As we grapple with the Pandemic here in the North America, it is important to keep our global partners in our hearts and minds. We are in the midst of a Virtual Review for a Global Grant project that has been supported by many of the clubs in our District. The project is taking place in Bumpeh Chiefdom, Sierra Leone and is entitled “Growing A Community’s Future.” At its conclusion 60 acres of orchards will have been planted providing a sustainable source of income to assure that every child in the Chiefdom receives a secondary education.
The project will also provide funding for a Hospital Benevolent Fund to support villagers unable to pay for services.
Here is an eloquent letter from Chief Caulker. His vision and leadership has inspired the project.

My dream for a better future for my Chiefdom is gradually becoming a bold reality. The dream calls for the empowerment and transformation of Bumpeh Chiefdom through quality education to produce a viable middle class capable of efficiently delivering desired services and goods.

Today, the Chiefdom boasts a sixty-acre Orchard of diverse economic tree crops that will mature in three years time for harvest. The Orchard will fetch income to support and sustain our education program at least for the life time of the trees (many 20+ years), and even further with a solid plan for tree replacement and orchard expansion.

Furthermore, CCET-SL identified the development of a total of fifty acres of inland valley swamp (IVS) that is ongoing. Already eleven acres of IVS for growing vegetables and rice have been completed with this grant, and will be utilized to generate annual income to cover routine orchard operating costs.

The demonstrated success of the initial eleven-acre IVS planted with this Rotary Global Grant is attracting government attention. We hope to build on this interest to solicit support for expanding and developing the full fifty acres. We plan to use this as a demonstration site to train local people in improved growing techniques and in the design of their own IVS for year-round water access.

The community has been energized by seeing these accomplishments. They have begun to take leadership of their own personal development agendas. In short, they have been urged by the emerging circumstances to double their efforts and become more steadfast to their commitment to grow economic tree crops. They’re recognizing this not only can this yield near term income, but provide support to sustain them in their retirement. Farmers are requesting chiefdom land be approved for their own small orchards and asking for tree seedlings from CCET-SL’s nursery.

This all points to a future where cottage industries can add value to local produce by processing fruit into pulp and juice, grinding cassava into gari and milling rice. This can be the basis for a growing middle class based on agriculture business.

Rotary International, acting on the initiative of the Ann Arbor club, and together with Sherbro Foundation, all in the USA, are the pillars behind this huge achievement. Their support and funding of the programs implemented by the CENTER FOR COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AND TRANSFORMATION have not only been fruitful but instructive on the way forward in mobilizing community members for current and future development encounters. The less I speak on their interventions the better for managing space in this statement. Therefore, my Chiefdom Administration, citizens, and myself heartily thank Rotary International, Ann Arbor Rotary Club and Sherbro Foundation for their most cherished contributions to advancing our aspirations. Our present achievements would not have been possible without them. We recognize that their interventions are most assuring, and we also wish to assure them of our unflinching commitment and participation at all times for our own good. 

We love and look forward to working with them and to meet their expectations.

P.C Charles Caulker


A photo of a recently completed storage house for the harvest.