Vocational Training in Africa

T4U run two vocational training schools in Sierra Leone providing trade-skills to young people struggling to gain employment

Vocational Training in Sierra Leone

In subsistence farming economies where there are many barriers to education, gaining a skill such as hairdressing, tailoring or catering can guarantee an income and secure the future for a young person struggling to gain regular employment.

Our two vocational colleges in Waterloo, Freetown, and Koindu, Kailahun District, are relatively unique in Sierra Leone, as they offer informal vocational skills training mostly to women. Currently Sierra Leone ranks 137th out of 146 countries in the Gender Equality Index, and is almost bottom in the Human Development Index, ranking 180th out of 187 countries. There is very little social mobility or financial security in the country, with 60% of the country living on less than 90p a day.

82% of our students are struggling to maintain the costs of fees and materials for their practical projects, which means, without support, many would have to drop out of the course.

“I want to learn something that will help me take care of my children and myself”

Vocational training participant

Please help support these colleges thrive and continue providing young people, particularly women, with an opportunity to be self-reliant and to step-out of persistent financial uncertainty.


students demonstrating practical work in T4U Training Institute, Waterloo

Learning how to Survive

Life in Africa can be particularly vulnerable for young mothers with little to no education. It is too easy to be stuck in menial work earning pennies a day and lose it all in one moment – whether from a storm, drought, illness or pregnancy. The proportion of population that would be devastated by an unexpected medical bill is 46% higher in Sierra Leone than the average for Africa.

“The vocational college is not just about skills, it’s about life knowledge and how to survive.”

Helga Sellu, Director

We need to be able to give these young people security, the ability to set up their own businesses and find the work they need to provide financial prosperity for themselves and their families.

A monthly donation of £25 would support one student learn a vocational skill and adapt to the fragility of life here.