Moving Forward in West Africa: The Sherbro Foundation
On April 6, Sherbro Foundation Sierra Leone, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit, will offer a unique opportunity to hear directly from one of Sierra Leone’s most prominent traditional leaders about the West African country’s trials and opportunities. Paramount Chief Charles Caulker will discuss the partnership with Sherbro Foundation to overcome poverty and recover from Ebola in Bumpeh Chiefdom.
The free public program at 7 p.m. on April 6 will be held at Hyde Park Methodist Church, 1342 Grace Ave. at Observatory Ave. Parking is in the rear.
“Our programs empower small communities to take the lead in advancing education, village development and environment protection in Bumpeh Chiefdom, one of Sierra Leone’s most rural and poorest chiefdoms,” said foundation founder Arlene Golembiewski. “Most people here live on $1 a day in villages of 200 to 300 people, surviving with subsistence agriculture.”
A national leader – Chief Caulker’s 30 years as Paramount Chief span Sierra Leone’s post-independence period, a brutal11-year civil war and its aftermath, and today’s modern nation-building. His extensive national experience ranges from senior roles in Sierra Leone’s government and Parliament to national leader for chieftaincy. Under his chairmanship, the National Council of Paramount Chiefs has become an effective voice for the critical role of chiefs in peace-building, security, land management and traditional customs.
Origin of Sherbro Foundation – Founder Arlene Golembiewski first met Chief Caulker 40 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer, when both were young teachers in his chiefdom. She revisited in 2011 and decided to create scholarships for girls’ secondary education. After several return trips, “I came to understand the community’s great needs, and formed Sherbro Foundation in 2013 as an all-volunteer nonprofit to foster more US support,” she said.
The April 6 discussion will focus on Sherbro Foundation’s partnership with Chief Caulker and his community-based volunteer organization, the Center for Community Empowerment and Transformation. Much has been accomplished in less than three years. You’ll learn about Sierra Leone behind the headlines and see slides of life and work.
SFSL has partnered on programs for girls’ education, adult literacy and computer literacy, creating the first Community Computer Center. “We are now leveraging the chiefdom’s agriculture experience to introduce village fruit orchards.
These orchards will empower villages to generate their own income to educate children and fund community development projects. They’ll also provide long-term environmental protection and address effects of climate change,” Arlene said.
The interactive discussion with Chief Caulker is free but RSVPs are appreciated at SherbroFoundation@gmail.com. See www.sherbrofoundation.org and project summaries for more information.
Post Provided by: Chris Golembiewski, Vice President, Sherbro Foundation Sierra Leone