Founded in 2009, We Yone Child Foundation (WYCF) is a non-profit NGO working for the improvement of the lives of children in Sierra Leone.
WYCF is made up of a passionate team who work their hardest to offer a happy, healthy, and self-sustainable future to our children and their families.
Our number one priority is offering life-empowering opportunities through education.
Sierra Leone ranks at number 180 (Low) out of 187 countries and territories in the Human Development Index, according to the United Nations 2011 report.
An estimated 62.79% of the population lives below the international poverty line (World Bank, 2011).
High rates of infant mortality, maternal mortality, and mortality for children under five place the country amongst the poorest and least developed nations in the world.
Violence against women, sexual and gender-based violence, and gender inequality are prevalent at all levels of society in Sierra Leone. Women and children still face barriers in accessing justice because of the judicial administrative bottleneck, shortage of judicial personnel, high cost of legal fees, cultural barriers ,and the absence of courts in certain areas. The customary law has also continued to discriminate against women, particularly to ownership of productive resources, inheritance rights, and rights in marriage.
Children – girls in particular – are the most vulnerable, having to work from an early age to increase their families’ income. In many cases, they are removed from school because their families cannot afford to pay school fees along with other basic living expenses.
Typically, the people living in our target communities are facing multiple hardships in life. These factors include:
- Unsafe and overcrowded housing;
- Unsanitary conditions with high rates of preventable illnesses;
- Poor (but not mal-) nutrition;
- Single parent or orphaned children often connected to untimely death of a parent through war or illness;
- Violent or unsupportive families;
- Economic conditions which force child labour as a family coping mechanism;
- Exposure to drugs, alcohol, prostitution and violence through gangs and other individuals in the communities;
- Unemployment or unhappiness among families who have recently migrated from countryside;
- Archaic values which reject education, particularly for girls;
- Under-age pregnancy and high post-primary school drop-out rates for girls.
We operate in two communities in Freetown:
This is a buzzing slum community in Central Freetown – home to around 6,000 people.
There are two primary and junior-secondary schools in the community, one of which is assisted by WYCF.
The community engages in diverse and usually ‘informal’ economic activities and is comprised of a mix of faiths and ethnicities with intricate social connections.
Kroo Bay is crossed by two rivers which lead to frequent and hazardous flood events during the rainy season. In addition, Kroo Bay suffers from problems ranging from unemployment and poor health to high-infant mortality and political marginalisation.
About 5,000 people live in this beautiful hillside community.
There are now two primary schools in the community, one of which is run by WYCF.
There has been no urban planning since the area was occupied by internally displaced people, mostly from the Northern Province, during the civil war.
From the George Brook football pitch, the only way to move further up the hill is by foot through rocky paths. These are extremely dusty in the dry season and muddy and slippery during the monsoons. During the rains, all rubbish and waste gets washed to the centre of Freetown, into Kroo Bay, and into the sea.
Sanitation and Health
We see this as a physical and symbolic connection between George Brook and Kroo Bay. Ultimately, the children all play in the same dirty water.
The transportation access reflects the lack of basic services, and the inadequate access to clean water and sanitation means people regularly suffer from preventable diseases.
WYCF focuses on improving the poor standard of education and health of children, attempting to develop a happy and dignified learning environment.