Sierra Leone Cement Drying Floor Completed with Funds Raised by Servant Heart Research Collaborative
Members of the Servant Heart Research Collaborative, funded by UMaine alums Allen and Patty Morell, have worked hard over the past several years to develop two high-impact programs to aid students and caregivers in Sierra Leone.
As one part of their June 2019 Sierra Leone trip, the group visited the village of Moindema. They met with members of the village in order to identify community needs that UMaine could help address. The village Chief and elders all agreed that the #1 need was a safe place to dry grains and seeds after they had been harvested. There was no suitable place in the village to efficiently dry the grains and seeds, which meant that the villagers could face substantial losses during the peak of the harvest season. A drying floor would, in turn, provide the most immediate and substantial impact for the village.
In response, the team from UMaine raised funds (about 6 million Leones, or $600+ USD) to purchase supplies and materials to construct a cement drying floor. As of Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, the floor has been completed!
The men and women of Moindema are now able to dry their harvested grain and seeds on a clean, warm surface. They are getting more food for their families and the opportunity to sell some to help provide for the basic needs of their families, including education fees so their children can go to school.
The excitement and pride of the village cannot be properly expressed. The village knows that the UMaine team kept their promise, forging even greater bonds between our communities. This bridge of hope and kindness will never fade. The men and women are now drying their harvested grain and seeds on a clean, warm surface. They are growing more food for their families and are able to sell some of their harvest in order to provide for the basic needs of their families, including education fees so their children can go to school.
We are so proud of the Honors connection to Sierra Leonean communities as well as the new partnerships we continue to develop. This is what it is all about: the mutual benefit and joy we can provide one another.