Laying Foundations for the Future - Local Volunteers Helping Raise Awareness, Funds for Sierra Leone Build

By Simon Fuller, Winnipeg, Canada. February 28, 2024


A group of local volunteers is helping orphans half a world away.

The Sierra Leone Action Mission (SLAM) is a charitable organization comprised of eight local volunteers who have been diligently fundraising to help build a new orphanage in Koidu in the West African nation.

Gerald Sliva and his wife, Cecilia, who live in Royalwood, are part of the group, which is one of several initiatives of Accountable Development Works, a registered Canadian charity based in Winnipeg. The organizers of each initiative of ADW do their own fundraising. The Slivas were first introduced to the project by its driving force, Jason Dudek, when he spoke at their church more than a decade ago.

Sliva hopes to raise awareness of the new build, which he refers to as a dormitory, that will support “42 orphans with food, clothing, accommodation and education.” The building is located on the site of a school that was built by SLAM in 2021. The organization currently rents an orphanage.

“The first stages of construction have started, and we’re laying the foundations,” Sliva said, noting Sierra Leone has been ravaged in recent years by conflicts and the Ebola virus, which have resulted in many vulnerable orphans.

Sliva, 80, said much of the construction is being done by hand by local manual labourers, and there’s “very little machinery” being used.

Calling Dudek’s mission inspirational, Sliva said it’s important for him to be able to donate his time and energy to a community in need, as the collective strength of volunteers can make such a difference.

“It’s life-changing for these young people, and we’ve got to help people whenever we can,” he said, noting “we try to put orphans in a situation where they can help themselves.”

“When Jason first went to Sierra Leone, he was finding orphans as young as three years old on the streets, and some of them were injured.”

Visit or Sierra Leone Action Mission on Facebook, email, or call 204-583-7467 for more information.

Donations can be made on the organization’s website. Anyone making a donation will be eligible for a tax receipt.

Labourers in Sierra Leone are pictured laying the foundations .