The Beauty of Child Sponsorship… a story of World Vision United Kingdom

World Vision UK CEO having a Hand shake with President Bio
WVUK Chief Executive Officer Fola Komolafe (MBE) having a hand shake with His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

World Vision United Kingdom (WVUK)  Chief Executive Officer Fola Komolafe (MBE) has completed a two-day working visit to World Vision International Sierra Leone. Her visit began with a brief meeting with the staff at the World Vision's National Office in Freetown and continued with a high-level strategic engagement visit to the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning (MoPED). 


WVUK CEO, WV West Africa Regional Leader, Minister or Development and President Bio
(L-R)WV West Africa Regional Leader, WVUK CEO, HE. President Bio and Minister of Development and Economic Planning.

She was accompanied by Minister Madam Knyeh Barlay and introduced to His Excellency, the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio at his State House office. During the meeting with the president of the Republic, Minister Barlay of MoPED informed the President that World Vision is one of the few organisations that has made significant progress in the country. She informs the President that World Vision has been operating in Sierra Leone for over 28 years.

Madam Fola Komolafe (MBE) thanked the President for hosting her and her team, which included David Westwood, the WVUK Programmes Director; Madam Carla Denizard, the World Vision West Africa Regional Leader; Sagane Thiaw, the World Vision Sierra Leone National Director; and Madam Grace Kargbo, the Integrated Programmes Director.

World Vision, Ministry of Planning and Economic Developemt Team and the HE. President Bio 
World Vision, Ministry of Planning and Economic Developemt Team and the HE. President Bio.

She also thanked the President for the warm partnership that World Vision enjoys with the Government of Sierra Leone. She pledged the UK's unwavering commitment to supporting the World Vision Sierra Leone National Office as it continues to implement projects and work with the government to find solutions.

The CEO of World Vision United Kingdom praised the President's recent dedication to food security and noted that as the new CEO, it was a timely opportunity for her to ensure that her new strategies were aligned with those of the Government of Sierra Leone, particularly regarding food security. She emphasized her anticipation of a more robust working partnership model with the government.

In his response, President Dr Julus Maada Bio thanked and welcomed the CEO of World Vision UK and the visiting team to Sierra Leone on behalf of his government and people. He emphasised that it is always a pleasure to receive partners who support the government's agenda. The President said World Vision has always been a reliable and valuable partner to the country and the government. He assured them of his government's commitment to supporting World Vision's programmes. He told the team that his Government is very ambitious in terms of development and always welcomes partners.

Visit to UN Women
Visit to UN Women.











The World Vision team paid a courtesy visit to the United Nations Women (UNWOMEN) office to discuss the localisation and collaboration for Peace project. The project, which aims to reposition women-focused CSOs for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone, is funded by the United Nations Development Program through UNWOMEN, with World Vision as an implementing partner. Discussions at the meeting focused on sustainability and future support for women's CSOs.

As twilight set in, a cocktail party was organised for partners with the CEO of WVUK. At the event, government ministers and development partners praised the strong collaboration with the National Office. The cocktail was a casual event, but it was well attended by representatives from a wide range of organisations, including international NGOs,  faith groups, community-based organisations, government line ministries, and financial institutions, such as the Global Fund.

WV West Africa Regional Leader and Global Fund
WV West Africa Regional Leader, WVISL national Director and Global Fund representatives at the cocktail.













To culminate the visit of the World Vision UK CEO, she was taken on a guided tour of WVUK's inaugural long-term development program in Jong Chiefdom, Bonthe District. The program started in 2005 and laid the groundwork for other support offices to facilitate long-term development programs in Sierra Leone. Fola, David, and Carla were thrilled about the progress achieved with UK funding in program areas ranging from water, sanitation, and hygiene to education and health. A fun and highly engaging activity was conducted with the children at one of the reading camps in the Yengessa Community – Jong Area Program, followed by an interaction with a school health club. The children show great enthusiasm while interacting with the visiting team, discussing critical health topics such as hand washing and environmental sanitation.

Reading Club
Yengessa Reading Club.










Within an hour's drive on the bumpy road from Yengessa to town of Mattru, the team disembarked from their vehicles to the sweet sounds of traditional drumning, masquerade, and traditional dancing. Excitedly, everyone joined in with the joyful community members who were eager to entertain their guests. During the community interaction led by a representative of kids' club, several testimonies were shared about the transformation that the UK funding has brought about. The Honourable Paramount Chief Alie Badara Sheriff III, spoke of the 19 years that World Vision has been operating in his chiefdom, while a female parliamentarian Honorable Alice Jebbeh Kumabeh shared her experience with World Vision in the run-up to her re-election to the House of Parliament. One of the most powerful testimonies came from Mrs. Alice Kamara who shared her experiences at the kids club, including her many travels, exposure to public speaking, and completion of her university degree. Her testimony is heart-warming, as it demonstrates how World Vision will supports a child in their journey to become a responsible adult, enabling them to enjoy “life in all its fullest”.

School Health Club
School Health Club.

Currently, WVUK is supporting three area programs: Jong, Imperi, and Tegloma in Bonthe, as well as Jaiama Bongor in Bo district. WVUK has also supported WVISL through grants, Private Non-Sponsorship (PNS), and technical assistance to its staff. Currently, the four WVUK-funded area programs directly target 98,046 individuals (51,226 children and 46,820 adults)  through education, child protection, WASH, community engagement, and sponsorship programs. Additionally, these programs indirectly impact 83,455 individuals (42,820 children and  40,635 adults). WVUK has invested $37,482,966 in Sierra Leone over the past 10 years.

This funding is from sponsorship, private non-sponsorship, and multilateral and government grants.

Kids Club and Community Members at Mattru Jong
Crossection of elders and Kids Club members in Mattru Jong.
Government Ministers
Government Ministers at the Cocktail event.
A Cross section of Advisory Council Members at the Cocktail event
A Crosssection of WVISL Advisory Council members at the Cocktail event.
Touring WASH Facilities
WASH Facility at Yengessa.
Regional Leader with Children from the reading club
The WV West Africa Regional Leader with Children from the reading club.
WVUK CEO with Children from the reading club at Yengessa
WVUK CEO with Children from the reading club at Yengessa.
WVISL National Director with Children from the reading club at Yengessa
WVISL National Director with Children from the reading club at Yengessa.