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Village of Baoma, Sierra Leone

Posted by Mark Ralston on Sunday, January 8, 2012

(update 02-27-12)

Just got these cell phone photos from Baoma, Sierra Leone, on Saturday.  Work proceeds at the new school site.  This is a 

SALONE BUMP 

in case anyone cares to contribute to a good cause ! ! ! !  The school must move from its existing site by the end of June, 2012, so the pressure is on to get funds to complete the school.  

         

(Salone is the abbreviated name that the Sierra Leonans use for their country)

Here's a YouTube Clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FblHCyFkY8

Here's how you can contribute:

http://www.yellowstone-jewelry.com/Village%20of%20Baoma/9.0%20Donations.htm

************************************************************************************* 

Sierra Leone (setting of the movie "Blood Diamond") sank right to the bottom of the UN's list of least-developed countries during its civil war in the 1990's.  Since then, the country has been recovering but, like many sub-Saharan countries, they still have a long way to go to graduate from the bottom of the least-developed countries list.

The Penn State Chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent time in Sierra Leone from the end of December 2011 through the first week of January 2012 working to develop a latrine for the Covenant Primary School and to improve water supplies for the village of Baoma (population ~600).  The population of Baoma grew significantly during the Civil War in Sierra Leone as people were displaced from the interior provinces.

The PSU faculty advisor to the PSU EWB chapter (a fiddler, civil engineer, and a personal friend) invited me (I'm a professional geologist) to be a professional mentor to PSU EWB for water resources issues.  We spent about a week in Baoma assessing water resource issues, and will be spending the next couple of months working on water supply improvement alternatives back here in the US.

I came back to the US with some clear impressions:

*  the median per-capita income in the village of Baoma is probably at or below the Sierra Leone figure of $800 to $900 (US) per year (formerly as low as $200/year).  Many of the villagers live from hand-to-mouth.  There is no social safety net in Baoma.

*  the children of the village of Baoma are extraordinarily lucky to have Pastor Martin Simbo as leader of the Covenant Primary school.

*  money donated to the primary school goes 100% to the benefit of the children.... no administrative overhead, no siphoning-off of funds by corrupt government employees, no handling fees, etc. 

*  the village has done a lot to improve their water supply, but they can use some help to meet additional needs.

I'm using this blog to invite any BHO member who has any discretionary funds for potential donation to humanitarian causes to consider donating to the Covenant Primary School and/or to the Water Board in Baoma.  You can contribute to the Primary School by sending an e-mail to Pastor Martin Simbo and he will tell you how to contribute.  Otherwise, you can e-mail me and I will help you to make a donation.  The PSU-EWB chapter is helping the village to form a Water Board, and I will post information in the future on how to contribute to the water board.  Please also feel free to ask me if you have any questions about the primary school and water supply projects.

There are more Baoma pictures in my Pictures folder , and I will be adding more info on the work in Baoma to my website.

                   

 



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