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Ambassador Hull Signs Eleven Grants Worth $65,000
8/15/2006 8:49 AM

Press Release

Embassy fo the United States, Freetown Sierra Leone

Ambassador Hull Signs Eleven Grants Worth $65,000

Freetown, July 24, 2006:  On July 24, 2006 United States Ambassador Thomas N. Hull signed agreements with grantees from various parts of the country for this year’s Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund worth a total of $65,000.  The Ambassador uses these funds to respond to requests from communities who want to undertake developmental or social projects to improve their lives, but do not have the means to do so.  Ambassador Hull said, “These grants are bright stars showing what can be accomplished when communities get together and put differences aside to improve their own lives.”
Eleven communities spanning five districts were selected for Special Self-Help grants.  While each grant is unique, they share an agricultural component.  Improving the agricultural sector is important to the United States Government and is an important foundation in the development of the country.  
In the Port Loko District, four projects provide an alternative means of generating income for digbas/sowies who have voluntarily renounced the practice of FGM by providing farm tools and seeds.   Another project includes the rehabilitation of three and construction of four new water wells and the construction of a foot bridge on Tasso Island.  In Bombali District the funds will build two bridges in Tambaka near the Outamba Kilimi National Park to improve road access for community members and park rangers.  The fund will also provide cashew seedlings and tools in Kamakwie to provide a viable economic alternative to logging.  The community in Batkanu will construct agricultural storage and a drying floor and receive seed rice. 
In Kailahun District, the supply of cotton seeds in Mandopolahun will revive the country cloth industry and community members will also construct a storage room for agricultural produce.  Fandu villagers will use building materials to erect a community center and toilets.  In Kenema District, the funds will pay for materials for the Madina community to build a produce store room.
The eleven community representatives met Ambassador Hull in the US Embassy for a formal signing ceremony.  They have one year to complete their projects and have to provide labor and 25% of the project cost while the Embassy will provide materials for the other 75%.  This is not a free grant, but a reward for communities willing to help themselves.

The projects funded this year are:
1.Tayesu Digbas Agricultural Development Project
    Provision of farm tools and seeds.  Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District
2. Rogesseh EX-FGM Practitioners Community Agricultural Association
    Provision of farm tools and seeds.  Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District
3. Barakala EX-FGM Practitioners Community Agricultural Association
    Provision of farm tools and seeds.  Maforki Chiefdom, Port Loko District
4. Tamaraneh Soweis Development Association
    Provision of farm tools and seeds.  Buya Romende Chiefdom, Port Loko District
5. Sella Agricultural Project
    Provision of cashew seedlings and tools.  Sella Limba Chiefdom, Bombali District
6. Madiho Women’s Development Association
    Construction of grain store and drying floor.  Dama Chiefdom, Kenema District
7. Mandopolahun Community Association
    Construction of store and cotton wool production.  Kissi Tongi Chiefdom, Kailahun District
8. Tambaka Community Association
    Construction of two bridges near OKNP.  Tambakha Chiefdom, Bombali District
9. Tasso Island Community Development
East Three, Western Area.  Construction of water wells, foot-bridge and provision of agricultural tools and seeds
10. Lebeisaygahun Development Association
      Construction of grain store, drying floor and provision of seed rice.  Lebeisaygahun Chiefdom, Bombali District
11. Youth Association of Fandu
      Construction of community center and toilets.  Luawa Chiefdom, Kailahun District

Published in: Ambassador Hull Signs Eleven Grants Worth $65,000, Press Release, U.S. Embassy Sierra Leone, July 24, 2006.