Building a boarding house

SSLDF aimed to construct and equip the first floor of a boarding house for 120 students (60 per floor) at a primary school in the village of Magbenteh. The project was to accommodate orphans and vulnerable students from the region to enable them to attend school and relieve their guardians. Funds for the second floor of the building had been se

Construction of the first floor of the boarding house was completed at the end of September 2017. Solar lamps were installed on the veranda and in the rooms, due to the lack of electricity in the area. 184 children (boys and girls) were able to begin their 2017-2018 school year in good conditions. The majority of the children had never attended school before. The primary school in Magbenteh was a source of pride for the children and their families. Working in close partnership with the local communities, the school focused on girls’ education and their ability to become independent. In constant contact with the district authorities, SSLDF was confident that the government would take over funding of the teachers’ salaries at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, instead of in 2022 as previously planned.

Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation (SSLDF) was founded in 1996. It seeks to enhance and promote the welfare and socio-economic development of vulnerable groups.






October 2016 – September 2017


Magbenthe / Sierra Leone

With whom

Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation (SSLDF)


Sierra Leone

7.6 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 510/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
53% (2011)

Literacy rate
32% (2016)

Human Development Index
184th out of 189 countries (2018)

Sierra Leone has made considerable progress since the end of the civil war in 2002, consolidating peace, democracy and improving development indicators. The Sierra Leone government has prioritised and implemented reforms aimed at reducing corruption, providing health care and improving transport, power and public health infrastructures. Despite these significant political and socio-economic achievements, infant and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world. Poverty is heavily concentrated in the rural and other urban areas around Freetown. Underemployment remains a challenge and is especially acute in rural areas, compounded by a high level of illiteracy. The Ebola outbreak in 2014 added immense pressure to already fragile health systems.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.