A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone (1985-1987), she returned to visit in June 2004, where she was reunited with friends and colleagues she had worked with at the Masanga Leprosy Hospital.
One of her friends, John Sasay, asked her if she would help him rebuild a school in his village that had been destroyed during the war. She left Sierra Leone telling him she would try.
Several months later John sent Cindy drawings by the children in the village. The drawings were turned into note cards. The money raised by selling those cards built that first school.
Recognizing the need for local leadership and accountability, Cindy turned to another friend and colleague from her Peace Corps Volunteer days, Joseph Lamin, Executive Director of Masanga Children’s Fund, to manage the project.
Between 2004 and 2012, Schools for Salone built 13 schools, 1 library and numerous water wells.
Through the nonprofit Masanga Childrens’ Fund, he purchases imported items such as cement, rebar, and roofing supplies. The villages donate and clear the land, provide locally available materials and unskilled labor.
Joseph builds quality schools within budget, in only about 2 months.
At the request of Schools for Salone, Masanga Children’s Fund began taking a 5% administrative fee to help cover its expenses incurred while working on SfS projects. This support helps MCF continue its many other amazing programs, one of which is the direct and indirect care for 250 foster children in Sierra Leone.
Joseph did postgraduate studies at the Centre for International Health and Development, University College London, earning an MSC Degree in Community Disability Studies in 2001.