Where are we?

On the 15th of August 2017, The Safe Haven Adaptive Response Program [SHARP] started as a quick response to victims of the mud slide and flash flood in Freetown. It was initially started to provide items that would help survivors who were wet and cold with their desperate need to get dry after everything they owned had been taken from them by the flood. Flooding happens every year, and it will happen again. The National Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to families living in the creeks and slums of Freetown; the water level will rise in the future, and everyone living in those disaster prone areas should be evacuated. This notice is heard everyday day on TV and radio.  As climate change continues to impact Africa, experts predict bigger and more disastrous flooding in the future. Living in the disaster areas is dangerous and causes anxiety; anytime flooding strikes, many lives will be lost, not to mention property that is lost.

This is why SHARP was started. “Our vision is to bring the problem to an end once and for all. It is never too late to make a change, and together we can make a difference.”… Ibrahim Kamara.  Ibrahim is the founder and administrative head of the Empowering Children School in Sierra Leone. He founded the school in order to provide an education for children who would otherwise have no access to it. The majority of his pupils come from the slums and creeks of Freetown. His vision to help this community move to a safe place came about after seeing his pupils and their families hit by the floods year after year. The only alternative is relocation to a new place that is safer, and out of the flood zone.

In the first months of 2018, SHARP Sierra Leone was registered with the rural district council. We have secured 50 acres of land in the rural area, and have paid 10% of the fee for the land. We have yet to pay the remaining balance of 90%. Thanks is due to the support of generous people around the globe who have contributed with funds, time, and ideas. Thanks is also due to the people of Makonkonday Village and the leadership of Newton, the Honorable, the Counselor. and head men for their commitment and continued support to the program. In addition with local support, we have some tools to help with the building program, including brick machines, wheelbarrows, shovels, pickaxes etc, and thousands of bricks are currently stored in shacks on the housing site.

We have a team of international professionals and experts who have committed their time to offer help and guidance in management, finance, construction, planning, and fundraising so that the vision for safe housing for the people in the slums and the creeks of Freetown could be achieved. There is a great need for more professionals who have the passion, skills, and time to offer to help humanity, to volunteer at least three hours a month.  This would be very valuable to the project, and would be greatly appreciated. There is especially a need to help with fundraising. With this committed group of people we have so far, we have held several board meetings to make sure we are well organized, and don’t repeat mistakes other similar organizations have made in the past when addressing this housing problem. We have worked on the name; instead of Safe Haven Housing and Relocation Project, it is Now Safe Haven Adaptive Response Program. We  have now registered with Cooperate Affairs Commission, in addition to the rural registration that we already had.

For the current year 2019, this is a list of goals that we have set and hope to achieve:

  1. Recruit more local volunteers
  2. Raise the funds to pay the remaining balance for the 50 acres of land we acquired in the rural area
  3. Plan the community layout
  4. Plan the layout of the houses
  5. Brainstorm with stakeholders in the slum
  6. Complete a slum survey
  7. Produce a documentary film
  8. Begin construction of ten homes
  9. Procure land for the school in Congo Town
  10. Acquire technologies
  11. Embark on a massive brick production program

To achieve this we have planned to reach out to the world in different mediums and platforms, and we look forward to working with many volunteers and organizations around the globe to help us achieve our goals for 2019 and beyond. Ibrahim has written a book, and plans to donate a portion of the funds to SHARP. It is an inspirational tale of nearly 30,000 words that he wrote over the past year. The story will take us on an adventurous and native African journey, and bring to us the tale of how a family changed their world, and their contribution to the planet that saved thousands of lives.

Together we can make this dream a reality.