Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In the heart of Sierra Leone, the small but impactful Community Integration Development Organization (CIDO) is making waves as it uses the growth of rice to fuel a brighter future for local education. Located in Mile 91, CIDO is demonstrating the potential for grassroots efforts to drive positive change.
At the core of CIDO’s mission is rice farming, an initiative that has proven to be the cornerstone for supporting education and community development. This endeavour is driven by Madam Patricia Lombie, a Sierra Leonean based in the United States of America.
In an interview with Awoko, Mr. Saidu Maloma, Coordinator for CIDO, explained that the proceeds from CIDO’s rice farming initiatives are dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities, adding that this support extends to local community schools, where 350 pairs of uniforms, 350 pairs of shoes, cartons of books, and various school materials are being generously donated.
“By alleviating the financial burden on pupils and parents, CIDO aims to create a conducive and nurturing learning environment for the young minds of Mile 91,” he said.
The coordinator furthered that the organization also acknowledges the dedication of teachers who are not government-appointed, revealing “these educators receive stipends to recognize and support their valuable contributions to the community.”
He furthered that, CIDO’s commitment extends to women in the region, offering micro-finance loans with no interest, empowering local women to enhance their lives and livelihoods.
“Beyond education, CIDO’s mission encompasses healthcare and infrastructure. The organization has secured land to build modernized schools and hospitals in Mile 91, ensuring residents have access to quality education and healthcare services,” said Mr. Maloma.
CIDO’s impact is not limited to education and healthcare. The organization actively participates in the local health sector, providing financial assistance for the health payments of children and women who may lack the financial means to cover their healthcare expenses.
Despite their commendable efforts, CIDO faces challenges, particularly a lack of farming machinery that could significantly expand their rice farming initiatives and, in turn, support more communities. In response to these challenges, CIDO is calling on the government, national entities, and international non-governmental organizations to lend their support. PSN/1/11/2023