Doing What We Can

Mile 38 - 5C

We are in a world that often seems beyond our control, but this is an illusion. We have more power than we know if we focus on what we can do. The rest we leave up to the Creator to keep things straight.  Ours is an equal opportunity approach.

This is a continuing story about a woman who went to Sierra Leone in 1985.  Cindy Nofziger was in the Peace Corps working in a very poor country, Sierra Leone. She worked as a physical therapist at a leprosy hospital. She finished her commitment to the Peace Corps and returned to the US in 1987. And she has accomplished far more for others than she ever dreamed she could.

In 2004, Cindy got an invitation to go back to Sierra Leone to visit former colleagues. One asked Cindy to help him rebuild a school that had been devastated by a prolonged and brutal civil war. Cindy said she would help. She didn’t say she didn’t know exactly how. She returned to the US committed to helping her friend help the children.

The friend sent Cindy a batch of drawings created by schoolchildren. Cindy turned them into cards and sold them to raise money for this first school. She organized Schools for Salone (SfS) to rally partners and supporters for her efforts, and now she is running a program that has built nearly 30 schools.

Cindy figured out how she could help. It would be nice if you could figure out how to help her continue to help the children and others in Sierra Leone.

At the start, the focus was to construct buildings where classes could be held. This turned out to be the easy part. Then they needed teachers—and also textbooks, desks, a bathroom, and water, and more. As time went on, unanticipated needs surfaced, with some barely considered in the US.

For example, teachers noticed that girls attended school until a certain age, and then they stopped going. When the girls reached puberty, they began to menstruate, and there was no money to buy hygiene products that allowed them to stay in school. As more classrooms were built, it became obvious that there was a serious shortage of teachers, books, and chalkboards. Along with this came a need for more space for growing numbers of students.

SfS is a success, and the success continues to grow as the staff in the US and in Sierra Leone recognize and solve new issues. Schools for Salone recently agreed to help a Sierra Leonean, Cyril Faulkner, build a school at Mile 38, which was devastated in the civil war. As this work was happening, new sources of funding appeared to allow continuing expansion of SfS, including the Mona Foundation and the University of Washington’s class in “Social Justice Through Philanthropy.” In addition, the local support group of Give BIG donors added classrooms and toilets at an overcrowded school.

Sierra Leone has been impacted by the global climate change, and a major flood struck Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, with the devastation of homes and jobs in the poorest neighborhoods. The focus then became one of survival, and women and pubescent girls in Freetown could not afford to spend money on menstruation needs. Girls stopped going to school, and women could not return to their jobs.

Schools for Salone reached out to the government support agencies to offer assistance based upon their own experience in meeting these female needs for their students. The Programme for Children’s No Lef Wi Behin campaign is distributing 2,500 reusable sanitary pads and kits in cooperation with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. This cooperation has tightened the relation of SfS with the deputy mayor of Freetown and the British High Commissioner. Through the ingenuity of the SfS staff, they have developed capabilities to produce and distribute the menstruation kits at a very modest cost.

Also, credentialed teachers are now assisting other teachers in becoming certified and school supplies are available to children in SfS schools. All of these efforts are changing the trajectory of Sierra Leone and providing a future for the children.

Your donations to Schools for Salone will support the continued operation of existing schools and the expansion of schools throughout the country. SfS is helping remind people in Sierra Leone that we are a generous people. Our gifts are proof of the goodness that we seek to provide to everyone everywhere. You can learn more about Schools for Salone and their programs at Your contributions are going to a great cause that is organized as a 501-c-3 charitable organization with a tax ID of #26-1157489.  Getting involved in groups like this one supports people that greatly appreciate your generosity and support. To donate to Schools for Salone, click HERE! Thank you.




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