Stories tagged with sierra leone

Apr 4, 2014 SL Sierra Leone
Edith, a Kiva borrower, has a small wooden hair studio in Torkpoi town.
There are things we do to survive. We find work, shelter, food and pay our bills. Then there are the things we do to live. To live, we feed ourselves with the arts, conversation, beauty, sports, entertainment and nature. What a people do to live says a huge amount about them. These pursuits do not seem to cease in times of hardship; if anything they are bullishly defended. In 1994, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra performed in the ruins... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 SL Sierra Leone
Tejan, proudly outside his new shop


As a young man, Tejan had long dreamed of being a professional soccer player. For fifteen years, he played with one of Sierra Leone’s top teams, the first division Regent’s Olympic.  But even as a star defender and captain of his team, his earnings, essentially a portion of what was taken at the entrance gate, were seldom enough to make ends meet.

In 2002, deciding to supplement his income, Tejan apprenticed with a local tailor, learning the highly... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 GO Global Update
Freetown’s narrow, dusty and often unpaved streets seem to squeeze life through them at an intensity that is difficult to imagine in a ‘western city’.

Rivers of people and goods spill over from makeshift sidewalks into oncoming cars and motorcycle taxis that weave in and out of each other amid an endless din of beeping horns.

Hawkers hiss and suck their teeth to get your attention. Loudspeakers on an endless loop announce, “Voucher, Voucher, Top-up, Top-up, Afri-cell,  Airtel, Top-up, Top-up." A man calls, “Passport photo, passport photo,” in your ear, his... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2014 SL Sierra Leone
Two years ago, back in Dublin, I hatched a plan to become a Kiva Fellow. In Africa, if at all possible.

To make the dream stick, I enrolled in a development work preparatory course held on weekends in an old Georgian building.

“First will come the honeymoon period,” the facilitator warned, in a class on cultural immersion. “Then culture shock, then adaptation. Finally, when you return home, there will be some reverse culture shock.”

The dream stuck and the plan worked out. I have been working in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow since February, helping the... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2013 SL Sierra Leone

The website of a foreign-owned diamond mining company in Sierra Leone states, "Our Diamonds Doing Good: Follow our progress as we demonstrate that responsible and sustainable diamond mining can - and will - elevate and empower the people, the economy, and the country of Sierra Leone."

During my second week in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow, I visited Kono district where this company - among others - bases its operations, and if this trip has taught me anything, it is that there is little evidence that diamond mining has brought any...

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