Home Page Slider Item – The Unforgotten http://unforgotten.org Aid for Child Wastepickers Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:34:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.12 Recent Happenings: Floods in Sierra Leone http://unforgotten.org/recent-happenings-floods-in-sierra-leone/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:04:31 +0000 http://unforgotten.org/?p=1591 By Aminata Alharazim

Floods in Sierra Leone - 14 Aug 2017
Floods in Sierra Leone – 14 Aug 2017

Help Flood Victims in Sierra Leone

On 14 August, 2017 unprecedented rainfall in Freetown, Sierra Leone brought about a devastating landslide burying everything in its path. Hundreds of people are reported dead and many more are still missing. Most of Freetown is flooded. Our Kissy and Kingtom Bridge schools were damaged. Also, most of the women and children in our programs were affected by the flood.

The Unforgotten is asking for your help to provide emergency assistance to the women and children in Kingtom and Kissy. Our beneficiaries have lost all of their possessions and need your help to rebuild their lives. We hope to raise $10,000 to provide basic needs to 300 women and children.

For more details and to show your support, please visit this fundraiser campaign, where we are collecting funds to help the women and children affected by the flood.

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Recent Happenings: Cookstoves for our sponsored families in Zambia http://unforgotten.org/cookstoves-for-our-sponsored-families-in-zambia/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 07:24:50 +0000 http://unforgotten.org/?p=1476 By Ramé Hemstreet, Capital Projects Director

Cookstoves for women, Zambia
High efficiency cookstoves for the women of our sponsored families in Chingware, Zambia

“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” — Oscar Wilde

It seems too good to be true. A technology that improves indoor air quality, saves money and reduces the emissions that are causing climate change. Even better, it is simple and inexpensive. Early this year we introduced this technology to the families we assist in Chingwere, Zambia. During our visit in January, I brought along a cookstove and left it for the women to try out. Subsequently Rabecca Musonda-Machiya, UNFF’s country director, and our local volunteer Dorien Van Halperin arranged for a demonstration, comparing the amount of charcoal needed to prepare the local staple nshima – a thick porridge made from maize flour and water – using the typical method as compared to a cookstove. In April the women gathered to have a cooking demonstration to compare traditional charcoal cookers with the high efficiency cookstove. For comparison purposes, identical pots and pans were used and the ingredients were equally divided between them.

The traditional burner has to be bigger than the pot used for cooking, because the pot has to stand on the charcoal. During the cooking process the pot shifts as the coals burn unequally and as a consequence the cook has to watch the fire constantly. The high efficiency burner has a small platform above the charcoal. The pot is put on that platform without touching the charcoal, which makes it more stable and thus safer.

The traditional cooker has holes on the side of the cooker and a large opening on top. The high efficiency cooker has no holes on the side but instead ventilation valves at the bottom of the burner to regulate the air flow.
The traditional burner heats up much quicker than the high efficiency cookstove because of the unlimited air supply to the charcoal. The women however, didn’t mind that the cooking time was longer with the high efficiency cookstove. They commented that they have no problem starting preparation a bit earlier.

The traditional burner needs to be filled with 5 Kwacha of charcoal while the high efficiency cookstove needs only 1.5 Kwacha of charcoal. The women have to put new charcoal in the burners for every meal. They try to cook two meals a day but often only cook one meal that is eaten around 16.00 hrs. The minimal yearly costs for charcoal with a traditional cooker is 1825 Kwacha; If the women cook with a high efficiency cookstove the minimal yearly costs will be about 550 kwacha.

The women were enthusiastic about the high efficiency cooker because it uses much less charcoal. The fact that it takes longer to prepare the meal is not an issue, as they can start earlier with the cooking. And, the higher efficiency means that less gases are emitted, reducing negative impacts to both human health and the environment.

However, a high efficiency cookstove costs about 500 kwacha in Zambia, as opposed to 25 kwacha for a traditional cooker. While the women cannot afford the $50 needed to purchase a stove, they are all willing to sign contracts to repay the cost using the charcoal savings. So, we are now purchasing a cookstove for each of the 27 families that we assist in Chingwere. Their subsequent repayments will go into the working capital fund for the agricultural cooperative we have helped the women create. Through these simple, straightforward means families that once survived off the refuse in the Chingwere trash dump are becoming self sufficient.


Opinions

Airing the fire

Nshima & song
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Recent Happenings: Visit to project sites in Freetown, Sierra Leone http://unforgotten.org/recent-happenings-visit-project-sites-freetown-sierra-leone/ Sun, 16 Oct 2016 07:06:22 +0000 http://unforgotten.org/?p=1459 By Amit Kapadia, Executive Director

Visit to Project Sites - Freetown, Sierra Leone
Visit to Project Sites – Freetown, Sierra Leone

I had the pleasure of visiting with our Sierra Leone team earlier this year. Of all the places our charity operates in, this is perhaps the most challenging environment to work in. Our beneficiaries are living in what I can only describe as “trash volcanoes”. The environment is filled with fire and smoke and toxic fumes from burning trash. To reach our beneficiaries, we have to climb down slopes into ravines inside the trash dump, or bohmehs as they refer to them in Sierra Leone. We have two project sites in the city of Freetown. One is at the Kissy Bomeh and the other at the King Tom Bomeh. Our site at Kissy is particularly hazardous.

Despite the inhospitable environments, our beneficiaries couldn’t be more hospitable. We received a royal welcome. They are so pleased that The Unforgotten is working in the bomehs; we are still the only charity there.

I’ve been on dozens of trips over the past decade and this one was particularly memorable. The old adage that those with the least to give are the most generous definitely applies here.

My hat’s off to Amina and Madina (our Country Directors) for putting together such a cohesive team in-country. They work really well together and with the community we serve.

Our program in Sierra Leone is a bit different than our other country programs. Here, The Unforgotten runs what we refer to as “bridge schools” right in the bomehs.

I’m very pleased to report that we have made quite a lot of progress in the two years we’ve been working in Freetown. Our girls are progressing quite nicely through the school systems. Our goals for the coming year include working with the mothers in the program by providing skills training and microloans, to put them on a path out of extreme poverty.

Our Country Director, Ms. Amina Alharazim will be visiting the country shortly, and we wish her safe travels!

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Recent Happenings: Women Mean Business Conference http://unforgotten.org/recent-happenings-women-mean-business-conference/ Fri, 16 Sep 2016 07:19:44 +0000 http://unforgotten.org/?p=1471 By Mariama Jimmy

Women Mean Business Conference
Women Mean Business Conference

Women Mean Business is a unique and intimate annual educational and inspirational platform for young and emerging African female entrepreneurs in all business fields. As part of International Women’s History Month, this event served as a way for women to impart practical skills, confidence and ambition among African female entrepreneurs and most importantly to honor women of African descent in business who continue to play their part in the global fight for economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year Women Mean Business Honors were for women who wanted to gain knowledge on how to develop their business ventures and understand the power of Brand Management in Business. This intimate event included a keynote address, panel discussion and networking sessions. The topics focused on current businesses and leadership issues for African women in business.

The theme of the conference was: “Putting your best foot forward – Developing your personal and Business Brand”. Mrs. Millicent Lewis-Ojumu was the mistress of ceremony and gave an opening statement followed with introductions of the honorees. A representative from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) followed with a brief statement in which she highlighted that Sierra Leonean women are very active in business and more so than the men. She stated that many of these women face difficulties in their businesses mainly due to illiteracy. The IFC is currently trying to help women gain access to loan from financial institutions so that they can expand their businesses.

The event also honored four African Women Entrepreneurs that have excelled in their business ventures including Kumba Blessing Dugba, Randa Said Swaid, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Anita Erksine. One of the honorees who spoke to the audience was Randa Said Swaid, who said that passion and relationships brought her successes. She advised that it isn’t about where you come from but where you go. Her slogan was, “Dream, dream, work hard and achieve”. She also added that her upbringing instilled in her a strong sense of duty and a deep love for Sierra Leone. The third honoree to inspire the audience was Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr. She added that you must work hard, persevere, sacrifice and have faith in God. She also said that you must believe in what you have and what your message is. Finally, Anita Erskine’s slogan further highlighted her belief in “Think big, dream big, create local and sell international”.

The keynote speaker Anita Erskine spoke on the theme “Putting your foot forward – Developing & Maintaining Brand Awareness”. She said that branding is who you are, an approval of yourself. Your brand is how to attract people while being natural. A brand to her was her beauty emanating from her inner strength, which then translates into her outer elegance. She added that the world can be a very competitive place so take every small opportunity you have and always strive to do your best. Her message was one that encouraged these women to not only dream but realize their dream.

All in all, the Women Mean Business Event was a success and a great experience for us.

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Recent Happenings: Events in Pune 2016 http://unforgotten.org/recent-happenings-events-pune-2016/ Sat, 16 Jul 2016 07:22:42 +0000 http://unforgotten.org/?p=1474
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