Pellie Court Barrie, 2013 

Pellie is a village in the lower Jawie Chiefdom of Kailahun District in the Eastern Province.  While volunteering with another small NGO working in Sierra Leone (Mothers on Missions of Service or MOMS), one of our board members learned of the Pellie community’s effort to rebuild their Court Barrie.

A Court Barrie (large community meeting places) provides a central meeting place sheltered from the heat and rain for a variety of important activities.  The national immunizations necessary to prevent diseases such as river blindness are provided on a monthly basis here.  Youth groups, community elders, women’s groups and other local organizations hold meetings in this sanctuary.  Chiefs and other local authorities use this as a place to hold public meetings and entertain visitors.  The community at large also uses it for recreation purposes, and as an entertainment center for cultural dances.

The very remote village of Pellie was hard hit during the Rebel War because of its close proximity to Liberia and diamond mining areas. Their original Court Barrie was destroyed during the war, but the community held off replacing it, choosing to help their neighbors rebuild their homes first.  In 2012, the community assessed a small fee per household to buy cement and iron rods, and the youth group worked to rebuild the foundation and walls of the Pellie Court Barrie.

During construction: A meeting with group elders inside what will be the finished Court Barrie (right). 

Completed: This is the internal view of the Court Barrie where the elders were standing (left).

Having exhausted their own resources, Pellie turned to SLVP for assistance in completing the building.  Pellie needed about $6,500 to put the roof on, pour the floor, paint, and furnish the Court Barrie.  SLVP did not have this much funding available, and reached out to Communities Rising, a small granting program of St. Charles Parrish in Arlington, VA.  SLVP provided $4,000 to get the roof on the building before the 2013 rainy season, and Communities Rising donated $2,500 to finish and furnish the building.  A most successful partnership between the Community of Pellie, Communities Rising, and SLVP!

 


Outside view of the completed Court Barrie.

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