Partnership with community project in Sierra Leone

Somerset College has developed a partnership with a community-based charity in Sierra Leone, the Sella Community Project. The relationship has been developed through the ongoing donation of deleted library books from the College’s libraries.

The Sella Community Project is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in the Kamakwie community in the North West of Sierra Leone, the residents of which are still trying to rebuild their lives after an 11 year long civil war. The charity was founded by Richard Meads, a former student of Somerset College, who developed a strong friendship with a member of the Kamakwie community during a number of business-related visits to the area.  

In 2010, the library books donated by Somerset College helped the charity to establish a resource centre within the community. The resource centre has since enabled the people of the Kamakwie community to learn basic literacy and numeracy skills for free.

All education within Sierra Leone must be paid for, meaning that most residents cannot afford to receive any form of education. However, the resource centre provides a safe and supportive learning environment for the community at no cost. Jolanta Peters, Library Services Manager at Somerset College, explains how pleased she is that the College is able to contribute to such a worthy cause “It’s fantastic that Somerset College is able to support this project and contribute to the learning experience and quality of life for people in a very different and much deprived part of the world.”

Richard Meads and his father Jonathon, recently visited Somerset College from Sierra Leone to thank the College for the ongoing donations and to provide an insight into life in the Kawakwie Community and how the resource centre is helping to improve the quality of life there.