March - June
We've been busy over here at The Village Link in the past couple of months. Take a look at we've been up to.
Radio Education Program Update
Our team in Sierra Leone has been working hard to keep the Radio Education Program thriving. We are happy to report that week over week our average attendance rate is 85%. This includes both non-enrolled and enrolled school children of all ages. On average female attendance is slightly higher at 52%.
We are really proud of Golu and the success they have achieved with this program. The community has really supported the program and the students. However, we still have on-going program costs and are still fundraising to keep this program running. More than ever it is important to keep these children in some form of education. Ebola isn't gone yet but this program provides hope and something else to focus on during this time. If you would like to make a contribution to this program you can do so here. Your contribution will go 100% to program costs.
Golu Resource Center New Revenue Stream
As part of Project Golu we strive to make the community center self-sustainable through various revenue streams. In 2014 we add solar panels, which allowed the Center to offer cell phone charging services. This was our first revenue stream. In May 2015, we bought cell minutes from local telecommunication companies and started to sell cell phone top up credits.
The revenue generated from this service will help cover other Center program costs and employees/resident volunteer stipends.
Libraries in Golu
TVL also assisted 5 surrounding schools with their applications to the African Library Project so that they could potentially receive a shipment of books to improve the school libraries. Applications are still pending. We'll provide an update once we know if any of the schools will get a new library.
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation: Ebola Innovation Summit
In April, our founder and executive director was asked to be a part of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s Ebola Innovation Summit. The purpose of this summit was to problem solve the challenges that West Africa faced and lead to the Ebola crisis of 2014. Coming out of this summit the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation put a request for proposals out to the public inviting people and organizations to apply for a grant up to $3 Million dollars that would address the one or more of the four challenges discussed and outlined in the summit:
- Data strengthening and coordination to improve interoperability of national, regional, and local health data systems.
- Diagnostics that accelerate the development and deployment of responses for Ebola and beyond.
- Social mobilization to effectively incorporate community perceptions into program design and situational analysis.
- Emergency infrastructure and logistics to more effectively move people and supplies during health emergencies.
During the month of May we collaborated with partners, National Peace Corps Association and Sierra Leone’s, SBTS Group to develop a solution and plan that we felt could help answer two of the four challenges above: data strengthening and coordination, social mobilization. We submitted the application for a grant with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation at the end of May. The proposals are still in the review process. More on this later!