In rural Sierra Leone, like many communities around the world, families experience frequent sickness due largely to cross contamination between livestock and food, as well as poorly ventilated cooking areas. Wanting to improve the well-being of their families and the community as a whole, villagers in Yandohun identified health as the community’s priority issue to address. OVP trained local volunteer leaders to be part of a Community Action Group, and these leaders worked with their community to design a project centered on kitchens and animal pens, with the goal of maintaining healthy living environments.
Brima Mambu, a Community Action Group (CAG) volunteer in Yandohun, mobilized community members in support of Mamie Jenneh – a partially disabled, elderly woman in the village. Mamie has served her community as the Women’s Leader for many years. She stays active in the community by attending local meetings and voicing her opinion to represent women, the elderly and the disabled.
Mamie did not have access to a kitchen, so Brima encouraged each household in the community to provide three mud bricks to help build Mamie’s kitchen as Mamie could not gather the bricks on her own.
Other CAG volunteers and the entire community welcomed the idea and banded together to get the job done for Mamie. Brima demonstrated great leadership in this case, showing unity and care for underrepresented groups by providing the bricks for Mamie’s kitchen.
OVP’s values of communication, unity, and inclusion shine through in this case, where the entire community (led by the Community Action Group) worked together for the betterment of all. We expect that frequent field visits by OVP Coordinators helped the Community Action Group to visualize this need and understand how to approach the problem.