Statement about Home Leone

26th July 2019 | Posted in Latest News, Nigel's Blog

I have just written a summary of where we have got to and wondered if I can share it with you.  If you have a moment to read it and can give any feedback or suggestions to improve it, I would be most grateful.

Home Leone is delivering its solution to alleviate human suffering by aiming to close Freetown’s horrific slums in less than 25 years. As a Christian UK and Sierra Leonean non-profit, we’re building a significant holistic, sustainable movement in the form of new communities.  Like Psalm 92 v12-14, this initiative provides an old age, not an early death, in which people can flourish.


Our pilot “Destiny” village is a community-led relocation plan, enabling the first, 2,000+ people to move.  For a successful relocation we pioneer the development of the 7 pillars of low-cost (affordable) housing, business and livelihood, education, healthcare, power, water and waste management, all bound together by personal development and skills training. Driven by a passion for God, our programmes, social justice initiatives and training maximise the effective use of vital infrastructure as we seek to enable those facing some the most sustained human suffering on earth, to make the most of new opportunities.


The Compelling Need

Nearly 1 million people live in the most appalling slum conditions. Thousands are annually made homeless by rainy season floods, fire, demolition or landfalls.  Home Leone leaders walked these informal settlements listening to resident’s fears and dreams. Government had no plan or priority.  We developed a detailed relocation plan and budget.  Key findings included:

  • Freetown alone, has a housing stock shortfall of at least 280,000 homes;
  • One in five people sleep in a room with 10 or more people each night;
  • 5,000 families are in “immediate danger of death;”
  • 94% of Freetown homes have no flush toilets;
  • Having no tenure, people want freedom from fear of having their homes destroyed by government action or natural disaster, witchcraft, poverty and more; This was highlighted by the floods of 2015 and the mudslide that killed so many in August 2017;
  • In the slums, disease is prevalent, life expectancy low, inadequate education and health care facilities, limited access to clean water, dangerous and inconsistent availability of electricity.  All result in unacceptably low health indicators;


Achievements so far

By June 2019 Home Leone will have completed:

  • The village design on a 25-acre site near 15 miles from Freetown centre;
  • Over 200 people have exited the slums, saving lives and radically improving opportunity and lifestyle;
  • Planted a church at heart of the village in a largely Muslim area;
  • 56 low-cost (<£7,000) 2 bed homes (of 344);
  • the first 6 classrooms (of 24) and admin block, of a school opening in September 2019;
  • the development of 6 businesses (brick factory, garage, construction, garden centre, water bagging and bakery) providing livelihood, vocational training and skills development;
  • 8 containers of donated supplies and recycled buildings;
  • A clinic in a can as part of the triage and health pathway service;
  • 10 warehouse, 4 shop units and waste to power community cooker;
  • Clean water supply and dam for the whole village and a bridge accessing the main road.


The homes were designed by the communities and saw the first movers take up residence on 1 November 2018.  Those entering the program join a rent to buy scheme that sees them own their own home after 20 years. We offer each family a job/micro enterprise initiative, such that we know they can afford the rent and develop a dignified lifestyle.  They also give 3 hours a week community service as part of their rent. The business park is key to village sustainability.  By investing initially in businesses, we know will work, lasting jobs are created.  We are building a management team led by international and local leadership. Education is at the heart of the community.  Primary, secondary, vocational and adult expressions all contribute to community cohesion and development.

This is not just about social housing and buildings, but how lives can be radically changed.   As people move from the fear of no job, education, poor homes, witchcraft, insecurity and poor health to a new life, we provide opportunity and help them on the journey.  We have been visited by The Vice-President, 6 ministers of state, major NGO’s and the Mayor of Freetown.  All expressed amazement at our achievements in such a difficult environment. A DFID leader said that in 30 years of Africa experience, she had never seen such a comprehensive relocation solution.  This faith journey has seen God’s remarkable supply.

More background on our vision, values, goals, history, and governance can be seen at  Films on Home Leone’s youtube channel, also show real insight. We have a detailed relocation strategy, accounts and budgets to complete this pilot village.

Brief story demonstrating the growing impact


We have an initiative that has bought 5 x 3 wheel taxis. We had someone fund this with a £10,000 loan.  The 5 guys have a deal with us to repay this over one year which enables them to make a livelihood.  One of them who lives in Shanta Villas told his story.


About 4 weeks ago his behaviour was wild and he threatened to hurt someone badly.  We had to decide if we could continue with him and his family come to the village and give him the opportunities he sought.  After some careful thought and discussion he told how we decided to give him a second chance.  (we recognise that people moving from slums will not all exhibit perfect behaviour so we extended his probation).  He said how he had turned his life round and behaved so well that he and his family moved to Destiny on time.  He came from a slum named Cobalt.  He told how 3 days later, his next door neighbours from the slum, their house flooded and one of them drowned.  They had moved out and avoided a similar disaster and possibly saved him and his children’s lives.  He was truly grateful.


Can we build one more house, enable one more family to have a dignified life and send their child to school? Can we create one more job, up-skill and help the personal development of families and give healthcare opportunities not available in the slums?  I think we we can!   Thank you for your prayers, financial support, personal help and encouragement.


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