Pathway to Sustainability

In the final phase of our rural economic development model in Golu, we have developed revenue channels and leveraging existing local revenue sources. Through vocational business training and entrepreneurial mentorship this phase will be the community's pathway to sustainability. 

 
 

Project Golu : Pathway to Sustainablity

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Setting up revenue channels

In order for Golu's resource center to obtain economic sustainability they need to bring in revenue. Throughout the project lifecycle and consulting with local businesses, educators, leaders and local higher education institutes we determined there was a need for certain products and services. Currently the Golu resource center offer's the following products and services:

  • Printing
  • Photocopying
  • Scanning
  • Passport Photos / Photo Printing
  • Cell Phone Top-up 
  • Cell Phone Solar Charging
  • Stationary supplies
  • Internet Cafe / Digital Literacy Edu.
 
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Vocational training

One of the keys we see to succeeding in long term impact in rural economic development is the alignment of strategic partners in country so there is a network of individuals and organizations invested in the same cause. For Golu, we have invested in digital literacy and computers as a form of education and future income generator.

When our local vocational training partner, TrainingSol and tech company SBTS Group came to us with the idea of developing a custom rural vocational training program geared towards the initial group of digital literacy participants we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate further. We're in the planning phase of this project which has a goal to provide nationally recognized standard of training for rural people to become certified to work in a contact center. The participants that pass the course and successfully finish a 3 month internship will be certified to take paid outsourced contact center work from Freetown. We are working towards developing a skilled workforce that can perform all the functions as if they were in Freetown but at our center. This is an exciting opportunity for the following reasons:

  1. It will provide jobs and a new set of skills for people living in the most underserved communities; and
  2. It will discourage brain drain from the rural communities to the capital, Freetown; and
  3. It will stimulate economy in the southern province.
 
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Leverage existing industry and resources

Southern Sierra Leone is a very agriculturally rich part of the world. Most of the families in Golu survive purely off subsistence farming with little to no economic transactions. Farming in Golu is still done using primitive tools and traditional methods. We're exploring ways that technology can serve as a way to develop sales distribution channels for agriculture products from the southern province to the more populated cities in country and hopefully one day internationally.

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and to follow us on social media to stay up to date on this project and others. As we develop our plan and learn more about how to best leverage technology to advance the agriculture industry in Golu we will update our friends and donors.

 

Digital Literacy Programs

Today's global economy provides a lot of economic opportunity for rural underserved communities across the globe. With the right training and education the people in these communities could eventually work remotely through online outsource work. The goal of our digital literacy programs is to build a strong foundation of digital literacy in the rural regions, eventually working our way up to paid online outsource jobs.

Initially our digital literacy programs will provide exposure to computers, internet and the benefits that this technology can play in the rural communities. After a basic to intermediate digital literacy knowledge base is established we will begin our rural online vocational training program. 

 

On-going Programs

 

digital literacy classes

Since 2015 TVL has offered digital literacy classes to children, youth and adults in Golu. We have four classes per day (Monday to Thursday and weekends). In late 2017 we took digital literacy beyond Golu into a nearby village, Kpatobu. These classes provide the basic knowledge of computers, Microsoft Office, Google products and the internet.  

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Digital library

In 2015 we installed our digital library. Students who visit the center today have ongoing access to a full library of information and online education. This digital library solution was designed and developed by our local tech partner, LamTech Technologies, to be used in areas where access to education is scarce. Now everyone in Golu can access Sierra Leone's national primary school curriculum in additional to other educational resources. Teachers can also use the digital material as a way to provide tutoring outside of the classroom.


Completed Programs

 

Girls coding

In late 2015, we partnered with local Sierra Leone non-profit, Sierra Leone Rising and World Vision, to launch an all girls intro to coding course in the rural village of Bumpe. The 7 week course was developed by a Salesforce.come coding engineer from Silicon Valley, taught remotely via Skype and was offered to 15 female highschool students coming from Bumpe and Golu.  To learn more about this program and to see more pictures click below.

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Teacher training: Basics of Computing

Throughout 2015 we ran our first series of digital literacy classes in Golu. During the year we brought in outside digital literacy instructors to teach the teachers and health professionals about the basics of computers and the internet. Each class consisted of 10 - 12 adults and ran 4 weeks at a time. In 2015 we ran 4 sessions during the year. 

Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program

 

"Breaking this cycle of poverty depends on investments by governments, civil society and families in children's rights and wellbeing, and in women's rights.  Spending on a child's health, nutrition, education, and social, emotional and cognitive development, and on achieving gender equality, is not only an investment in a more democratic and a more equitable society, it is also an investment in a healthier, more literate and, ultimately, more productive population.

Investing in children is morally the right thing to do. It is also a sound economic investment, with high rates of return.  That is why UNICEF says "Finance development: Invest in Children".  It is also why UNICEF says "Poverty reduction starts with children".  The world has come to agree on this.  Six of the eight Millennium Development Goals (external link) relate directly to children."

UNICEF

 

In August of 2016 TVL developed an early childhood education program to support rural families with young children unable to send them to school. The goal of this program is to invest in the youngest generation by creating an empowering environment where children will learn about health and hygiene, basic education, nutrition, social and emotional development. Basic education includes: how to count, the alphabet, reading, writing, identifying colors, shapes and images through new words. The children learn through a combination of fun educational games (online and offline) and classroom style sessions. Lesson's are also taught in their native language, Mende, and in English. As we gain more support and resources we are expanding our learning materials and incorporating more digital content. 

This program is currently offered in two villages: Golu and Mbundorbu. In these two villages we have over 500 children under the age of 10 registered. 

This is the first early childhood education program in this part of Sierra Leone. With limited resources in these communities, there isn't a priority on early childhood education.  Children are the future of Sierra Leone. Investing in children is our long term approach to breaking through the cycle of poverty.

Why Invest In Women?

"When more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth." - UN Women

 
 

"Evidence from a range of countries shows that increasing the share of household income controlled by women, either through their own earnings or cash transfers, changes spending in ways that benefit children." - UN Women

Mariam participated in TVL's entrepreneurial mentorship program. Today she has her own used clothing store. She also purchases palm oil from local farmers in Golu to resell in the Bo market. She's passionate about business and feels proud to be able to help support her family.

Mariam participated in TVL's entrepreneurial mentorship program. Today she has her own used clothing store. She also purchases palm oil from local farmers in Golu to resell in the Bo market. She's passionate about business and feels proud to be able to help support her family.

"It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 per cent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion." - UN Women

In an effort to improve rural economic development, we are expanding our digital literacy program to include a female only class taught by a female. This program will give women the opportunity to learn in a safe, empowering and encouraging environment.

In an effort to improve rural economic development, we are expanding our digital literacy program to include a female only class taught by a female. This program will give women the opportunity to learn in a safe, empowering and encouraging environment.


Hassanatu Fillie, female micro-financing recipient on her way to the market.

Hassanatu Fillie, female micro-financing recipient on her way to the market.

Women's Micro-financing

Pilot Program

In 2016, TVL conducted a pilot program for micro-financing within a select group of women in the village of Golu. The result yielded more impact than expected. 

Hassanatu Fillie is one of the recipients of our micro-financing pilot program and we're delighted to report that our $60 investment has successfully turned into a small business. Each week Hassanatu makes and sells soap and popular street desserts called "King Driver" cakes at the local market. Each week she is able to make enough to feed herself and family. Owning her own small business makes her feel independent and happier knowing that she can not only provide for her family but she doesn't have to rely on anyone else to help her family gain access to basic needs.

 
 
 

Sponsor a woman

Are you interested in sponsoring a woman or young girl in Golu? If so, get in touch with us and we'll let you know how. 

 
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