At dawn on Monday 3rd May, #TheEUandMe Roadshow and Pop-Up Photo Exhibition bus set off from Freetown on a one week journey of discovery around the country, to visit a selection of EU supported projects and to gather testimonials from the communities who have first-hand experience of their impact. But also to share information with the public on the EU's work in Sierra Leone during the EU’s first ever national Pop-Up Photo Exhibition in Sierra Leone. #TheEUandMe Road Show and Pop Up Photo Exhibition is organised by the EU in Sierra Leone to mark Europe Week 2021 in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland and Germany. The bus tour will culminate on Monday 10 May with a visit by EU Ambassadors to selected schools of Freetown to discuss “The role of young people in the EU-Sierra Leone partnership” with the students.
In the run-up to Europe Day 2021, the EU in Sierra Leone this year is taking its celebration of EU’s values, principles and development cooperation partnership with Sierra Leone to a nationwide audience.
Touring Freetown, Port Loko, Makeni, Kenema and Bo, #TheEUandMe Roadshow and Pop-Up Photo Exhibition is intended to increase understanding of the EU’s impact in Sierra Leone and to show how the EU contributes to boost agriculture, improve learning environments and livelihoods, facilitate travel and commerce, support the inclusion of women and young people and protect survivors of sex and gender-based violence.
Ami and Ahmed are our two virtual characters specially created for the occasion. They will follow the roadshow with us on social media, relaying a positive message about the future of Sierra Leone and portraying how crucially important it is that young people are involved and proactively engaged in their country’s development.
Among the many EU projects in Sierra Leone, these are the ones that will be visited during the #TheEUandMe Roadshow....
An EU-Trócaire project to strengthen the voice and influence of vulnerable and marginalised women in local governance and agricultural development processes, which has given women in Bombali, Port Loko and Kambia Districts the confidence to challenge underlying causes of gender inequality. One of these women is Aminata Kamara who stood for election in Konta Bana community in Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko and succeeded against the odds, to become the community’s first Deputy Headwoman. The position, second to the Village Head, is a prestigious role.
An EU-Solidaridad project to revive Sierra Leone’s cocoa, coffee and cashew economy has supported 7,818 farmers and brought women and people with disabilities, who previously relied on subsistence agriculture, into the sector by enabling their ownership of cashew, coffee and cocoa farms.
The Rainbo Centres work across the country to tackle the causes and consequences of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Sierra Leone’s deeply gendered society and are delivering two EU projects in Sierra Leone. The first – funded by Irish Aid through the Embassy of Ireland in Sierra Leone - is aimed at making sure that women and girls are aware of, have access to and make use of the free services available to them. The second strengthens community understanding and engagement to prevent SGBV against women and girls in Sierra Leone.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is a vital pathway towards learning and developing work related skills. In Sierra Leone, work to strengthen TVET, co-financed by the EU and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has boosted prospects for TVET students through skills certification programmes in three core occupational areas: in-service teacher training, an online communication platform to support a multi-sector coordination structure as well as vital equipment and tools for TVET centres.
Infrastructure connects communities to greater opportunities for employment, healthcare and education. The EU-funded Bandajuma-Liberia Border Roads and Bridges project will contribute to economic diversification and development and represents the commitment of the Government of Sierra Leone and the EU to delivering renewed infrastructure. This immense project has rehabilitated almost 100 km of the Trans-West African Coastal Highway and includes the construction of 3 major bridges, across the Sewa River, the Waanje River Bridge and the Moa River.
To see all this and find out more about the EU’s partnership in Sierra Leone’s transformational journey, and how its development assistance aligns with the Sierra Leone Government’s National Development Plan, look out for Ami and Ahmed and #TheEUandMe Road Show and Pop Up Photo Exhibition: Monday 3rd May - in Port Loko, Tuesday 4th May - in Makeni, Wednesday 5th May - in Kenema and Thursday 6th May - in Bo or follow us on Facebook @EUinSierraLeone !
#EuropeDay2021 #TheEUandMe #TeamEurope
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Source: EEAS Africa