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Growing at the Grassroots

Start Date: Nov 01, 2006
Completion Date: Mar 31, 2009
Country: Sierra Leone
  • Conservation Society of Sierra Leone
  • Canadian International Development Agency
  • Donations from:
  • Dan Skuce Memorial Fund
  • Lynne Potts
  • Greystone Heights School - Saskatoon
  • One Sky Goods and Services Auction - Smithers
  • Green Diamond supporters
Key Contact(s):

Nikki Skuce

Project Description

The project officially started in November 2006 after waiting for funding for nearly two years. A lot of energy and excitement started when the project was launched and continues to date. We have already achieved many successes including hiring competent staff, securing an office and hooking up solar panels, supporting four farmers groups with inputs, registering groups as co-operatives, training and technology in value-added agricultural producsts, on-going skills training, coordinating 25 nature clubs, and an abandoned mining site identified for restoration. We also focused on developing capacity development and gender awareness among CSSL staff.  
In December 2006, the Hollywood movie “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo DiCaprio was released. One Sky was able to capitalize off the media attention to launch a “Green Diamonds” campaign ( aimed at gaining support toward mining restoration and the improvement of sustainable livelihoods in Kono. In addition, One Sky held discussions in Smithers after the movie and gave presentations that portrayed some positive stories about the people and our project in schools and to community groups.

Growing at the Grassroots is a 2-year project and relies on donations to fulfill its objectives. Reality tours are offered to Sierra Leone through One Sky that guarantee personal interactions with locals, insights into the cultural and environmental splendours of the country, a close look at our project and time for dancing to great local music. We ran a successful tour in April 2007 and are hoping to run another one in 2008.