New Small Charities Challenge Fund grant announced for agriculture project in Sierra Leone


Categories: Funding announcements, Small Charities
16 November 2020

We are pleased to be able to announce the name of another grassroots charity to benefit from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grants.

This UK-registered organisation, Lorna Young Foundation is receiving an SCCF grant of up to £50,000, to help them to address UN Global Goal 1 (No Poverty) in particular. 

Lorna Young Foundation: Farmer Voice Radio for forest edge communities of Gola Rainforest, Sierra Leone

This is the second SCCF grant for the Lorna Young Foundation, following on from their Farmers’ Voice Radio project, which works with farmer organisations and community radio stations around the world to share up-to-date, relevant, and practical information to the most isolated farmers.

In this project, the charity will use their participatory radio model to train and empower farmers living in the cocoa belt surrounding Sierra Leone’s Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP).

These farmers have been unable to benefit from existing agricultural initiatives to develop the cocoa sector, due to geographical isolation, illiteracy, gender and low social cohesion.

The project will train local partners to produce and broadcast Farmers Voice Radio (FVR) programmes to overcome these barriers.

Goolla Ndiamo Yie’—meaning ‘Forest Friendship’ in local language Mende—is a radio programme made for cocoa farmers, by cocoa farmers. Members of the Ngoleagorbu Cocoa Farmers Union (NGOCFU) meet monthly to discuss a range of topics linked to forest-friendly cocoa production, with input from local agricultural, conservation and marketing experts.

The discussions are recorded and edited into 15-minute programmes by community radio station, Starline FM, and broadcast twice weekly reaching an estimated listenership of 60,000.

A lady in Nialaforaa Village tending over cocoa beans
Chairperson in Nialaforaa village

Small Charities Challenge Fund grants are awarded to small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations working to address the UN Global Goals and working in the lowest 50 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) and countries the UK government considers to be of high or moderate fragility.

The Small Charities Challenge Fund is an open funding round with applications reviewed every six months. The next review date is Thursday 25 March 2021 at 17:00pm (BST).

You can download the latest guidance information from the SCCF application page and see what other organisations have received SCCF funding to date.