Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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Sierra Leone routinely falls last on the United Nations Human Development Index after enduring a civil war fuelled by the trade in conflict diamonds and fought by child soldiers.

Join us as we travel from the headquarters of the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone in Freetown to the western province of Kono, the heart of the country’s diamond mining industry and one of the country’s most destitute, war-scarred and environmentally devastated regions.

Part reality tour, part development opportunity, Land, Food Diamonds participants will travel to mining and reclamation sites and engage with local groups fighting to change policy and promote sustainable rural livelihoods. Guided evening discussions will provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on the day’s activities and integrate these experiences into their understanding of themselves, their work, and the world.

This is no beach holiday: delegates should be prepared to enjoy rustic accommodation, local foods and rough roads. The itinerary includes trips to villages and farmer groups, meetings with conservation staff, mining executives and local leaders, discussions with development workers helping convert open pit mines to communal farmland, and plenty of time to interact one-on-one with locals.

The final stop on the tour is the village of Bandafayie where One Sky has provided agricultural extension services since 2001. In May 2008, villagers in Bandafayie saw 5.5 acres of heavily impacted land adjacent to their village reclaimed for agricultural use. The project, a joint effort by One Sky, the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone and Swanfield Mining Co., provides a successful example of how devastated lands can be reclaimed to promote sustainable livelihoods. It also shows what a difficult, expensive and politically challenging process this conversion can be.

For more information, including tour itinerary and application details, see the materials available at:

Sierra Leone Tour 2009


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