From May - June 2016, Josiah was on the ground in Sierra Leone, West Africa working with the NGO (non-governmental organization) Freedom Tree. The mandate: to create a pre and post-partum curriculum with the aim of reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate. The curriculum is for both men and women, single and married, and is taught in a community setting. With a team of three, a 10-week program was developed and tested in various villages, to great success. The team hosted a training session for District Heads in the country, and the lessons have been locally implemented since August 2016. Josiah and the others also introduced a new system of reporting for the locals through the Podio app in order to collect better statistics concerning health issues in the country. Back in Canada since early July, Josiah worked with the Freedom Tree board in the areas of documentation and communication before starting his final year of his degree in September. You can view photos from the journey on this site by clicking here.
Sierra Leone is among the worst countries in the world statistically in the area of infant and maternal mortality rates. There are a number of factors which contribute to this. This trip marks the first time an educational tool such as a curriculum has been developed to address these many issues. The long term goal is to have the curriculum implemented by November 2017 to all the villages in the country.
Freedom Tree is a people movement and you can be involved in a number of ways! Visit www.freedomtree.ca for more information, to subscribe to the newsletter, and to donate to the cause.
Read Josiah's interview from October 2016 on the Freedom Tree website here.
Watch the video below to hear a testimonial from a local and see clips of Josiah on the ground: