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EU-Salone Bus Tour 2024 Explores Transformative Projects Across Sierra Leone

The European Union (EU) initiated the EU-Salone Bus Tour 2024 with the explicit purpose of showcasing the efficacy and impact of various EU-supported projects implemented in Sierra Leone. The tour commenced on 10th May 2024 and traverses various districts, leaving a lasting legacy of positive change and empowerment in its wake.

At its first stop in Port Loko, the bus visited the Magborkor village where the community people supported by Concern Worldwide and funded by the European Union, are promoting modern agricultural production and a Village Savings and Loan Account (VSLA) program, to transform their lives particularly for women, enabling them to pay school fees and become breadwinners, whilst the village nurse under the LANN program, educates women on nutrition and natural resource management to contribute to overall child health. 

Also in Port Loko, the bus stopped at Manaikanu, Maforke Chiefdom where beneficiaries spoke on their new Solar lights, being implemented by Trocaire, Embassy of Ireland(a member of team Europe) and Easy Solar. According to Carol Hannon and Pierre Trellu, representing #TeamEurope, their observations of the Nutrition & Electrification projects in Port Loko demonstrated that the right projects were selected and given to the right implementing partners.

In Rokel Community in Mambolo, its people and the German Government collaborated to improve agricultural infrastructure in the 2021 Road and Grain Stores project, supporting them with the construction of a rice store, training programs for community members in legal matters, confidentiality protocols, and advanced rice preservation techniques. 

In Makeni, poultry farmer Aminata Kamara explained her growth as a former teacher turned farm owner, supported by the employment promotion program of the European union and  students from the guest house of the new UNIMAK Yoni campus in the Bombali District had the unique opportunity to embark upon the EU-Salone Bus Tour. The palpable excitement was evident as beneficiaries shared their personal accounts with journalists and influencers, emphasizing the tangible benefits derived from the EU-funded projects in their lives.

The tour then proceeded to the Kono District, where it encountered the newly constructed 65-meter bridge crossing the Bafin River between the chiefdoms of Gbense and Sandor. This modern infrastructure promises to significantly enhance connectivity between the Kono and Falaba districts. Furthermore, the Yormata Poultry and Farm, a youth-led initiative co-funded by the EU and the German Embassy, stands as a testament to the fostering of youth training, employment, and entrepreneurship within the district.

During its stop at the Bennimix FOOD Company in Bo City, the EU-Salone Bus Tour was introduced to a thriving enterprise supported by the EU's Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) program. Through this collaborative partnership, the company has witnessed substantial growth in production and value addition, particularly in agricultural products tailored to meet the nutritional needs of children. This expansion has not only elevated farmers' incomes but also cultivated opportunities for women and youth within the agribusiness sector.

Another significant highlight of the tour was the visit to the Bo School of Midwifery. Established with the backing of the German NGO action Medeor e.V. and the German Government, this institution plays a pivotal role in training midwives to combat maternal and infant mortality rates in Sierra Leone. Its efforts have contributed to a notable decline in these statistics over the years.

In Pujehun District, the EU-Salone Bus Tour was warmly received by District Council Chairman Foday Kandeh Rogers and his team. The recently inaugurated Guest House funded by the EU symbolizes a strategic step towards enhancing accommodation options for travelers and tourists in the region. This development is expected to stimulate revenue generation for the council.

In conclusion, the EU-Salone Bus Tour not only served as a platform to acknowledge the EU's unwavering commitment to supporting educational and developmental initiatives in Sierra Leone but also shed light on the transformative impact these initiatives have exerted on the lives of the local population.


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