Helping Youngsters in Sierra Leone

Over the last year, the pupils, staff and community of St Austell based Penrice Academy have been raising money to send supplies and materials to a school in a refugee camp in Sierra Leone.  As part of the project a number of teachers made their way to the Country to see how this was making a huge difference to the lives of the youngsters and their community.

One of those teachers was Scouter and Kernow Head of Entertainment Paul “DJ Jonno” Johnson and he told us all about what he saw.

Scouting in Sierra Leone has all but disappeared after the recent conflicts in the country. The country is one of the poorest in the world with many people surviving on the equivalent of less than a dollar a day. Whilst visiting a refugee camp of 17,000 people as part of the charity Project 3580, I managed to meet up with a Scout group who had set up on the camp.

They provide Scouting in these immensely challenging conditions with a minimal amount of uniform and even less equipment. Their ‘manual’ for providing Scouting is a 1970s Ladybird book about Scouting. They had no badges for their uniforms with many not even having a uniform at all. They were desperate for any uniform and resources that could be sent when the charity sends its shipping container of supplies over to the refugee camp later this year.

Kernow Jamboree’s GDV zone will be hosting a donation box during the camp along with pictures from the camp. We ask that if you have any supplies which you could donate, that you bring these with you to the Jamboree. Whilst there is no Guiding currently on the camp (and possibly at all in the country) Cornwall Girl Guiding has donated their old messenger service kit to be used to hopefully set the movement up on the refugee camp too.

Whilst every donation of anything at all will be made use of and gratefully received, the following would be particularly useful:
– Scout/Guide shirts (used or new)
– dark shorts to be used for uniform
– badges but particularly world membership badges
– old smart school shoes
– Scouting/Guiding books that could act as instruction manuals (any topic, any age)

Every Scout and Guide meeting place has leftover bits that aren’t of use to us. The people of Sierra Leone are incredibly resourceful and will make use of anything sent. If you have something that you aren’t sure would be of use please contact Paul Johnson at
Additionally, there is a small medical centre providing care for 17,000 people with no regular supplies. Donations of painkillers, bandages and anything medical would be hugely beneficial. Ibuprofen can save a life out there.
Together we can help support other Scouts and Guides who don’t have the access to the movement that we do.
Thank you