Getting on with the Yele Community Bazaar

31 Jul

Journal #5

Good news has arrived to the town of Yele, as Don from the Lion Heart Foundation, and the Paramount Chief of Yele arrived with the three passports, confiscated a few days before.

After a lot of discussion with the immigration office, and having notified the respective embassies, the issue is – more or less – resolved. Of course, the team celebrated with some palm wine.

Antal grating cassawa for charcoal briquettes

That same day, Antal and Tori got to work on the D-lab and made a second batch of charcoal briquettes with fresh cassava – an edible root, very rich in starch.

Getting on with the Community Bazaar

Another meeting took place with the Paramount Chief of Yele, and an official encounter was made with landowners and court elders in Court Barry, a town pavilion. After long talks and translations to hear all sides, the people unanimously and generously decided to provide Project Yele with the land for the Community Bazaar  for free.

Paramount Chief celebrating the agreements

The Paramount Chief was extremely happy with the conclusion, and celebrated with dancing, and a peculiar career advice for Tori: to become one of his wives!

The planned meeting with Ecobank to discuss funding possibilities also went well, over coffee, cake and beer. The members of Ecobank seemed to be pleased with the roll-out of the project.

Interviews and inspiration

Interviews with shop owners are still taking place in order to understand their situation and needs for the future. In total, 12 interviews have been done, including a particularly inspiring one with Mr. Turray, the tailor. He has already set up a financial system through which to loan money to other business owners. In the meantime, the “opotos” (white men) were being followed by tens of children, singing and dancing for the camera!

The interviews were followed by the more tedious work of drafting contracts, letters of intent and other legal issues to be considered…

Mauricio interviewed by radio journalist

On the radio!

Project Yele has also grabbed the attention of a local radio station, who sent a journalist to interview the four members currently in Sierra Leone and broadcast the news to the whole community.

Playing football in Yele


In their free time, the team and friends find pleasure in playing football games with the locals, eating local cassawa dishes, and refreshing with cold showers, a much needed luxury after days under the tropical sun.

If you wish to know more about Project Yele or to contact the team, please visit the website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Also have a look at our Photo Gallery!

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