies cases can be attended to at any time of the night. In addition, community health offices do not have to take the long journey to Koidu, the headquarter town or neighbouring chiefdom headquarter towns in search of solar refrigerators to store vaccines and blood plasma.
This post-Ebola Recovery initiative will be extended to the Western Area, Kailahun, Port Loko and Bombali Districts where other schools and PHUs will receive solar lighting systems. The total donation of solar lighting and equipment for phases one and two is valued at USD$250,000 of which Kono District’s solar lighting amounted to USD$130,000.
Large solar lighting systems are also being donated to girls’ resource centres to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child which is dedicated to adolescent girls; one of these is the soon-to-be established Danké Koroma Girls’ Academy in Kono District which will serve as a DSTV Resource Centre and will provide ICT, language and science training as well leadership, communication skills development and entrepreneurship training for adolescent girls and young women. Two other centres will be established in the coming months in Kailahun District and in the Western Area in partnership with an international non-governmental organisation.
The EnDev project is a multi-donor project that has been funded by the Governments of the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia and is being implemented by GIZ. The Playhouse Foundation is grateful to the funders of the EnDev project that is led by Mr. Euler Hartlieb, Project Manager and Mr. Freeman Godu, Technical Director. This project has been extended to the Republic of Sierra Leone as a post-Ebola Recovery project.
The Playhouse Foundation remains equally grateful to OSIWA for funding its project of support to border chiefdoms under which youth border patrol teams have been trained in the maintenance of solar lighting systems and for funding the local transportation costs of the solar equipment and accessories under its project. The Playhouse Foundation also extends its gratitude to chiefdom authorities who provided accommodation and contributed to the feeding of the technical team from GIZ Liberia, Barefoot Women College and the military and civilian electricians.
The Playhouse Foundation also owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lieutenant General Samuel Omar Williams, Chief of Defence Staff of Sierra Leone and the military hierarchy at the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces for providing transportation for the solar equipment and accessories and for making available military electricians to be trained in solar electrification. The Chief of Defence Staff has provided his unrelenting support to the Playhouse Foundation’s efforts to keep our borders safe by making available military doctors, nurses and public health specialists to provide infection disease control training for communities and to engage in social mobilisation under the programme entitled ‘Support to Border Chiefdoms in the Design of an Efficient Response System to Tackle the Ebola Virus Disease’ that is being implemented by the Playhouse Foundation with funding from the OSIWA and other partners.
Finally, the Playhouse Foundation remains grateful to H.E. Sia Nyama Koroma, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Chairperson of the Danké Koroma Foundation for teaming up with the Playhouse Foundation to make ‘Energising Development’ happen in Sierra Leone. She was gracious enough to provide accommodation and contribute towards the feeding of the 12-man team that included a team of 5 technicians from Liberia, 2 Barefoot Women College electricians, 3 military electricians, civilian electricians and the OSIWA funded youth border patrol teams.
The Playhouse Foundation was co-founded in 2009 by Abu Deedee Koroma and Finda Koroma in memory of their late parents, Abu Aiah Koroma Esq. and Danké E. Koroma.