Safety, community spirit and engagement, entertainment… this is what the new Community Centre has brought to the residents of Kroo Bay slum, Sierra Leone, where the Sierra Leone YMCA is running a slum upgrade project.
Constructed by the YMCA as part of the community development, the Community Centre was officially opened in January 2009 by the Mayor of Freetown, the capital city in which Kroo Bay is situated.
The Day Care Centre now offers residents a safe place for their children and there are currently 20 children enrolled. “I am very happy for the Day Care Centre as now my child is safe. I can go to school and pay full attention on the training, thanks to YMCA,” said a mother, who is attending the Vocational Training school, organised by the Sierra Leone YMCA as part of the slum project.
The community centre is very important to the community as members of community can use it to host up to 300 people at a time. There was recently a community meeting held on security in the west end area, especially Kroobay, attended by members of the Provencal Security Committee west wing (PROSEC), stakeholders and Councilors. The youth leader was asked how important this meeting was to them as youth of the community. He said it was important because they now have knowledge on how to report security issues to police especially at night when thieves may break into their houses or a neighboring house. He also said that the youth should work and cooperate with the police to protect and secure lives and properties in the community.
Other events held include Naming Ceremonies, Muslim launching, concerts and jam sessions. Members can also make use of facilities such as DSTV and the Internet Café.
Photo: Momoh Kamara, resident of Kroo Bay, involved in the construction of the Community Centre – resident involvement in all processes of this project has led to community ownership
By: Zainab Fullah, Community Centre Worker, Kroobay