We are excited to announce a collaboration with the Sierra Leone Foundation of New Democracy (SLFND) starting January 7, 2019. UDS Co-Founder, Heather Cannon, and SLFND Founder, Hindolo Pokawa, have known each other since 2011. Furthermore, we started our organizations about the same time and wanted to find a way to collaborate.

Initially, we talked about holding the training in January 2019, but the $3,000 cost was out of our reach. Fortunately, we received a $1,500 matching gift on December 7 from someone in the SLFND community. We reached out to people who are passionate about agriculture and food security. Three generous sponsors stepped up and raised the $1,500 within one week to unlock the match. Most important of all, our sincere gratitude goes to Ali A. (MN), Edward K. (Canada), Joel D.(MN), and John T. (MN) for making this possible!

SLFND created a Permaculture African Cross Training (PACT) program to help people throughout the continent know how to use the resources they have to create a home or school gardens or to develop sustainable farming. They have offered the training in Sierra Leone at their village in Mondema.

For this purpose, UDS started recruiting 35 youth to participate in this 9-day (72-hour), internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) program. The training team includes Bruce Blair (lead trainer & SLFND board member), Hindolo, and Joy Alizadeh (SLFND board member)Our youth will receive practical experience along with an understanding of the concepts of permaculture design.

UDS Students Serving Guests from SLFND

In return, UDS is thrilled to host our guests from SLFND. First, they will be staying at the hotel next to us, and our Hotel Management Students will be taking care of them during their visit. Second, our Catering Students will be cooking their meals during their stay with us. Last but not least, we plan to find other opportunities for our students to provide their talents and skills to make our guests welcomed during their visit.

Hotel management students on the left and catering students on the right.

We will share photos and updates when this training starts next month. Please stay tuned.