Two determined St Andrews students have formed a charity to help the people of Sierra Leone. They aim to help combat the often overlooked consequences of the economic backlash caused by the ebola crisis.
In November 2014, Emma Middleton and Marlene Paradee applied to the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). The initiative, which is run by the Clintons, allows students from any member university – including St Andrews – to apply for funding through them. Ms Middleton and Ms Paradee were successful in their funding bid and they received $10,000. The University has already pledged £5,000 to the charity.
The students were accepted with a proposal to help communities in Sierra Leone affected by ebola to implement sustainable, community-driven agricultural practices. Agriculture is worth 60 per cent of the Sierra Leone economy and Ms Middleton told The Saint: “Sierra Leone had one of the most prospering economies in Africa, especially in West Africa.”
However, it has been severely damaged as a result of the ebola crisis. In March 2015 the pair attended the CGIU Conference in Miami. There they were able to hear from experts in their project’s field to gain a better understanding of what work needs doing and the best way to carry it out.
Working alongside local non-governmental organizations and village care initiatives, they hope to travel to the district of Bo this summer from July until August. They hope to train village leaders in sustainable agricultural practices and to help them develop and implement their own projects dependent on their resources and current needs.
At the moment they are not an affiliated society.