On December 07, United States Ambassador David Reimer recognized grantees who received grants totalling USD 40,000 to eight Sierra Leonean-led community organizations that work to improve economic and social conditions at the local level. The funds will support projects in seven districts in the east, west, north, and south of Sierra Leone. Projects receiving funds this year include:
Programs to support adolescent girls and women with limited economic opportunities through skills training
Programs to provide clean water and conduct campaigns to promote hygiene best practices to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases
Programs to support income generation and food security through aquaculture, rice cultivation, plantain and banana cultivation and grain store construction
Ambassador Reimer congratulated the grantees and noted the important role played by the communities themselves, who are actively engaged in the planning and implementation of each project. These initiatives are funded by the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program, which supports small, community-based projects throughout Africa. These projects are designed in cooperation with community members, who contribute their resources, usually in the form of labour and in-kind donations.
Ambassador Reimer said, “The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund is one way that the U.S. Embassy supports economic development in Sierra Leone. We do so by working directly with grass-roots leaders like yourselves to implement projects in your communities. This is one of my favourite programs because it allows us to respond directly to community requests and to fund projects that have an immediate impact on communities in Sierra Leone. The key is that they are Sierra Leonean-led development projects, and we would like to see more of those in future.