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Our story

Our Chair of Trustees Penelope Sharman first visited Sierra Leone in 2004, just after the end of the civil war (1991 - 2002). She was accompanying a small group of teachers whose schools were linked with schools in Sierra Leone.

Penelope could see how much needed to be done to support the schools. Buildings and furniture had been damaged or destroyed during the war, many children and young people had missed years of education and the country was desperately poor.

After speaking to headteachers in Sierra Leone about their greatest needs, Education West Africa was born, to provide practical support for children and schools. Projects were set up to provide school uniforms and school furniture.

Since EWA began its work, Sierra Leone has suffered an outbreak of Ebola from 2014 - 2015 and severe mudslides around the capital Freetown in 2017. EWA has worked to provide practical support for children and schools to deal with these emergencies. Our latest projects provide training for headteachers and we have also donated a printing press so that schools can print their own exercise books. For more information, see our projects pages.