Author Archives: Ella Yanker

Water & Sanitation

SFYDP provided Water and Sanitation facilities in PHUs, communities and schools in Port Loko, Koya, Western area and Moyamba Districts through funds donated by eawag/Sandec,BPR  and UNICEF  of which over 35,000 people now benefit.

Rainwater Harvesting Tanks

Sierra Leone has a record of receiving the highest annual rainfalls in sub-Sahara Africa between April and late September. However, outside the rainy season, the country suffers from water shortages the rest of the year. In rural areas where there is a cut off from any water distribution systems,  seasonal shortages of water are very common and the deteriorating quality of excess water from the rainy period worsens and leads to serious health and sanitation problems. The challenge in Sierra Leone is thus to bridge the gap between the rainy and dry season by providing safe and sufficient quantities of portable water throughout the year; until recently, the capacity for such year round storage has not been possible.
Rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) provides an effective simple and cheap solution to this challenge. Rain water coming from the roof of a building is collected through pipes in to a big underground tank . With a simple hand pump, the water can be pumped out  and immediately made accessible. A filter for large particles of dirt and debris, combined with regular chlorine treatment is used to ensure long-term water quality while in storage. the RWH-tank had a life span of up to 35 years.

Two members of Safer Future were trained in rainwater harvesting techniques during their stay at the Barefoot College in India. With the support of the Blue Planet Run Foundation, they implemented different projects to improve the drinking water and sanitation situation for the rural population. SFYDP has been able to disseminate the knowledge of rooftop rainwater harvesting technology among rural people for their enhancement.

Community-based ownership has been established through water and sanitation committees, ensuring responsible and proper handling of these Rain Water Harvesting underground tanks, as well as maintain the quality of the water supply system.

Well repair and maintenance

In the recent years, several international NGOs have constructed different types of wells in rural areas of Sierra Leone.

img_0027The primary challenge of the wells has been in the post-construction phase as communities are left without any knowledge of repairing or maintaining the water supply systems. Transfer of community ownership for the wells has been poor, leaving a large number of the wells to rapidly fall into disrepair. This form of investment naturally wastes large sums of money as the desired goals are not met since residents continue to suffer from a shortage of safe water.

Knowledge of the preventable  waste of such projects, SFYDP intervened to improve the situation of water and sanitation in rural communities, as well as to build up local knowledge and structures for the maintenance and repair of water systems. Two members of Safer Future, Moray Hengoi and Amadu D. C. Bangura were trained in the operation and maintenance of water wells systems and subsequently involved in the dissemination of this knowledge in rural villages.

Construction of RWH-tank – Phase I: PAW Faith-In-Christ Primary School, Allen Town

img_0137The first Rainwater Harvesting Underground Tank was constructed at the Faith-in-Christ Primary School in Lower Allen Town with funds provided by the Blue Planet Run Foundation

Despite the many challenges in getting the excavation and installation completed, the tank was successfully constructed with around 720 students and approximately 500 people in the surrounding neighborhoods now benefit from the availability of clean and pure drinking water.

img_0165Before the installation, residents collected contaminated water from a small stream outside the village. The tank has a capacity of up to 100,000 litres (25’X10’X14’6″), ensuring drinking water will be available for four to five months during the dry season. The committee responsible for the maintenance and the supervision of the usage of water is also a guarantor of the tank and its hand pump for the life time of the equipment. A committee as set up to educate the beneficiaries on the use and upkeep of the tank, and for the treatment of the water.

Construction of RWH-tank – Phase II: Safer Future Youth Training Centre,  Lower Allen Town


With similar funding provided by Blue Planet Run Foundation, SFYDP constructed another Rainwater Harvesting Tank at the Safer Future Youth Training Centre in Allen Town. With the dimensions of 24’ x 13’ x 12’, the tank is big enough to serve all beneficiaries for approximately 4 months during the dry seasons. The strong construction of the concreted walls, strengthened by ball stones and iron rods, ensured that the tank will last the longest period, despite topographical and geographical circumstances. Before the rainy season, the rooftops from which water is collected have to be cleaned from all the dirt and debris. Once the water is inside the filtration tank, the detritus sinks downwards and through a special pipe where the waste is then drained out. After a 09walls2short construction period of just 4 months (November 2005-February 2006), approximately 200 students and staff of Safer Future now benefit from the improved water supply. Before the completion of Phase II , all water had to be fetched from pumps in the neighborhood or even down the hill from a small stream, causing significant inconvenience, particularly for the catering department where there is a greater need for clean water for food preparing. With the completion of Phase II. The committee overseeing the water and sanitation in the area supervises the distribution of the water among over 1500 users from the surrounding area and additionally raises necessary funds for maintenance and repair costs.

img_0474                                                     img_0481

Rehabilitation of water well

img_0020The schools damaged well was rehabilitated and installed a new hand pump through funds provided by the  Blue Planet Run Foundation. Several meetings were held to establish a better relationship and create understanding of collective participation in community development projects. Safer Future assists in the setting up of a committee comprising of members of the school committee and the village to supervise the maintenance and possible repairing of the well in the future through funds collected from users. Every school pupil or community person pays a small amount as contribution for any repairs.

repaired water wellAround 450 members of the school and over 1000 people from the surrounding areas now benefit directly or indirectly form the pure drinking water.

Programme Activities

Focus on Rural Development

img_0152People living in a developing country like Sierra Leone, which remains heavily affected by the destruction of the war, lack not only of poor education and insufficient work, but mostly suffer from bad water supply, insufficient sanitation and poor health care. Safer Future strives to help the marginalised and deprived rural poor to improve the living conditions in the rural areas by creating the necessary infrastructure and also by training community people in repairing and maintaining those facilities.

afrikasl0864Safer Future Youth Development Programme targets to creating a non-polluting and affordable means of electricity for communities through the use of solar energy sources. Also, we train rural people in income generating skills such as soap making and Gara Tye Dye, as well as equipping them with the basic start up kits, so that money could be raised for the education and general well-being of their children


Idriss S. Kamara – Executive Director, Co-Founder of the Programme
Sulaiman Jalloh – Programme Manager
Hassan Fornah – Finance Officer
Alhaji A. Jalloh – Finance Assistant
Moray Hengoi – Head of Department Renewable Energy Systems &Transport Officer
Tony Mallon – Solar Technician
Ella Yanker – Project Secretary / IT Officer
Amadu D. C. Bangura – Water and Sanitation Officer (WASH)
Peter K. Cole – Agricultural Officer
Momodu Williams – Agricultural Assistant
Abdul Kamara – Agricultural Assistant
Sembu Koroma – Agricultural Assistant
Alimamy P. Turay – WASH Supervisor Port Loko District
Bernard Alpha – Field Officer, Masimera – Port Loko
Ibrahim S. Kamara – Field Officer, Lokomasama – Port Loko
Gabriel G. Gbondo – Field Officer, Kori – Moyamba District
Sahr Lebbie – Field Officer, Kori – Moyamba District


SFYDP aims at improving the lives of marginalized and deprived youths through the provision of free training in different technical and vocational skills to enable young people acquire the appropriate skills to become self-reliant and sustainable.

Furthermore, SFYDP strives to develop and maintain the infrastructures in rural and remote areas through introducing alternative energy sources, mainly solar energy; providing life skills training and improving the water situation through the implementation of rainwater harvesting systems, constructing and repairing of water wells. Community sensitization is key to the implementation of such projects so that they can be accepted and managed properly.

Past & Present Partners

  2. War Child
  3. Sunshine Fellowship
  4. Concern Worldwide
  5. Blue Planet Run Foundation
  6. Eawag/SANDEC
  7. Kairos

Without the support of various Partners and Donators, Safer Future Youth Development Programme would have not been able to carry out that many projects. We are very grateful of all the support we have received ever since our establishment in 1993 and we are looking forward to further co-operation to develop our country and help the people that are in need.

Map of Projects carried out with funding from Blue Planet Run Foundation

A blog of all section with no images

A blog of all section with no images
How to apply? PDF Print E-mail                                                                                            Philosophy PDF Print E-mail
Applications with letter of motivation, detailed CV and        The philosophy of this programme is to improve the
filled Application Form (see below) shall be sent                  lives of the marginalized and deprived youth by
electronically and in English Language to the following     providing free education in different technical and
address: skills.                                                                               This training shall enable the students                                                      upkeep themselves and additionally contribute to                                                                reconstruct the struggling economic and social                                                                                                              conditions.
All applicants are notified after receiving their                     Furthermore the SFYDP strives to develop and
applications. The selection process includes a                  maintain the infrastructures in rural and remote  areas
face-to-face interview with either the programme              through introducing alternative energy sources,
management in Lower Allen Town or the overseas            mainly solar energy, providing life skills training in
coordination group in Vienna/Austria.                                     secluded communities and improving the water
Please make sure to include the following                           situation by implementing rainwater harvesting
information in the application                                                    systems, constructing repairing water wells.                                                                                                            situation by implementing rainwater harvesting
Please make sure to include the following information     systems, constructing and repairing water wells.
in the application                                                                            Sensitization and implementation of community
a. Proposed period of service                                                      based care-taking committees shall guarantee
b. Objective of service with AFYDP                                              proper handling and for this reason the best
c. Ideas and possible own contribution to the                          possible life duration.
development to the programme                                                    Since 1993 the SFYDP has established various
d. Working hours per week                                                            programmes successfully and became known for
e. Necessary preparations such as tools and                            the remarkable impacts in youth training and rural
materails to be undertaken by the volunteer                            development all over the country. Its membership is
                                                                                                              open to all willing and desirous persons wishing to
                                                                                                                assist on these efforts.
Junior Secondary School PDF Print E-mail                                    Education & Training PDF Print E-mail
In 2008 the Safer Future Youth Development Programme       Under the consideration of local knowledge the
opened its own Junior Secondary School to enrich the           Safer Future Youth Development Programme
education facilities in Allen Town.                                                    tries to reduce the high youth unemployment
                                                                                                                through training in life skills referring to the claims
                                                                                                                 of every day life in Sierra Leone. It also aims at
                                                                                                               providing improved, quality and reasonable
                                                                                                                academic Education at secondary level.
                                                                                                                 Additionally premium is given to young people
                                                                                                                who are encouraged and motivated to establish
                                                                                                                 themselves in their origin areas to prevent the
                                                                                                                 rural provinces from brain drain and dying out.
                                                                                                                Please click on the links on the left side to find out
                                                                                                                 more about our educational and training
Competence Centre for Renewable Energies                             Information & Criteria PDF Print E-mail
(CCRE) PDF Print E-mail                                                                     Volunteers at the Safer Future Youth Development
As one suffers an insufficient and unreliable energy                 Project
supply as well as a growing dependency on fossil                    The SFYDP began its voluntary service program as
energy resources in Sierra Leone, an alternative way               early as 1993. Local but also international
to provide energy, a main key in development is                         volunteers are welcome to serve for a period
necessary.                                                                                            of at least 3 months with the programme.
                                                                                                                                 Who can service as a Volunteer
Therefore Safer Future with the support of the                                                    Safer Future is also liable to host AlternativeAustrian government was able to about to establish a                   service Volunteers from Austria (Auslandsdienst “Competence Centre for Renewable Energies”,                    also Ersatz fuer Zivildienst) under a programma kind of research and education centre to identify                           implemented by the Frastanz Parish  and develop locally adopted applications of renewable energy          (Pfarr  Franstz)sources to realize an independent, decentralized and clean energy supply.Since its inception,over……… young people has been trained
from different countries in the design and installation,      Educated Male and Female volunteers can apply for
of solar systems. The CCRE supports the use of the
application and dissemination of such technologies                  voluntary service on the following terms
including Solar Photovoltaic and Biomass/Biogas.                     Completion of a technical education or university
The 9 months training which is based on the former                 course
“Rural Electronics Workshop (REW)” in Nyangba Town,     Preferred subjects: Information Technology,
Koya Rural District, will start in September 2007.                  Intermedia; Agriculture; Renewable Energy/Solar, etc;
Actually Safer Future is enlarging the training centre           Biology; Engineering; etc.
at Nyangba Town in constructing additional student             Experience with international cooperation and
and staff dormitories (see pictures below). Beside              knowledge about developmental programmes such
this activity the teaching staff has already begun                  as water/sanitation, social work, health, advocacy,
researches in the field of Biomass/Biogas and started       project management, etc are highly desirable.
a test biogas – tank fed with pig waste (see pictures          Administrative/Management skills
  below).                                                                                            Willingness to live under simple conditions and make
dsc00142                                                  What is expected from a volunteer at SFYDP
               During theory class                                                           To comply with all agreements
                                                                                                             To give a written monthly report to the Administrative
                                                                                                            service, SFYDP Management: (Executive Director,
                                                                                                            Programme Manager, Administrative Officer,
                                                                                                            Project Officers) and the Overseas Coordinator. The
                                                                                                            report shall comprise of information about the
                                                                                                             volunteer’s own activities undertaken: (Result:
                                                                                                           achievements, challenges and recommendation), observations
                                                                                                           and plans for the forth coming month.
                                                                                                          To be flexible and adaptable to changing work
                                                                                                          To be proactive and complimentary
                                                                                                           Accommodation and Feeding:
                                                                                                          Accommodation and feeding is offered by SFYDP
                                                                                                          customary to the situation of Sierra Leone
                                                                                                        Alternative Service volunteers receive an additional
                                                                                                        monetary token by Frastanz Parish.
                                                                                                       Transportation and Insurance:
                                                                                                     SFYDP is not in the position to cater for travel and
                                                                                                      insurance cost for the volunteers. Alternative service
                                                                                                        volunteers receive reimbursement of their costs for
                                                                                                        travel and medication after completion of service,
                                                                                                       other volunteers have to care for own insurance and
                                                                                                       travel costs.
                                                                                                        Insurance covering medication costs in Sierra Leone
                                                                                                         as well as emergency evacuation costs are
                                                                                                          compulsory for all international volunteers.
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The name Sierra Leone was adapted from the Portuguese name for the country: Serra Leoa, who landed there in 1462. During the 1700s, Sierra Leone was an important centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Freed slaves founded the capital Freetown in 1791.

Sierra Leone became a British Crown Colony, which it remained until 1961. From 1991 to 2002 the country suffered greatly under a devastating rebel war.

Before the outbreak of war, corruption and mismanagement in the diamond sector was one of the main reasons why Sierra Leone became, according to UN figures, the poorest country in the world. With the breakdown of state structures and the effective suppression of civilian opposition through the one-party government, wide corridors were opened for trafficking of arms, ammunition and drugs, all of which eroded national/regional security and facilitated crime within the country and between Sierra Leone and Liberia and even Guinea.

Besides these internal tensions, the brutal civil war going on in neighbouring Liberia played an important role for the actual outbreak of fighting. Charles Taylor, a former president of Liberia sponsored the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) as a means of destabilising Sierra Leone. The RUF terrorised the entire country in order to overthrow the democratically elected president in 1997, ultimately they gained control of the diamond mines around Kono.

After 10 months, the junta was driven away by ECOMOG-troops and the president was reintroduced. In July 1999, a peace accord was signed by President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the RUF-leader Foday Sankoh, followed by the biggest ever peacekeeping mission of UN-forces in the 1990s.

However, until 2002, when the war was officially declared to be over, the RUF continued to terrorise the people, and to destroy the economic and social infrastructure. The war left tens of thousands of people dead or, mutilated and over 2 million displaced. In the same year Ahmad Tejan Kabbah won a landslide victory in elections. His Sierra Leone People’s Party secured a majority in parliament. The last UN peacekeepers withdrew in December 2005, leaving full responsibility of security with domestic forces.

In March 2006 Liberian ex-president Charles Taylor was arrested in Nigeria and handed over to the war crimes court in Sierra Leone which indicted him. In June 2007 the war crimes trial against Taylor start in The Hague, where he stands accused of instigating atrocities in Sierra Leone.

In August 2007 Ernest Bai Koroma won the presidency and his All People’s Congress, formerly in opposition, won a majority in parliament.

About Sierral Leone

sierra leone karte

Capital City: Freetown

Constitutional democracy

Population: approx. 5.9 million (UN, 2007)

GDP (2005): $ 5.022 billion

Area: 71,740 sq km (27,699 sq miles)

Currency: Leone (SLL)

Major languages: English, Krio and a range of tribal languages

Life expectancy: 41 years (men), 44 years (women)