How We Got Here
Having known the incredible Fr. Themi (see the Paradise 4 Kids project) since the 2013's, John Heers had thrown the idea around that Sierra Leone would be an excellent second site. And after John and Ryan Jobe (our other co-founder) visited him in 2014, we were sold. Certainly the needs are dire: war has left the country on the path of recovery, but mortality rates, especially for children, are unacceptably high.
Fr. Themi has needed a doctor to help run and build a health clinic in Waterloo - luckily FTF could fill the gap and was proud to send the first two Sierra Leone Field Workers in late 2017 to Waterloo and Freetown.
What We Are Doing
Since February of 2019 FTF has moved to the town of Kailahun and is collaborating with CAW (Children Affected by War) with various womens groups and active impresarios in the area. FTF has also begun to transition the first Field Worker into Phase II and we now have our very first Sierra Leone Impresario profile!
Meanwhile we were very sad to say goodbye to Dr. Sergio Castillo. During his time there he built anti-malaria, health, child nutrition, and many other programs. He also began the process of training future nurses to take over the clinics and FTF has now partnered with Dr. Zannos to continue the good work Dr. Sergio started. You can check out how to get involved here!
Waterloo & Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city in Sierra Leone, and its population is ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. Our field workers are living and serving the poor here part time and rarely experience a dull moment. It also gives them a little time with electricity - Waterloo only has electricity for a few hours each day.
To reach Waterloo you'll need to travel anywhere between 1 and 5 hours (depending on traffic!) east of Freetown. This is the place where Fr. Themi established the P4KA compound that houses disabled war victims along with orphans and provides over 600 children with beautiful, free education.
Field Workers are constantly in the process of learning Krio and have already found that knowing just a few words is amazing to the local population. The power of language is immense here and only reaffirms the importance of meeting people on their terms, not our own.