Media Coverage



rolling stone



Magazine Article: Rolling Stone, March 3, 2016.

Kei Kamara’s American Dream: From Refugee to Soccer Star

This article describes Kei Kamara’s journey from a refugee of Sierra Leone’s civil war to a soccer star in the United States- and his partnership with Schools for Salone to make a difference for children in Sierra Leone.





News Article: Seattle Times, March 14, 2012.   Jefferson Award winner has built 12 schools in war-torn Sierra Leone

It started with a plea from an old friend on the other side of the world, begging for help rebuilding a school that had been destroyed in a brutal civil war. Seven years later, Schools for Salone has raised money to build 12 schools with a 13th in progress, two libraries and numerous water wells in war-torn villages across Sierra Leone.This year, organization founder Cindy Nofziger, of Seattle, is being honored as one of five Washington state winners of the Jefferson Award, considered the “Nobel Prize” of public service. Residents can vote this week on their favorite local winner at, with the top vote-getter receiving entry to the national competition in June.



Article: The School that Essex Built, Summer 2012

It was 2009 at Essex District High School in Essex Ontario and a Civics teacher was talking about the lesson on Global Awareness she had taught that morning. She was concerned that her students did not really grasp the situation in countries outside Canada – i.e. the terrible atrocities and deprivations young people had suffered during years of conflicts and civil war, particularly in Africa, in places like Sierra Leone. That discussion led to research on aid groups and humanitarian work in Africa – retired teacher John Garinger discovered the remarkable story of Schools For Salone, a group started by Cindy Nofziger, a former Peace Corps worker.





Video: MLS Network/Philadelphia Union Soccer Team

Michael Lahoud, a native of Sierra Leone, partners with his charity Schools for Salone to help build schools in Sierra Leone.





News Article: Essex Free Press: September 13, 2012   Essex Schools go to Africa

In spring 2010, the Essex Family of Schools embarked on an amazing venture when they decided to a build a school in war-torn Sierra Leone, which had been devastated by 11 years of civil war. Over 95 percent of the rural infrastructure and buildings, including schools, had been destroyed. When peace was finally restored the returning refugees, each with his or her own horror story, came home to nothing but rubble.




News article, Seattle Public Schools, March 2, 2012: SPS physical therapist wins 2012 Washington State Jefferson Award  C

Cindy Nofziger, a physical therapist at Wedgwood, Lowell, and MLK elementary schools – and the founder of Schools for Salone – is a 2012 Washington State Jefferson Award winner. The Jefferson Awards, named after U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, are a prestigious national recognition system that honors community and public service in America. It serves as a “call to action for volunteers” in local communities.




Video: King 5 TV feature, March 12, 2012. 2012 Jefferson Awards winner Cindy Nofziger

Cindy returned to visit Sierra Leone in June of 2004, and a local friend asked if she could help him rebuild a school in his village that was destroyed during the recent civil war.Without any experience, she promised to try and then took her first step toward founding Schools for Salone.





Video: King 5 TV interview, June 20, 2012:   MLS star Kei Kamara’s quest to give kids in Sierra Leone a safe place to learn

Kamara recently helped Sierra Leone’s national soccer team advance to the next round of a prestigious tournament and is the focus of a touching documentary about his return to his homeland, years after violence and war turned him into a teenaged refugee. Now, he’s using that documentary to partner with Seattle-based nonprofit Schools for Salone, to help children in Sierra Leone receive an education in a safe environment.




Video: King 5 TV interview, Nov. 3, 2011

Author Ishmael Beah, Sounder Steve Zakuani and Cindy Nofziger from Schools for Salone joined Margaret Larson of Seattle’s “New Day Northwest” on King 5 TV to talk about the work that the group is doing to build schools in Sierra Leone and give kids and teachers a helping hand for better quality educations.





Now Playing (Video): ‘Kei’ Segment from Sporting KC PreGame Show

Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara, Copper Pot Pictures, and Schools For Salone are all featured prior to Sporting KC’s match with Toronto FC.For more information on the film ‘Kei,’ visit  






Teachers, students helping Sierra Leone

Ventura County Star (, Ventura, California
Article by By Anne KallasSeptember 17, 2010.

What began as study of a child soldier’s memoirs in Sierra Leone has turned into a project that has energized students at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura. (Click here to read the original article)




NFL’s Madieu Williams: the Pride of Sierra Leone – Making a Difference – NBC Nightly News – September 8, 2010   Madieu Williams interviewed by Ron Allen about his Foundation’s Education and Health initiatives in Sierra Leone, including Schools for Salone school at Calaba Town.  “I see a lot of myself in these children.”




Foothill Technology High School students and teachers make friends and an impact in Sierra Leone
Ventura County Reporter OnLine
, Ventura, California
Article by By Shaunacy Ferro
September 2, 2010:   When 10th-grade students at Foothill Technology High Schoolin Ventura started reading A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah’s memoirs of his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, they had no idea the impact it would have on their school…(Click here to read the original article)



Schools for Salone and Books For Africa supply 20,000 books
Read more about this joint project
to bring books to Sierra Leone.
Fall 2009



Former child soldier works to help othersJackson Hole News&Guide – Stepping Out, Jackson, Wyoming

Article by By Lucy Flood, Photos by John Madere
August 5, 2009

In a single week, bestselling author Ishmael Beah along with nonprofit organizations Schools for Salone and InterConnections 21 hope to raise $40,000 to build a primary school in Beah’s native Sierra Leone. …


Schools for Salone to sponsor Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars at Neumos in Seattle on June 15th, 2009:
Press Release and Flier.

See Press about Refugee All Stars Benefit Concerts for Schools for Salone in Aspen, Colorado, February, 2008:  Aspen Time Out and Aspen Times. And in Dallas, Texas, Febrary 2, 2008 by Pegasus News.




Author Tells Souhegan students how he overcame days as child soldier  Nashua Telegraph – Neighbors, Amherst, New Hampshire
Article by Kristin Leffler, a junior at Souhegan High School
April 5, 2009   Ishmael Beah spoke at Souhegan High School on March 25, hiding the horrors of his past with a bright smile and calm demeanor.It was hard to believe that this optimistic man had been dragged into a vicious civil war in Africa when he was just 13 years old. Beah was born in 1980 in the small, poverty-stricken country of Sierra Leone.”Being a kid before the war is one of the things that I still miss,” Beah said. “The simplicity of things was absolutely remarkable …” (Click here to read the original article online)


Former child soldier shares story at Souhegan High
The Cabinet, Milford, New Hampshire- March 26, 2009
Article by Daymond Steer, Staff Writer and
Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom   AMHERST – A former child soldier in the Sierra Leone civil war and the man who helped him rediscover his humanity shared the stage at Souhegan High School on Wednesday.Ishmael Beah, 29, a former soldier and now a New York Times best-selling author, and his mentor, Alusine Kamara, shared their story of redemption with students and members of the community.Until the early 1990s, Beah was living a happy life in Sierra Leone. But then a group of rebels from Liberia came in and plunged the country into chaos.At age 13, Beah was conscripted into the government’s army and forced to kill or be killed. UNICEF removed Beah from the war when he was 16 and he was placed in a rehabilitation center for child soldiers run by Kamara called Benin Home …(Click here to read original the article on line)



Gwin Raises Money For African School 
Hoover City Schools, December 11, 2008

Gwin Elementary ESL students and their families often congregate at Gwin for a special days called “Family Days.”   The most recent monthly event was a fundraiser which raised more than $100.00 for the war-torn African country, Sierra Leone…





1,000,000 books to Sierra Leone Need Magazine, Minneapolis, MN – March 24, 2008
Article by Katy Petershack    Cindy Nofziger, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, traveled back to the country after the long civil war ended in 2002. During her visit, an old friend asked her to help rebuild the education system that had been destroyed during the decade of fighting. Nofziger wanted to do all that she could to help, “Sierra Leoneans gave me so much when I lived there as a Peace Corps Volunteer. When … one of my Sierra Leonean colleagues from that time asked if I would help him rebuild a school in his village that had been destroyed during the war, I told him I would try …”(Click here to read original the article on line)






Lowell Students make a difference in Sierra Leone
Capital Hill Times, Seattle, Washington – March 5, 2008
Article and Photos by Doug Schwartz   The Lowell Elementary School student councils project committee is accustomed to taking on a variety of worthy projects.  But this year’s project ended up being something well out of the ordinary.Rather than taking on a proposed recycling project, the committee focused on something far fromm home, choosing instead to raise money for a variety of school and recreational supplies for children in the West African country of Sierra Leone …(Click here to read the original article on line)





Schools for Salone Update
Friends of Sierra Leone – NewsLetter – October 2005
Article by Cindy Nofziger   It’s done!  Schools for Salone’s first school building in Sierra Leone is finished!  Construction on our very first school – in the little village of Maforeka, Simira Chiefdom, in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone – is done!  The village has worked hard and spent the money we’ve raised wisely.  Teachers are hired and they’re ready to move into their new school.  It’s taken less than one year, from when we started to raise money last January.  Through the sale of note cards with drawings done by the children of the village …(Click here to read the original article online)