>>Situation and plans of Mabel's Cottage in Sierr...

Situation and plans of Mabel's Cottage in Sierra Leone


Situation and plans of Mabel's Cottage in Sierra Leone


Our mission as the stichting is that Mabel's Cottage in Sierra Leone is a success story of self-sufficiency, in the housing and care of the teenagers and their babies and the education of the teenagers, through the bakery, the peanut sales and the cooperation with other local organizations.

Situation in Sierra Leone

The main function of the Foundation is the care and housing of the teenagers and their babies and the education of the teenagers. The care taking is going well.

In Kossoh Town there is room for 20 teenagers and their baby in 2 buildings. Currently 12 teenagers and 2 babies are living there; One other teenager is still pregnant. The other babies have died or been handed over for adoption; these babies will stay in Sierra Leone. In the 8 years of its existence, Mabel's Cottage has been able to accommodate 30 teenagers; A total of 27 children have been born and housed since its implementation in 2014.  

The Foundation is considering furnishing one of the two buildings in Kossoh Town for teenagers who can take care of themselves independently. These girls are provided more facilities and more freedom to organize their own lives, run their own household and earn their own income (by sewing, hairdresser, baking and selling cakes).  

Mabel's Cottage Sierra Leone has 5 paid staff members plus 5 (changing) volunteers. In addition to housing and caring for the teenagers, these staff members and volunteers have to carry out a large number of tasks: bread production and sales, now also to hotels, the production and sale of peanuts and peanut products and running the library. This makes great demands on the staff and great responsibility for the leadership of the Foundation. The Foundation also receives support from local organizations from time to time.


In addition to selling bread on the street and through the bakery, the bakery also has 3 hotels as customers for bread. For the hotels, luxury bread rolls must be baked 2 times a day. A separate baker has therefore been recruited for the hotels. They also want to expand the bakery with a second mudoven. In time, it will be investigated whether the mudovens can be replaced by electric oven(s).

The bread vendors are staying at Mabel's Cottage's property in Freetown as part of a stray youth employment project, another example of inclusivity.

Some teenagers, including former residents of Mabel's Cottage, use the bakery to bake cakes which they sell themselves. They also purchase the necessary raw materials themselves. These girls can also be employed in the bakery to bake bread.

Growing peanuts

The peanut project is going well; There is a well for irrigating the fields, equipped with an electric pump that runs on the solar panels. The PVC pipes for the irrigation were donated locally.


The peanut project works with seasonal workers; Ploughing is done by third parties for a fee. The Foundation wants to grow the peanuts organically and prefers not to use artificial fertilizer. Therefore, change culture is applied to the fields. One can harvest peanuts 4 times a year. In the future, it is being considered to buy the harvests of other peanut growers in the area and to process and sell them.

There is a workshop / dry storage where the peanuts are ground and stored. Peanut products are sold through supermarkets, petrol stations and on the market. Peanut products are also sold in Kossoh Town itself.

In addition, Mabel's Cottage in Kossoh Town wants to start growing, processing and selling corn and sweet potatoes.

Fish pond

On the grounds of Mabel's Cottage in Kossoh Town, a fishing pond has been constructed to generate additional income. The pond consists of 2 basins that can be covered. The fish is sold fresh or dried (stockfish). There is enough water for the fish pond.  

The library in Freetown

The library is the only one in Freetown; The goal is to improve reading skills. The library also provides tutoring. There are 2 paid employees. The library has 14 PCs and a laptop. The intention is to expand the library in due course. There is therefore contact with the university in Sierra Leone about books for the library.  

To secure the energy supply for the library, which is unreliable in Free Town, a generator is used that was already present in Mabel's Cottage in Free Town.

The future

In the run-up to the elections in June this year and the high inflation, Sierra Leone is in turmoil. The Foundation is therefore very concerned about the safety of the teenagers and their babies and takes measures to protect the teenagers and their babies as good as possible .

Currently, the Foundation's main sources of income are proceeds from bread and peanut sales. The course of events lead to less sales of bread, among other things due to fewer vendors on the street and also to problems with the delivery to the hotels.

But there are also positive developments:

Mabel's Cottage Sierra Leone provides education/ learning at schools in Freetown. In addition, a weekly sensation education program is taught by 2 volunteers in the library in Freetown. This is a valuable example of inclusivity.

In Kossoh Town one can now also fill a milatank (water tank) with help of the electric pump and heat it with the sun to have hot water for showering and washing. For this purpose, waterworks have been installed indoors in Kossoh Town.

There will also be internet in Kossoh Town.

The electric dough mixer in the bakery has been moved to Kossoh Town for domestic use to be connected to the  solar panels there.

We are proud of Mabels Cottage in Sierra Leone where the staff manages to take good care of the teenagers and their babies under difficult circumstances using creative solutions and gives them a good future.

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