Author Archives: Ella Yanker

Recent Development

Capital City: Freetown
Government: Constitutional Democracy
Population: approx; 6.1 million (2013 estimate – official projection)
GDP (2012): $ 5.022 billion
Area: 71,740sq km (27,699 sq miles)
Currency: Leone (SLL)
Major Languages: Enlish, Krio and a range of tribal languages
Life Expentancy: 41 years (Men), 44 years (Women)

The Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea in the north-east, Liberia in the south-east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south-west. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. Sierra Leone has a total area of 71, 740 km2 (27,699 square miles) and an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United Nations estimate). Freetown the capital, is the largest city, and the country’s economic and political centre. Bo is the second largest city and second major economic center in the country. The country has four geographical regions, namely: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area, which are further divided into fourteen districts.
About sixteen ethnic groups inhabit Sierra Leone, each with their own language and custom. The two largest and most influential are the Temne and the Mende people. The Temne are predominantly found in the north of the country, while the Mende are predominant in the south-east. Although English is the official language spoken at schools and government administration, the Krio language is the most widely spoken language in the country and unites all the different ethnic groups in the country, especially in their trade and social interaction with each other.
Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country, but with an influential Christian minority. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully. Religious violence is very rare in the country.
Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. It is also among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, a major producer of gold, and has one of the world’s largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite exploitation of this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty.
The recent 2014 Ebola outbreak threatens to lead the country into a humanitarian crisis situation and a negative spiral of weaker economic growth. However, with the combined efforts of the government and partners the country will soon return to its recent economic growth path.

Vocational Institute

With respect and understanding for the needs of local rural inhabitants, the Safer Future Youth Trapc050884ining and Vocational Institute tries to reduce high youth unemployment through training in practical and necessary life skills. The goal of the Vocational Institute is to encourage local inhabitants to improve their skills in order to benefit their local communities ,and thus avoiding “brain drain”.
The Technical and vocational institute was established in 1994 to cater for the less privileged in society. In   contrast to most other Vocational Institutes, the training offered is free except for practical costs – an amount which is not readily met by most students.
Courses offered at the institute are Tailoring & Dressmaking, Carpentry & Joinery, Catering & Hotel Management, Building Construction, Gara Tie Dye/Batik and Soap-making, Cosmetology and Computer Studies. Besides these core study areas, every student acquires basic knowledge in Mathematics, English, General Paper, Guidance & Counseling, and Economical agriculture.

1. Building & Construction Department
Building & Construction  sf-40 

Established in:2001/2002
Duration: 2 years

2. Gara Tie Dye, Batik and Soap making Department
Established in: 2000/2001
Duration: 2 years
Subjects: Gara Theory/Practical, Soap Theory/ Practical, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture, Guidance and Counseling

3. Tailoring and Dressmaking Department

Established in: 1993/1994
Duration: 2 years
Subjects: Tailoring Theory/Practical, Measurement, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture, Guidance and Counseling

4. Hair dressing Department (Cosmetology)
Established: 2006/2007
Duration: 1 year
Subjects: Cosmetology, Practical, Technology, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture. Guidance and Counseling

5. Carpentry and Joinery Department
Established in: 1998
Duration: 2 years
Subjects: Carpentry and Joinery Theory (Technology), Carpentry and Joinery Practical, Craft Science, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture, Guidance and Counseling

6. Catering and Hotel Management Department
Established in: 1998
Duration: 2 years
Subjects: Food Production, Food Distribution, Front Office, Home Management, Human Behaviour and Relationship, Food Hygiene, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture, Guidance and Counseling

Secondary School

In 2008 the Safer Future Youth Development Programme established a junior Secondary School to cater for the less privileged in the community. The school had grown in number and its first batch of Basic Education Certificate Examination graduates gave the rational of starting the Senior Secondary School in 2013. Both schools are situated in Lower Allentown where the programme headquarters is located. The school has been renamed after the death of the overseas coordinator’s mother as The Elizabeth Strele Memorial Secondary School.
school 001          

Competence Centre for Renewable Energies(CCRE)

Safer Future with the support from the Austrian government is operating the Competence Centre for Renewable Energy.  The Centre is a research and education institution that is geared towards the development of locally adopted applications of renewable energy sources to realize an independent, decentralised and clean energy supply.
The Centre has graduated 10 female and 10 male technicians in the application and dissemination of Solar Photovoltaic, and Biomass and Biogas technologies. The training last for  9 months at the former “Rural Electronics Workshop (REW)” in Nyangbatown, Koya Rural District.
Actually Safer Future is enlarging the training centre at Nyangba Town in constructing additional student and staff dormitories (see pictures below). Beside this activity the teaching staff has already begun researches in the field of Biomass/Biogas and started a test biogas – tank fed with pig waste (see pictures below).

During theory class

Before the renaming of the Rural Electronic Workshop to Competence Centre for Renewable Energy in 2006, a pilot training for twelve Sierra Leoneans on solar photovoltaic and electronic skills was held. The six months residential course was on Basic Electronics and Solar Photovoltaic Technology.
During Practical Class
The training was conducted by two trained technicians of Safer Future and two Austrian volunteers.

Department: Solar Photovoltaic Department
Training is done in both theory and practicals
Established in: February 2006
Duration: 9 months
Theory Subjects: Basic Solar Photovoltaic, Basic Electronics/Electric Engineering, Mathematics, Communication, General Paper, Agriculture, House Installation, Guidance and Counseling
Practical Subjects: Electronics, Photovoltaic Installation-Maintenance and Repair, Agriculture

Computer Training

Before the Computer Centre was started in 2006, an Austrian volunteer by the name of Tobias Defranceschi trained three staff of the Programme (Ella, Amadu and Sheku(late)) in computer soft and basic hardware. The Centre is powered by solar electricity Installed by the Programme’s own trained technicians. The centre provides desk top publishing, printing and scanning service and support the  Programme’s management in administrative work. Training in software and basic hardware are on offer at the centre. A minimal fee is charge for every service being offered in order to be able to finance the ruining cost. A building project that was intended for the Computer Centre is still under construction. It is our hope that upon completion the Centre will have enough space to accommodate the equipment available and for future expansion. The Centre is in dire need of computers,photo copiers and colour printers.

Pictures of the unfinished building

Department: Computer Centre
Founded in: 2006
Head of Department: Miss Ella Yeama Yanker
Teachers: Mr. Amadu D.C. Bangura, Miss Ella Yeama Yanker
Courses: Basic Hardware, MS Windows 2000/XP, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point, MS Publisher, Installation, Networking, Internet, Visio
Course Duration: 4 weeks for each course

Practical Photos

Education & Training

SFYDP in trying to improve the lives of the under privileged operates an educational department that caters for normal academic education and technical/vocational training. These are offered at very reasonable cost to the beneficiaries. The programme owns a junior and senior secondary school and technical/Vocational Institute that covers a wide range of courses to meet the demands of the market.

Please click on the links on the left side to find out more about our educational and training programmes.

Volunteer Service

Information & Criteria
The SFYDP began its voluntary service program as early as 1993. Local but also international volunteers are welcome to serve for a period of at least 3 to 6 months or a year with the programme. Safer Future is also liable to host Alternative Service Volunteers from Austria (Auslandsdienst als Ersatz für Zivildienst) under a programme implemented by the Frastanz Parish (Pfarre Frastanz)

Who can serve as a volunteer:
Male and Female volunteers can apply for a voluntary service on the following terms

  • Completion of a technical education or university course
  • Preferred subjects: Information Technology, Social Work, Project Writing and Development, Agriculture, Renewable Energy/Solar, Development related Studies, Water and Sanitation, etc.
  • To be flexible and adaptable to changing work situation.
  • To be proactive and complimentary

How to apply?
Applications with letter of motivation, detailed CV and filled Application Form (see below) shall be sent electronically and in English Language to the following addresses: and
All applicants are notified after receiving their application. The selection process includes a face-to-face interview with management.
Please make sure to include the following information in the application:
a. Proposed period of service
b. Objective of service with SFYDP
c. Ideas and possible own contribution to the development of the programme
d. Working hours per week
e. Necessary preparations such as tools and materials to be undertaken by the volunteer

Future Projects

Extend solar electrification of rural communities and boarding home schools

Extend free training of life skills programmes in remote parts of the country

Improve the water and sanitation systems in rural schools and communities by establishing rainwater harvesting tanks; construct, repair and maintain water wells and erect proper toilet facilities

Provision of start-up kits to successful trainees from the vocational institute as well as from the mobile skills programmes to ensure self-reliance and sustainability

Train more solar technicians to enhance competency, efficiency and create competition for effective services

Support other viable projects in the field of agriculture and health which are contributing to the development of the country.

Mobile Skills

karte_uebersichtMobile Life Skills Training Unit PDF Print E-mail

Safer Future Youth Development Project implemented a “Mobile Life Skills Training Unit” with the support of the local government of Vorarlberg (Austria) in 2002/03.

The aim is to develop rural communities by extending life skills training programmes to areas which have no opportunity to obtain any technical or vocational education.

This programme is very successful as it contributed in the re-integration and training of war affected youth and other disadvantaged young people.

Reaching remote communities is a tedious task due to the bad roads, long distances and cost involved. This leaves a larger share of the country to suffer from high levels of illiteracy and unemployment.

With the help of the local project staff, over 120 rural people have benefited directly from the mobile life skills programme, enable them to improve upon their day to day lives through new knowledge and skills.

A total of 6 rural communities in Sierra Leone significantly affected by the civil war took part in the programme. The goal was to establish education activities in poor rural areas and create new opportunities and facilities for learning.

Workshops on different topics were offered, such as community formation, financial management, family life education, HIV/AIDS education and conflict management. To further empower these communities, training in  Gara Tye dye and Soap production was done creating an income opportunity for the villagers who are traditionally farmers.

The programme was divided into five units and after completion of the training, a tool kit for soap production was given to each working group to guarantee an immediate start up.

“Development groups” were formed within the community to manage the soap business and to insure proper administration and evaluation of activities.

Funds raised from  the sale of soap and Gara material produced help communities to meet different  financial burdens such as school fees, medical treatment, and maintenance of farmland.


Safer Future Farm

In 1994, Safer Future acquire 31 acres (around 12 hectares) of farm land in Nyangbatown, Koya Rural District, about 25 km away from Allen Town.

The farm offers two main opportunities to residents in the region: firstly, students of the Vocational Institute pursing an education in Basic Agriculture are able to apply their knowledge on the farm, obtaining practical hands-on experience. Secondly, share agricultural experience with Farmers in the Farmer based Organisations (FBOs) in Nyangbatown. Also, the crops grown on the farm are sold at a reasonable cost to community members as a means of meeting the running costs of the Programme, thus ensuring its sustainability.

A farming house with dormitories and a classroom for residential training was constructed in 1997/98; in 2004, a kitchen and sanitary building were erected.

An Agriculture Officer and three assistants cultivate vegetables and other perennial crops, including cassava, groundnuts, cashew nuts, mangoes, coconuts, pineapples, sweet potatoes, pepper and garden eggs.

In 2012 the friends of SFYDP in Austria organised a training for staff of the Programme on permaculture. The training was done by a South African born Mr. John Nzira.

Students that offer to be  trained in Basic Electronics and Solar Engineering,at the Rural Electronic Workshop (CCRE) resides at the farm.