Working for orphans. AVSI began operating in Sierra Leone in 2000, supporting the work of local NGO, Family Home Movement (FHM), founded in 1985 by Fr. Berton, a Xaverian missionary who has lived in the country for decades. In the first ten years, the focus of AVSI and FHM's work was to create reception centers for orphaned children, with the involvement of families willing to welcome them into their homes.
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 victims of the phenomenon.
Among the best schools in the country. The construction and development of a school in Mayensineh is among AVSI's most significant work in Sierra Leone, thanks to co-financing from MAE [Italian Foreign Ministry] and some private donors. Founded as a primary school, within a few years it could offer a complete education from kindergarten to secondary. It now accommodates more than 1,800 students and is widely recognized as one of the best schools in the country, selected as the venue for the national secondary school final exams.
The fight against ebola. In November 2015, 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 of the epidemic, the staff of AVSI Foundation immediately set to work, alongside local partner, FHM, to support affected households through distribution of necessities, preventive information campaigns, educational radio programs, support for street children, orphans and families in quarantine. Ebola-related work is continuing even after the emergency, to support the material psycho-physical and economic wellbeing of survivors and orphans.
The project “IMAGES: Improving MAnaGement of CSOs in Education Sector in Sierra Leone”. IMAGES is the 3 years project funded by the European Union that involves AVSI and its local partners Family Homes Movement (FHM) and St. Mary’s Home of Charity (SMHC) in enhancing the contribution of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the education sector to trigger the development process in the country.
AVSI Sierra Leone
51 Lower Parsonage Street, Kissy Shell, Freetown
Main partners: Family Homes Movement (FHM)