Wrapping up 2016

Dear Friends,

Last year at this time we were celebrating the end of the Ebola crisis - this year we can celebrate a highly effective vaccine. While the acute phase of the crisis is long forgotten by most of the public, the lasting effects on the thousands of Ebola survivors, their families, and the families of over 11,000 victims cannot be ignored. The economic and social impacts may continue to propagate if we do not continue to help support those who's voices cannot be heard. 

Over the past year our organization has continued to evolve and grow working in tandem with the Population Council. In 2016 we gave a second grant to two Sierra Leone based NGOs, Child Welfare Society and MATCOPS, to provide six-months worth of support to make sure the girls in their girls clubs had uniforms, school materials, and most importantly mentors. These are the same two organizations who rapidly mobilized to setup new girls clubs composed of a displaced population in the wake of the Freetown flooding in September 2015. Through your support, those girls clubs in the Mile 6 resettlement community are able to continue operating with access to donated solar lanterns which are helping light the way to safer spaces and better education.


Early in the Ebola crisis we identified the critical of importance of protective and productive technologies for girls. We asked, and you answered. Through your donations we were able to distribute over 120 solar lanterns and we are in the process of collecting data to learn more about the utility, efficacy, adoption, and challenges associated with this type of renewable energy which in and of itself presented us with many questions. 

So this year, through your generosity, we were able to hire an outstanding intern to help us grapple with the the dearth of information on about intersection of green technologies and girls. Her goal was to cull the literature to help us gain a stronger understanding of the benefits, issues, and challenges of green technology (including, but not limited to, solar energy) to improve the livelihoods of adolescent girls. Our suspicions were confirmed - there is very little evidence of research at this intersection. We are pleased to share with you, what we consider, the first literature review of its kind to focus on illuminating the evolution of green technology and gender and more specifically it's application in the adolescent girl arena. YOU helped us pursue this endeavor and the results continue to affirm the need to learn more about how green technologies can empower a girl, grow social capital, and build her assets. Click to download the full report: Giving Girls the Green Light: A Literature Review of Adolescent Girls and Clean Energy Technologies

As we charge into 2017 many uncertainties stand before us, including the incoming administration. But one thing is certain, your donation. Any funds we obtain help directly support girl clubs, procure technology, advance thought leadership, and allow us to be a quick and nimble vehicle with little to no operating costs.

Your contributions are invaluable. Please consider us for your end of the year giving. Click here to donate now or to send us an email if you would like to mail us a check. 

The FoSLAGN Board+
(Judith, Jonathan, Jody, George, Ruth, Philippe, Chernor, Stephanie, and Barbara)

Newsletter #3: International Day Of The Girl

A Letter From The Board

Dear Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network,

Today is the International Day of the Girl. As we celebrate the vital role that girls play in every community around the world, we want to take this opportunity to share with you the critical work that the Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network is supporting and let you know what we have been up to since the last time you heard from us.

Shortly after the devastating floods of Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2015, through your support we began to support asset-building programs in a community known as "Mile 6". Mile 6 (literally 6 miles outside of Freetown) is a displaced-persons community for those who were affected by the flooding. Through this generous funding from individual donors, small grants, and partnerships we have been able to support the innovative work being carried out by 2 local NGOs, Child Welfare Society and MATCOPS. Through their girl platforms they are testing and implementing new technologies such as solar lights and clean rocket stove technology to enhance the social capital of adolescent girl networks in Mile 6. In fact, our first grant helped establish and support four girls clubs in this community.

As funding to support these platforms has run dry, we are beginning a month-long campaign to raise funds to make sure the programs can continue uninterrupted and stronger than ever before. Between October 11 and November 11, our goal is to raise $8,000. This specific effort will allow these girls continued access to a safe space for almost one full year. We hope that you'll join us in helping make this International Day of the Girl a bright one. To donate, you can click on the image above, or you can follow this link

Help us Raise $8,000 for Girls in Sierra Leone

To join us in this campaign, simply click on the image above or follow this link. Contributions of all sizes are welcome!

Organizational Updates

  • FoSLAGN is pleased to announce that we have been engaged in intensive strategic planning, and are continually aiming to redefine our mission and vision. Our organization started as a response to the Ebola crisis, but we see a broader and longer-term role that we can play in supporting girl-focused programs in Sierra Leone and beyond. As we move forward, our website and possibly even our organizational name will reflect any changes to our mission.
  • We also recently brought on a new and highly-skilled board member, Philippe Lust-Bianchi. Philippe comes to the board with a wealth of programmatic knowledge after 5 years of living in Sierra Leone. Fun fact: Philippe actually wrote the charter for the Salone Adolescent Girls Network!
  • This summer, we hired our very first graduate intern, Stephanie Martinez, to conduct a literature review on adolescent girls and protective, productive, and green technology. To date, this is the only known literature review that exists on this particular topic. The output from her activities will play a critical role in guiding our work moving forward. Additionally, we believe this work will serve as thought leadership in this important niche. We are excited to share this research with you in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
  • Thank you again for your continued and generous support of FoSLAGN, but more importantly your keen interest and support of girls. On all days, but especially today, we are aware that there is so much to be done in addressing the needs of adolescent girls. But with your help in supporting networks that are on the ground and working with these youth in communities like Mile 6, we know that the future is bright.

Thank you!

The Board+

(Chernor, George, Judith, Barbara, Philippe, Stephanie, Ruth, Jody, Jonathan)

Newsletter #2: Floods & Clubs

Dear Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network,

This Fall, new challenges and exciting new developments have engaged our rapidly growing program of support through the Salone Adolescent Girls Network of girl clubs. 

Focus on Recovery & Building Resilience

The lasting damage of Ebola on the lives of families, new orphans, and especially on adolescent girls is ever present and has thrust the Salone network into high gear. The network now has 240 active girl clubs extending to most parts of the country. The clubs give adolescent girls a mechanism for collaboration, mutual support, and serve a convening function for both formal and informal education. 


In the midst of providing urgent assistance to adolescent girls and their families as a result of the Ebola epidemic, another crisis arrived in September: Record-breaking torrential rains caused enormous devastation due to flooding in Freetown. Many families were forced out of their homes and have been on the move or have landed in two massive sports stadiums for shelter. They have had no other place to go in the face of this devastation, but now, they must move again as the stadiums must be vacated to make way for political events. Families are being re-settled in a region prone to flooding. 

The Ebola epidemic that devastated Sierra Leone for over one year has officially ended, but the possibility of recurrence remains since the Ebola virus can remain in semen for at least three, and up to six months. Scare resources during crisis often leads to the exploitation of women and girls, to meet basic needs such as food and transportation, which raises particular concern for the most marginalized girls.

Taking Action

In response to the flooding, the Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network has undertaken important action steps to assist by making our first grant to two on-the-ground partners, Child Welfare Society, Sierra Leone and Matei Multipurpose Cooperative Society (MATCOPS). These two locally-based organizations help build strong platforms for adolescent girls and protect their well-being, including provision of basic amenities – food, shelter, health – as well as lifelong learning and economic empowerment. As a result of this grant, eight girl groups are being established rapidly to create anchors and safe spaces amidst uncertainty during the re-settlement process. Activities and assets as part of this grant include:

  • provision of 30 solar lanterns to these newly founded clubs that enable girls to read, utilize, share educational materials, and provide light for safety and security. There are an additional 90 solar lanterns waiting for distribution which were purchased with your original donations.
  • organization of weekly meetings for girl groups, to share information, and prepare for relocation out of the stadiums. Each meeting is led by a female mentor.
  • distribution of packages of school materials, uniforms, and other educational tools. MATCOPS provides materials on sexual practice, teenage pregnancy, early marriage, and gender-based violence.

How you can help

To carry on and do more to help the adolescent girls and their families in hardest hit areas of Sierra Leone, the Friends of the Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network urgently need your continued help. Your support can help us carry out crucial initiatives in support of vulnerable girls in Sierra Leone, and help us build sustainable networks for the future by backing the investment of critical technologies and girl clubs.

Your contribution will enable us to undertake the following specific activities:

  1. $25 will provide a solar lantern
  2. $50 will provide a technology package of one solar lantern and one solar radio
  3. $100 will provide a mentor for a club for two months
  4. $500 will provide starter package for a new club to cover the first 6 months of expenses
  5. Other amount: the above amounts are only suggestions. Donations can be made in any amount and can be given on behalf of friends or family member. 

As we all consider our end-of-year donations, we hope you can assist us in our efforts to support the girls of Sierra Leone. Our shared vision is to create safe space for girls to learn today, and to encourage economic interaction to support their future dreams.

Your donation will be 100% tax-deductible. The Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network is tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and a registered non-profit in the US. Information on giving through website or by check is provided below. We are deeply grateful for your previous support, and count on further support as our program urgently expands now and into the future.

With deep appreciation,

The Board of the Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network

Newsletter #1: Day of the Girl & Progress

Dear Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network,

Happy International Day of the Girl! We hope this message finds you well! This letter intends to offer an understanding of how your generosity has helped create invaluable advancement within our mission to help the girls of Sierra Leone who have been particularly impacted by Ebola. Your support and encouragement this year has allowed us to not only get in front of the Ebola crisis but also begin to plan forward action in the recovery and resilience of our network communities. The investments in this network are setting the stage for long-term recovery and resilience.

We would first like to announce that we have officially become our own official 501(c)(3), a registered not-for-profit in New York state known as the “Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network” or “FoSLAGN” for short. Obtaining this status was an important step. This designation now allows us to receive critical tax-deductible financial support directly into the mission fund so that our on-the-ground efforts can be executed efficiently and nimbly. This also means any of your previous and future donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your patience and willingness to support us as we grow to support the network.

As we move forward we have already begun to execute a national, action-centered, community-level intervention plan to the most vulnerable girls within our network. This critical plan helps to build social, cognitive, economic and health assets to address new and existing challenges facing the most excluded girls. It also uses technologies and draws on the varied experiences and expertise of our global partners. Our shared vision and consensus not only creates safe space for girls to go learn today, but encourages intentional economic interaction to support their future dreams. 

Currently, there are over 240 active girl platforms (see map below) ready to grow, and this is just a start with a vision of 1,000 platforms across Sierra Leone. We are getting there. As part of our mission we aim to specifically address the need for protective and productive technologies and as such, we have procured 120 solar powered lanterns which will not only provide light but will also charge mobile phones to strengthen social networks and enhance communication abilities. 

Each dot on the map represents a girl platform, or meeting space, run by network organizations. With over 240 platforms now active, our goal is to create 1,000 in the near future.

As some of you may have heard, Sierra Leone, particularly the Freetown area, has experienced significant flooding resulting in the displacement of thousands of people and over 10 deaths. As of last week over 9,000 people were sheltering in two large sports arenas. It goes without saying this event has created an environment which layered an extra burden on a community that is recovering from Ebola with displacement from homes, a highly dense mass sheltering environment, and a rising concern of Cholera and of course a potential for Ebola to resurface. Watch the video below to understand some of the on-the ground impacts of the flooding.

This short film captures the devastating flood that took place in the Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on the 16th of September 2015. Directed by Idriss Kpange and Ernest Henry and produced by Concept Multimedia Sierra Leone. Please Share after watching

The flooding has created a situation which fits perfectly within the mission of FoSLAGN and we are currently exploring a plan to mount a response to address the needs of adolescent girls who are currently living in shelters. We will keep you informed as this plan develops.

We look forward to seeing you on October 29th, 2015 from 11AM-12PM. Thank you again. This truly has been an inspirational year.


The FoSLAGN Board