Providing New Opportunities (PNO) is a Non-profit NGO, established by six founders in Trondheim, Norway. The NGO is working to achieve a better future for children in vulnerable situations. This project mainly target children in Bo, Sierra Leone, where our goal is to build a children’s village for the orphans and vulnerable children in this area. The reason for building the village in Bo is due to the lack of services helping children in this town.
The Children’s village aims to help vulnerable children that do not have family, or children that are faced with other vulnerable situations, in order to provide them with a brighter future – a future without drugs, prostitution or starvation. 90 % of street kids are homeless, living and sleeping in the streets. The main goal of this children’s village is to contribute to a loving and caring childhood, with good health, education and regained faith in family life. We hope to participate and work in changing the children’s future. Primarily, PNO hopes to give the children living in the children’s village the opportunity to create a new, safe and brighter life.
When we first meet a child in a vulnerable situation, we would first to try to feed him/her, talk to him/her, and give comfort. After that, we will start a process to reintegrating the child back with their family, if possible. However, if the child remains with no family or no secure options, Providing New Opportunities aspires to care for the child. To achieve a stable strategy for the children’s village, we work together with Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, local and community leaders et cetera.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Written by: Mori James
My name is Mori James. A Sierra Leonean by birth, and a naturalized Norwegian.
I will now tell you about me, my motivations, and how it all started. I hope to awake a commitment from you to learn more about our project, and I hope you will join us in our way forward.
I am just a normal guy, but together with a strong and motivated team around me, we aim to run Providing New Opportunities (PNO) Children’s Village In Bo, Sierra Leone. I believe that children and young people can achieve anything to their fullest potential if you provide them the right tools. If one is surrounded with people that have knowledge and motivation that push them forward, no matter what experience they have with them, one can achieve great things.
I was among the lucky ones that escaped the horrors of Sierra Leone’s 11 years of civil war. I came to Norway at a very young age and I completed my primary- , secondary- and college education in Trondheim. Not all was as fortunate as I was. Ever since I noticed that I was blessed and lucky to come to Norway, I had a dream of helping people back home in Sierra Leone.
After the war, I went back, and what I saw touched me. The images of sufferers stayed with me, especially from the disabled young boys and girls that I met in towns, villages, streets and in slums. In my daily job, I work with kids that have autism, language or communication problems or hearing-impaired kids, and other behavioral difficulties like ADHD etc. I have gained many experiences. I have learned that anything is possible when one tries; it is a difference between ‘will not and cannot’.
I have learned to see kids from multiple perspectives. Their learning disabilities and diagnosis is only a small part of their characteristics, but it does not define them as individuals. I focus a lot on what they can achieve and how I can get the best out of them. I try to build on it, rather than thinking about what they cannot do, although it is also important. I usually say that it’s more a way to make things right on.
My life has been blessed with a lot of grace, many blessings, and a lot of divine order. For me luck is about preparing to meet the right opportunity, there is no luck if you are not prepared to handle that moment of opportunity, because of my hand and hand, force greater than my own, I have been prepared in ways that I didn’t even know that I was prepared for.
For me PNO is my life and the children will be my kids. My life has been enriched by PNO. I have always dreamed about working and helping children. I want to give a special thanks to everybody that are helping me with this project. Especially to the Norwegian and Sierra Leonean teams. You are all my destined helpers.
WHY WE CARE
Each year in the Sierra Leone alone, as many as six thousand children experience a period of homelesness, and every year more than 20 % of these children lose their lives to the streets. Our vision is therefore to assist these children into a secure environment.
PNOs job is to protect the rights of young people, to fight for these rights, and to speak for those who have no voice of their own.
These children, as every other child, have the right to a shelter, the right to proper nourishment, the right to guidance, and an education, the right to be free from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse and the right to be free from exploitation. These children have the right to be safe and – most important – to be loved.