I visited the village of Golu, with Roseanne in 2015, to film the opening of the computer lab. It had been in the works for a few years with the construction of the building in 2014 and the hiring of a contractor in Freetown, solar power and more leading up to the lab.
It was the most remarkable trip to see what Roseanne had done over the years since her time there in the Peace Corps long ago. Mr. Phillie, the Village Chief and I hit it off. He appointed me as chief for a day. What an honor.
Roseanne's vision was to create some employment opportunities for the villagers. While this first step was the installation of an Intranet with tablets that could be circulated among the villagers the next step would be to install an Internet connection to reach the outside world. This was done the following year in a grant from an individual who was moved by this exact story that I told him.
Below are photos from the trip. Roseanne was sponsoring a student for higher education and that's Mr. Phillie with her and Roseanne.
Also below is a photo from that first day the tablets were available. The village youth were mesmerized and I saw first hand how transformative this was going to be. Since then the results have been impressive, each year building upon this initial vision of empowering the villagers to earn a living and to have respect for themselves.
Roseanne is loved by the village of Golu for all her contributions and hard work. Most importantly, as she described to me at one point, that it was "tough love". The village didn't just receive handouts and donations for everything they wanted. The Village Link instead had a longterm relationship with Golu and it involved plenty of negotiating and managing to determine how best to leverage contributions to create the optimum results for the village community of approximately 1000 people.
All in all, I would say if you care about helping the people of West Africa in Sierra Leone this is the way to do it. The Village Link is going to be a conduit that you can trust. They are on the ground and..... in the hearts and minds of the people that they live in Golu.
I.ve been aware of the work that TVL has been doing in Sierra Leone for a number of years. I am familiar with the time and resources that were spent in bringing internet education to the area that TVL serves. I was impressed by the voluntary provision of uniforms to a sports team that was so important to the team involved, and contributed so much to their identity as a team. The ongoing water availability project particularly is important because I believe that everyone in the work deserves clean water provision. I am impressed by the dedication and ongoing commitment of the TVL staff to improve the village of Golu and its inhabitants.
At a time when USA interest and efforts to aid third world nations is in decline, I find TVL to be a breathe of fresh air. A country like Sierra Leone needs so much and TVL has made the most of its scarce resources. Energetic leadership and creative programs helping rural communities provide an inspirational model for future development. A small scale organization has made a real difference in the lives of people in desperate need of assistance. This is one of those beautiful examples of helping people help themselves. I applaud the efforts of RoseAnn and Colleen and look forward to many more years of progress.
I got to experience first hand the power of this organization! By providing modern technology, and solar power to remote villages in Sierra Leone, this organization offers more than access, and education, they ensure employment and deliver hope. Roseanne Rotandaro, the founder and Executive Director, walks her talk, speaks from the heart, and anyone who has met her in person is struck by her brilliance and radiance. She has created an organization that provides an invaluable service to men, women, but especially children of Sierra Leone, and is just what the world needs right now.
The Village Link has been committed to Sierra Leone for a number of years providing access to basic education, technical resources and vocational training to neglected communities with the aim of poverty reduction. Their work is much needed and exemplary.
I've recently become acquainted with the exceptional work TVL has been doing in Sierra Leon. I am most impressed and inspired by the women empowerment projects through education and entrepreneurial mentorship. I also believe that knowledge is power, and access to education is a human right. I am looking forward to learning more and getting involved with TVL projects.
The Village Link organization is built from compassion and eagerness to help build safer living situations and increased education for people living in Sierra Leone. The organization is hands on and works with individuals in the community thus also creating work opportunities for the locals. The organization is always looking for ways to help and improve the lives of others, there is no Monday - Friday, 9-5pm, their team keeps their organization top of mind all days and hours. I look forward to seeing the future of The Village Link and all the things that they do.
The Village Link, founded by a former Peace Corps Volunteer, has emerged as a high-impact, cost-effective grassroots development organization. I've admired the way Rosanne and her team have championed educational and entrepreneurial endeavors for vulnerable youth, while building local capacity.
The Village Link has been providing early childhood, primary and secondary education resources and healthcare resources to villages and towns in Bo district Sierra Leone for more than five years. I have personally visited the centers in Gerehun and Golu. I have partnered with the village link, donated to the village link and currently serving as board member.
Village Link was founded by RoseAnn Rotandaro in 2012. I had accompanied RoseAnn and a group of former Peace Corps Volunteers to Sierra Leone in the summer of 2011. It was the first time after the civil war that a group of PC volunteers returned. We took the opportunity to make a short film about the role of the Peace Corps in this country, called THE PEACE CORPS RETURNS.
RoseAnn had served in Sierra Leone. Her connection with the country, particularly the village where she was stationed was very strong, even after over 30 years. She was greeted with open arms by the villagers.
She decided to help the village and the surrounding area by providing funds for a library and internet connection. This was needed by the community, particularly after the ravages of the civil war. Over the years RoseAnn has actively supported this project and has gathered others around her. She regularly visits the area to make sure that the funds are well spent and that new needs are being addressed.
This non-profit is a model of American help to an African nation.
I was with the founder when this all started after she visited Sierra Leone after 20-odd years or so. RoseAnne Rotandaro was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone at a very young age. Even though she was disconnected for a long time going back in 2011 she was stung by the bug. The Sierra Leonean bug, that is. And here we are ...
At a very early stage, we showed support for her work and even introduced her organization to a Sierra Leonean fella who helped her set up the first solar panel ran center in the district with computers and all. Village Links, this year, hosted over 100 students who used our online platform (https://waoedup.org/) to study for their national and regional exams. Without that center and especially in the light of a global pandemic with less or no schooling, one can only wonder what could have happened to those students in a remote village in Sierra Leone. This is a clear indication or illustration of the UN sustainable development goals that collectively speak to "leave no one behind." Yes, we can make a difference in the world; one village at a time.
We support the work of Village Links in Sierra Leone. Our country of origin.
Founder Fambul Tik
I have been involved with the Village Link since inception and could not have found a non-profit with such an ambitious mission to reach the unforgotten population in technology and innovation with other community needs. The leadership is very passionate balanced with a very competent team of staff members. It is a noble cause and I will continue supporting in whatever way I can to help this humanitarian mission to accomplish its goals as we strive to make the world a better place for all.
I also remember their support to us for the Ebola pandemic and numerous other initiatives.
The Village Link is a superb nonprofit helping Sierre Leone villages to help themselves. Providing education, employment, and many other vital services to elevate the conditions of an impoverished area enables individuals be become more able to care for themselves. The resources TVL has provided has been a welcome source of alleviating poverty, showing the villagers another way to live, and learning valuable academic and technical skills. During the Ebola crisis, TVL provided education via radio at a time when no other education was an option. All in all, the many acts of kindness by TVL have enabled the villages to become more self sufficient and provided hope for the future.
I value the team passion for what they be lit and the hard work they put into
Village Link is a great example of grassroots development based on community needs. It takes a holistic approach that includes education, health care, sustainable energy, etc., and has been sufficiently flexible to adapt to needs as they've changed over time. From its inception, it has encouraged and allowed community members to set the agenda and continually strives to ensure that local people are poised to manage the organization's activities, now and well into the future. While the program is focused in one area of Sierra Leone, it is a model that has the potential for replicating well beyond its current locations.
The Village Link is doing amazing work! I’m so thankful to have found this incredible organization. Their commitment to advancing sustainable development, entrepreneurship, and education in Sierra Leone is truly visionary and I applaud their very impressive track record.
TVL is fully committed to its mission and work - it's inspiring and humbling. Excellent communication and updates about their goals and accomplishments. TVL is always striving for funding to help assist their sustainable and developmental outreach programs - please consider donating if you are in a position to do so.
I have always been interested in providing fresh drinkable water for desperate nations. I learned thru my daughter-in-law, Colleen Rossignol, that she was involved with 'TVL' and so I began to push the questions as to how I could help and reach my goal of getting needed villagers in Sierra Leone usable water for their everyday needs.
She was very informative and seemed to have the link thru TVL . I contributed to this cause , and together with the 'Rotary' and another organization, we are seeing a huge reaping of benefit for the next ten years , to provide relief.
Excellent organization on behalf of TVL. I am so glad to have connected with them, and strongly urge others to do so. John R , Oakland, ME
I have been to West Africa and have witnessed first hand the great work the Village Link is doing to support and strengthen digital and human advancement in Sierra Leone. The team has been able to mobilize global communication efforts to ensure high-quality services and opportunities are provided to the people who need them the most.
Village Link is an organization that helps people who really need a boost. The people they serve are so appreciative. The workers of this organization have given hundreds of hours of their time to help people who can not repay them. I love their hearts.