We Yone Child Foundation (WYCF), founded in 2009, is a registered, tax-exempt charity in Sierra Leone.
Our full-time job is running our primary schools in Kroo Bay and George Brook, Freetown.
In 1996, twelve-year-old Santigie Bayo Dumbuya was among several boys who were taken from Kamabonko Village to fight for the Revolutionary United Front during the Sierra Leone Civil War. Fighting near the Guinean border, by the age of fourteen Santigie had sustained multiple bullet and shrapnel wounds.
In 1999, Santigie’s unit were stationed near a town called Sanyah.
‘When we entered the town in the evening the heavy gunfight sounded like music, but full of death and sorrow. What I saw on that day was so terrible. Some of my close friends were killed. During the fighting I saw a female child at the age of 5-6 years old crying. I saw two people lying on the ground, one was already dead and the other is struggling to die.’ Santigie remembered his village and the person whom he was raised to be – ‘that was the day of my revolution and my heart was inspired.’
He dropped his gun and ran through the crossfire to save the girl. With no food or water, Santigie carried her for two days and two nights to safety. He saved her life.
Santigie never saw the girl again. He went to Freetown to recover from the war, complete his education and founded We Yone Child Foundation (WYCF) in 2009. Santigie decided to focus WYCF’s efforts on Kroo Bay and George Brook. The appalling conditions in these two communities called for action and no other organisation was producing results.
‘We Yone’ means ‘our own’ in the locally spoken Krio language. It is the perfect description for the way we feel about the children we work for every day.
– Provide sustainable education and care to underprivileged children in Kroo Bay and George Brook;
– Overcome the social and environmental problems that deepen and perpetuate the cycle of poverty in these communities.
Educated children and empowered families living in healthy, developed and integrated communities.
WYCF’s strategic priorities up to 2019 are:
– High-quality primary schools;
– Access to secondary school;
– Equal opportunities for girls and women;
– Healthy families in healthy communities;
– Female empowerment and self-reliance.
Our approach to sustainability
In order to make the families true stakeholders of the schools, WYCF students pay a symbolic fee of approximately $1.30 per term. This also ensures that there are maintenance funds for each school. By the end of 2020, all WYCF schools are due to receive government support. Then, the organisation’s funding burden could drop by almost $50,000 per year.
The WYCF Home, located half-way between Kroo Bay and George Brook, sleeps seven people. Our volunteers pay an accommodation fee significantly lower than the average tourist housing. In return, they stay in this safe and comfortable home, while the surplus above the costs of maintaining the house will go into the bank account and then be re-invested to support our projects. Additionally, the WYCF Home doubles as our office during the day, reducing our running costs.
Our long-term sustainability strategy also includes the rental of four small kiosks adjacent to the We Yone Primary School in George Brook, and the positioning of WYCF as a key delivery partner for major INGOs in Freetown.
WYCF has worked with Street Child UK and Street Child of Sierra Leone since 2014 as a delivery partner in a range of programmes, some of which are funded by the UK Department for International Development in Freetown since 2014. Our partnership results in a bigger impact and reduces our costs. For more information please contact us.
WYCF is proud to say that the work we do actively and directly contributes to 5 out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: