Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Because WE CARE

Project #
Sierra Leone
Colby College
  • Kumba Seddu

Because WE CARE

In Kumba Seddu’s hometown of Grafton, Sierra Leone, children who lost their parents in the country’s ten-year civil war or the 2014 Ebola epidemic live in the Mahanain Orphanage Home, which needed more beds and much repair. When she arrived to start work, Kumba learned of a more urgent need: the home’s well wasn’t deep enough and its pump was broken.

“We decided that the water well needed to be fixed, as water is essential to life,” Kumba writes. She and her local project committee engaged a water-well contractor, who replaced old rusty pipes with six new galvanized pipes and cylinders. The pump was repaired; the well was chlorinated for safety. Along with serving the orphanage, the well is now open three times a week for community use, providing safe water to about 90 people in all. Each family pays a small monthly fee that will be used to keep the well maintained.

To complete her project with the remaining budget, Kumba directed that the orphanage’s zinc roof be repaired rather than replaced, and that three bunk beds be added rather than the planned nine, with 15 new mattresses and pillows. The project put in seven new, metal-framed glass windows, and two new metal doors. Kumba also led a session on reading for local high schoolers, and she helped her mother, a teacher, train three local youths to be tutors and mentors for orphanage residents.