Last days in Yele

9 Aug

Journal #7

The one-month expedition is coming to an end. The team has been finishing up the final projects, successfully concluding this year’s visit to Yele.

While the girls (Antal and Tori) have been invited to visit the Mapco Loaning system, a community-based organization where people can take loans at around 46% interest per year, the boys (Paul and Mauricio), completed GPS land measurements for the Masterplan of Lion Heart Foundation’s hospital. During this, they found pieces of broken walls in the middle of the jungle, with remaining bulletholes from the 11-year civil war that affected Sierra Leone, ended in 2002.

Tori, who had been feeling unwell for a some days, is nearly recovered from malaria, of which she was diagnosed last Thursday. Nevertheless, she has continued working and helping her team, and has been taking the necessary medication. The news of her having malaria spread like the wind in Yele, and everyone immediately inquired on her health: “How di bodi?” (“How’s the body?”).

UNIMAK Students helping Project Yele

Local students working with Project Yele

The relation with UNIMAK (University of Makeni) is getting stronger, and the institution has demonstrated its interest in collaborating with Project Yele by sending its four best students to pair up with the team during their community surveys. The team was running out of time to complete them, and it was a good opportunity to engage with the local students, one of them being the Paramount Chief’s granddaughter.

This collaboration also opened doors for a potential entrepreneurial coach, who will be teaching shop owners how to efficiently run their business in eLuma. UNIMAK had already expressed its interest in participating in this aspect of the project.

One of the families surveyed in Yele

Members of the team also met with Walter Coker, a local entrepreneur. Sitting on the Junction, the center of the town of Yele, they were able to observe the community, and what moves business in town.

Tying up the loose ends

The Paramount Chief has finally brought the paper stating that the land for eLuma will be given by the community. Of course, the settlement was celebrated with some beers and stories on the Chief’s experiences as a young mechanical engineer in Glasgow.

Explaining PowerNed to the community

Before leaving, Project Yele launched PowerNed during a community meeting. They prepared a demo to help understand the process of applying and paying for light through PowerNed, an electricity utility company created by Lion Heart Foundation, responsible for providing energy through the hydropower plant in Yele.

D-Lab charcoal briquettes

The D-Lab work has also completed: after having tested various ways of creating charcoal briquettes, the team has transferred the material and the techniques in the process, in order to ensure that this cleaner energy will continue to be used in the community.

Making balloon animals in the medical center

Finally, Mauricio and Antal visited the medical center, where they quickly learned how to make balloon animals for the kids. This concluded a successful expedition in Yele, which has brought a very significant advance to the project, finally taking a definite shape. The team is currently in Freetown, enjoying their last days in Sierra Leone before heading back to their respective countries.


Beer openers for Project Yele

The team has acquired 50 tradition bottle openers to sell to Project Yele’s friends and supporters. The openers cost 3$, and all the money goes straight to funding for this project. Plus, they are a perfect and original gift! If you are interested, don’t hesitate to contact us at

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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