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."

Skills-Training and Microfinance for Kono's Amputees

Project #
Sierra Leone
Princeton University
  • Raphael Frankfurter

Microfinance for Kono’s Amputees

The Kono region of Sierra Leone was the center of the brutal civil war and is home to several resettlement camps for amputee victims. For several years, students from Princeton have traveled to Sierra Leone to volunteer in aid of this impoverished, at-risk population. Raphael Frankfurter’s goal was to introduce microfinance to the amputees to promote economic development and try to address widespread hunger.

When Raphael arrived in Sierra Leone, he realized the situation was dire and that the success of small-scale entrepreneurship would be limited, partly because the rising dollar increased the price of commodity goods beyond the capacity of most villagers. The prevailing problem was acute hunger. After lengthy discussions with community members and the staff of a local nongovernmental organization devoted to community health, Raphael decided on a microfinance scheme to build large animal structures and stock them with breeding goats.

Raphael financed the construction and the purchase of the goats and worked with the local NGO throughout the process. Veterinarians trained community microfinance workers in goat care and breeding. The community microfinance workers then trained the amputees. For each day worked, an amputee receives enough wages to support his family’s food needs for that day and a little extra for savings. As the program continues and the herds grow, goats will be sold and the funds will be directed toward introducing the project in other communities.