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Back home from Sierra Leone, safe and sound

14 Aug

Journal #8

The whole team is now back in their respective homes, resting for a few days before starting again with their studies and jobs. The 2011 expedition to Yele has been a great success, and many of the objectives have been reached.

Enjoying the last days in Sierra Leone

The team’s last days were spent in Freetown, finishing up the last details.The trip from Yele to the capital was long and rainy, and the roads that seemed so much improved a month earlier, now seemed deteriorated by the strong rains. This, however, did not stop the team from having dinner on the beach, enjoying exotic plates such as grilled barracuda with coconut sauce!

Antal and Tori playing with children in Yele

Beach in Freetown

Meeting with Ecboank

Last Monday and Tuesday, Tori and Antal left Africa to head back to the US and Holland, respectively. The rest stayed another 2 days in Freetown, where they had a final meeting with representatives of Ecobank. To get there, they had asked a person on the street for directions, who pointed to a soldier who signaled them to follow him. He took them to the Ecobank building, which was shut down due to a fire alarm. However, he told them to follow him inside, oblivious to the smell of smoke and charred walls. “No problem, sir”. In spite of the peculiar situation, the team members followed him up to the person they were going to meet. The encounter with Ecobank was efficient, as they confirmed they wanted to set up a branch in the eLuma.

Streets of Freetown

Finally, on Wednesday, Paul and Mauricio finished up the last tasks, and enjoyed the beach after a hard day’s work. In their last evening, they ventured into the city to discover it’s nightlife…


eLuma bottle openers to support Project Yele

The team has acquired 50 traditional 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!


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. Continue reading

Introducing… eLuma!

5 Aug

Journal #6

Project Yele’s expedition to Yele is reaching its last week, and so much has already been done.

By popular demand amongst locals, the community bazaar has been baptized eLuma (e = electricity and Luma = market in Krio). Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Living Sierra Leone

28 Jul

Journal #4

Paul waiting for the ferry in Yele

After spending just over two weeks in Sierra Leone, the Project Yele team is about half-way through its expedition and has already overcome some difficult obstacles, but has also advanced significantly in its objectives. Continue reading

Yele: getting to know the locals

24 Jul

Journal #3

As the team is getting settled in Yele – and Tori still waiting for her lost luggage to appear – the works on the D-labs are taking shape, aiming to create charcoal briquettes as a clean and cheap fuel.

Briquette Maker

This initiative is inspired by the Massachusetts Institution of Technology’s D-Lab, a department founded by Amy Smith to find simple solutions with available and clean products. As advised by D-Lab experts, the Project Yele Team is focusing on finding methods to make charcoal briquettes from agricultural waste – or biowaste – and teach locals to keep producing them in the future.  Continue reading

Opoto! ‘White Man’ arrives at Yele

19 Jul

Journal #2

The Project Yele Team has just completed its first week in  Sierra Leone. A lot has happened since.

After 3 days in the country, the first 3 members of the team to travel to the country have ventured through Freetown on their own.

Market in Freetown

Last Thursday, Mauricio, Tori and Paul visited Big Market in Freetown – the oldest market in the country –with the delicate mission of finding underclothing for Tori, as her suitcase is still astray. Continue reading

“Welcome to the past”

14 Jul

Journal #1

After a few minor complications, delays and luggage loss, the first three members of the Project Yele Team – Mauricio, Paul and Tori – are finally settled in Sierra Leone.

Arrival at the airport

First Impressions

Paul and Mauricio arrived from Brussels and were greeted by the personnel of Lion Heart Foundation, a Dutch NGO. They immediately headed to the first stop of the journey – Freetown. Continue reading

Getting ready!

9 Jul

Only 2 days to go until  Antal, Mauricio, Paul and Tori head to Sierra Leone to continue their mission in Yele. The four members will be traveling to Sierra Leone on July 11, 2011 to continue the work they’ve been developing during the past year, and to put all those months of fundraising efforts to good use.

The Yele Team!

Preparations for the trip are long: visas, flights, passports, medication, vaccinations (including yellow fever or typhoid), working material, clothing, transport… All has been taken care of, to the very last detail, and they are ready to go! Continue reading

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