United States announces a $450,000 grant to preserve Old Fourah Bay College in Freetown

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 September 2023:

The United States government, through the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), has announced a $450,000 grant awarded to implementing partner World Monuments Fund (WMF) for the continued stabilization of Old Fourah Bay College in Freetown.

This grant will support the completion of emergency stabilization of the historic building, installation of a new roof, and masonry conservation.

Old Fourah Bay College became the first western-style university in sub-Saharan Africa when it was established in 1827. The historic building plays an important role in the story of Sierra Leone’s history and the power of education.

For a century, the college taught the ideas of governance, religion, and public service. Many graduates became West African leaders, including those who helped end colonialism.

This is the second grant awarded to WMF for Old Fourah Bay College. A 2021 phase one grant supported initial emergency stabilization and implemented a planning and design process for the structure’s eventual rehabilitation in partnership with the local community.

Ambassador Bryan Hunt, who recently visited the historic site said, “we are pleased to play a role in the preservation of this incredible historic site in Sierra Leone so it can continue to inspire and educate the public for generations. The story of Old Fourah Bay College is important to preserve for the people of Sierra Leone, and for Americans with family ties to this region who learn from its history as well.”

The AFCP, a U.S. Department of State program, supports projects around the world to preserve cultural heritage and demonstrate American respect for other cultures.

WMF is a nonprofit organization that works with local communities around the world to safeguard irreplaceable cultural heritage. This second project phase follows significant input from community members and other local stakeholders through interviews and workshops with the organization to share their future aspirations for Old Fourah Bay College.

In another development, Ambassador Bryan Hunt was in Port Loko (Photo above) yesterday to learn more about U.S. funded projects in that part of the country. The Ambassador visited the Port Loko District Health Medical Team office where he learned more about USG supported health projects including investments to strengthen surveillance, workforce capacity and HIV.

The Ambassador visited the Port Loko Government Hospital HIV clinic, one of 11 USG/PEPFAR supported sites providing a comprehensive package of HIV services.

Ambassador Hunt also received a demonstration of electronic surveillance by representatives from the Port Loko District Surveillance and Data teams.

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