Peace Corps Alumnus builds 42 schools in Sierra Leone

 

By Concord Times
8 August 2022

Friends John Sesay and RPCV Cindy Nofziger at Masosingbi, Tonkolili District in April 2022

 

Peace Corps Volunteers serve for two years and return to the US, but not Cindy Nofziger (Sierra Lierra 1984-86). After arriving in Sierra Leone from Maryland in 1984, her commitment to grassroots development in the West African nation continues to this day.

Cindy has built 42 school buildings and three libraries and provided thousands of scholarships to children from low-income communities.

In 2005 Cindy returned to Masanga, Northern Sierra Leone (the first time it was possible to do so since the end of the decade-long civil war), where she had worked as a volunteer at the district leprosy hospital. While there, she reconnected with John Sesay, an old friend from the ’80s.

The war had rolled back all educational gains. Rural communities like Masanga were the worst hit. Schools were destroyed, or they just hadn’t been built.

John asked Cindy to help build a community school, and Schools for Salone was born. Since then, SfS has expanded access to education through partnerships with Programme for Children, The Learning Foundation, and Uman Tok.

SfS has scaled to three regions, including the Western Area and Northern and Southern Provinces. They don’t just build structures and leave; Sfs monitors performance and supports teacher training.

What started as one woman’s act of service is now a mission shared by a dedicated community of Americans and Sierra Leonean supporters and board members. Cindy inspires all who meet her.

In April, she cut the ribbon on school building number 42, funded by the Mona Foundation and LA-based attorney and board member Perry Roshan-Zamir.

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