“Progress lies not in enhancing what is,
but in advancing toward what will be.”
- Khalil Gibran
This January the Village Link packed up and headed to Sierra Leone with an ambitious agenda for 10 days. Our trips tend to be fast and furious but always efficient. Here is a progress report on Project Golu and some of our other projects.
Santa Clara University GSBI Boost Accelerator Program
In the first half of the trip we took part in Santa Clara University GSBI Boost Accelerator program in Freetown. “GSBI Boost packs core business lessons into a powerful 3-day workshop. We help local, early-stage social entrepreneurs learn business fundamentals, improve their strategic thinking, and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth, and long-term financial sustainability.”
We invited three people from Golu to take part: John Trye, Center Operations Coordinator; Haruna Fillie, SL Project Coordinator; Ann Yokie, Golu village nurse. Additionally, we invited two of our key local partners to take part in hopes the program could advance their own enterprises. TVL’s founder, RoseAnn Rotandaro, was asked to be a guest speaker on the subject of Venture Capital. During the three days we helped to mentor our guests throughout the process. We wanted to be involved with this event because it is supporting economic development in the Sierra Leone and it was a great opportunity for us to further train and expose our volunteers to business process. Coming out of this workshop we are building a business plan around the services we want to provide in the Golu center.
More photos from the boost accelerator in Freetown.
[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" ids="1773,1774,1767,1772,1769,1766,1764"]
Rumie Educational Tablet Class - Expanding the Digital Library
Part of the contributions people made to TVL in 2015 went towards funding the expansion of Golu's digital library content and equipment. With your donations we were able to purchase 10 Rumie educational tablets with a focus on primary level education. Part of what makes TVL different from larger non-profits is that we pride ourselves on working extremely close with the community to ensure future successes. When we brought the 10 tablets to the village TVL Director, Colleen Rossignol, lead a class room style session for the teachers, nurses and leaders in the community to learn how to use the tablets and access the content. John Trye, the centers operations coordinator helped Colleen by translating and demonstrating various uses on the tablets. RoseAnn assisted participants on a one on one basis with the tablet instructions and our volunteer, Daniel Rossignol, also pitched in to help! It was a huge team effort and all in all it was a highly successful class. Everyone was engaged, learned a lot and stayed long after to continue playing around on the tablets. Our hope is that the teachers in the primary school in Golu will use these tablets to supplement their classrooms and eventually help with adult literacy.
[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" ids="1780,1825,1784,1783,1782"]
Moyamba Girls School Solar Project - Solar Powered Education
TVL has sponsored a girl from Golu, to attend the country’s only all girl boarding school - June Hartranft Memorial Primary School. Upon arriving at Millicent's school we had a casual conversation with the headmaster, Mrs. Lahai and her head teacher. During this conversation we learned that there was no power in the school and that they were using kerosene lamps in the evenings. We expressed an interest in trying to help the school with providing solar but first we needed to know what this project was going to cost. Mrs. Lahai gave us some older quotes she had received in the past and after getting back to California we investigated the costs with our solar provider. It turns out that in order to provide solar power for a school of 450 girls across the whole campus including the dorms, barry and meal hall it would only cost $4,500 USD. With the help of donations we were able to make this happen within a week. We are proud to say the girls of June Hartranft Memorial Primary School now have power that will last at least for the next 10 years! Thank you to all that donate to TVL that help bring these sorts of opportunities to others in need.
[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" ids="1795,1796,1797,1798,1799,1801,1803,1804,1805,1806,1807,1808,1809,1810,1811,1812,1813,1814,1815,1816,1817,1819,1822,1823,1820"]
Bringing Internet to Golu - ISP/TVL Partnerships
In late 2015 we received a private donation with the intention that this funding would go toward bringing internet services to Golu and the surrounding area as well as hiring a full-time person to manage the Center programs and services. During our trip we met with multiple ISP’s and started the process.