AVSI has started to operate in Sierra Leone since the end of the ‘90ies with the local civil society organization Family Homes Movement (FHM).
Now, AVSI works in the districts Western Area, Bombali, Tonkolili and Port Loko mainly in education and vocational training sector.
For child soldiers. During the civil war, AVSI and FHM's work focused on reintegrating child soldiers with the creation of an initial reception center for them.
For orphans. In the first ten years, the focus of AVSI and FHM's work was to create reception centers for orphan children, with the involvement of families willing to welcome them into their homes.
For families and children affected by ebola. On March 17, 2016 the World Health Organization officially announced the defeat of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. Before then, the virus left thousands of people dead or infected. From the early days of the outbreak, AVSI’s staff immediately set to work, alongside local partner FHM, to support affected households through the distribution of necessities, campaigns to prevent ebola's spread, educational radio programs, support for street children, orphans and families in quarantine. Ebola-related work is continuing even now, to support the material psycho-physical and economic wellbeing of survivors and orphans.
For families and children affected by natural disasters. In August 2017, another emergency has shocked Sierra Leone: the mudslide of Regent hillside and the flooding of several slums in Freetown. AVSI intervened immediately registering the affected population and distributing food and first-aid kits.
To guarantee children an access to quality education. AVSI’s mission in Sierra Leone has always been to improve the quality of the educational sector by involving teachers and parents. Since 2018, AVSI is improving primary teachers’ skills of 20 schools, so that children could improve their reading and writing skills in English, thanks to “IMAGES: Improving MAnaGement of CSOs in Education Sector” project funded by the European Union and implemented with the partners FHM and Saint Mary’s Home of Charity (SMHC). In addition, AVSI is also strengthening the capacities of 15 civil society organizations to make them real actors of the educational sector development.
For the most vulnerable children. The construction and development of a school in Mayenkineh, on the outskirts of Freetown is among AVSI's most significant work in Sierra Leone, thanks to co-financing from MAE (Italian Foreign Ministry) and private donors. Founded as a primary school, it now offers complete education cycle, from kindergarten to secondary to almost 1,400 students. It is widely recognized as one of the best schools in the country. In the last ten years, AVSI has also supported the Holy Family School for more than 250 students in Tabai, a poor village 300 km from Freetown.
For early childhood. Thanks to World Bank funds, AVSI is working to improve Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) courses in teachers colleges and vocational centers, in partnership with Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education (LGIHE).
For people with disability. From 2007 to 2010, AVSI worked to give professional and technical capacities to people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth. Courses on tailoring, carpentry, brick production, welding and electronics were organized thanks to the contribution of the World Bank.
For dropout youth, young and teenage mothers. Drop-out rate is still high in Sierra Leone, especially for women. Thanks to the project “IMAGES: Improving MAnaGement of CSOs in Education Sector”, funded by the European Union AVSI and its partners FHM and SMHC provides vocational courses and career guidance to 195 youth and teenage mothers.
To improve job readiness of youth. Sierra Leone is a developing country with a lot of potential. Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Program (YEEP) implemented by Lattanzio KIBS in collaboration with AVSI and Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, is designing new vocational courses with the most important Technical and Vocational Training Centre (TVET) in the country. In particular, 2400 youth will improve their skills in fish-farming and aquaculture, tourism and construction sectors. The professional figure of counselors will be established to link courses with the job market.
AVSI Sierra Leone
Freetown Hq Office
Street Kissy Shell 51
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Mayenkineh, Sierra Leone