A world with less poverty, more fiscal opportunity and self-sustaining communities in rural underserved communities.
Reduce extreme poverty and vulnerability in rural Sierra Leone.
Through close community relationships and solar powered technology infrastructure, entrepreneur mentorship and vocational education programs, we strive to achieve our mission.
TVL looks at rural economic development through a for-profit lens. We address the gap between aid and business for long-term economic sustainability. TVL invests in people - not just things - and commit long term, for lasting results. Our approach is customized to the community needs and economic opportunities. By working closely with the community, local leaders and businesses we are able to build a plan specific to each community. A result that comes out of this process is a network of support for the community with like minded individuals, working towards the same goal.
Through a combination of infrastructure, business and entrepreneurial mentorship, education, vocational training and job creation TVL's pilot program is quickly proving to be a replicable solution to rural economic development.
Since the inception of our pilot project in 2012, we've developed this 4 step approach for rural economic development that will ensure culture and tradition won't get lost on the pathway to sustainability.
TVL - USA
TVL Founder, Executive Director
National Program Leader, USDA-National Institute of Food & Agriculture
Director of Programs and Development
Founder, SBTS Group & TrainingSol
TVL - Sierra Leone
TVL Golu, Head Digital Literacy Instructor
TVL Golu, Head Early Childhood Instructor
How it all began...
The Village Link began its journey more than three decades ago when RoseAnn Rotandaro, the Founder and Executive Director of The Village Link, joined the Peace Corps. Assigned to Sierra Leone between 1977-1979, she grew very fond of the country and especially, the pastoral village of Golu, tucked away near the Sewa River. During her days in Golu she befriended Mr. Fillie, a head teacher at the local elementary school and his family. Eventually, she invited them all to live with her in her Peace Corps. house.
Years passed and in 1990, a brutal civil war erupted in Sierra Leone that lasted eleven years, killing an estimated 50,000 and leaving the country’s infrastructure in demise. Many villages in the vicinity of Golu were destroyed. Eleven years after the war ended, RoseAnn – at this time an attorney representing high-tech companies in Silicon Valley – returned to Sierra Leone with hopes that the place and people she had grown to love decades earlier had survived the atrocities committed. She harbored a particular hope that the Fillie family were still alive and well.
The village of Golu and the Fillie family did indeed survive. Repeated rebel invasions during the war period had forced villagers to flee their homes; Mr. Fillie lost his job as the head teacher in the village. Like many, the Fillies escaped into the bush and existed by subsistent farming methods. But the villagers resettled Golu after the war ended. The older ones remembered RoseAnn and welcomed her warmly. This profound human connection led to the idea of using computers, technology, and the Internet as development tools in places like Golu. RoseAnn returned to California, resigned from her law practice, and started The Village Link, a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit organization.
For more information on Sierra Leone and why TVL has chosen to focus on education and entrepreneurship, check out these statistics.