This story explains the approaches used by Mayola community.

New Health Center in Mayola Community.

In 2019, People (especially pregnant women and lactating mothers) of Mayola community (ward 224), Karene District, have always wanted their own health facility, because they travelled 5 Kilometres to obtain healthcare services at the Kamalo.

In March 2019, Restless Development Youth Accountability Volunteers, and Sierra Leone Social Aid Volunters – SLSAV, (a SABI partner in the North), helped the community to prioritize the issues they are facing, and to identify the people and structures who have the power to resolve those problems. They have used data and evidence collected by SABI, through its Citizen Perception Surveys, to make a community action plan.

SLSAV further engaged stakeholders of Mayola, on the accountable governance pathways, which explains how their problem directly connects to stakeholders at various levels, and most importantly highlighted the appropriate structures that are in place to oversee health services in the district.

This was the beginning of a new way of life for people in Mayola Community.

Stakeholders used the accountable governance pathways and evidence obtained from the citizen’s perception survey, to start raising concerns to their Councillor and Paramount Chief on the unavailability of health centre in their community.

With knowledge gained from SABI, Mayola took a step further, the Town Chief, Youth Leader, Women’s Leader and Councillor, identified a piece of land and called a meeting (including men, women, young people and person’s with disability) to discussed the best way of initiating their own project.

They agreed to task themselves and mobilize local resources to kick off the project, while advocating for support from the DHMT and Council in Karene District.

In the presence of the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and other service providers, the Councillor of ward 224, (Osman Bangalie) floated this problem in a council coordination meeting at the Karene District Council. He presented the action plan from Mayola and advocated for approval as the community is already building the center.

This motivated the DHMT, and they encouraged the community to carry on with the building project. The council also approached World Hope for additional support for the upcoming health center in Mayola.

In 2020, the building was completed, and stakeholders in Mayola invited DHMT and District Council to assess the building. The structured worked for the DHMT and the DMO agreed to allocate drugs and a nurse to the center.

New Health Center in Mayola Community.

Word Hope was impressed by the strides the community had taken, and they stepped in with the construction of water and toilet facility for the health center.

New toilet constructed for the health center.

 

I can say the community did this on its own because we demanded for the service and played our own role. SABI gave us the knowledge, and we went on with it to make a difference. From now going forward, there is no service we cannot demand for. It will take time but it will eventually come to us – Osman Bangalie – Councillor of ward 224.

This is how Mayola community developed the power to engage with service providers and decision makers, to demand for what they want.

The facility will soon start operation. People of Mayola will now save time, energy and resources to access health services, instead of travelling 5 Kilometres on foot or pay huge transportation costs to access health services in Kamalo.

This will encourage clinic attendance because it will benefit about 2000 people from Mayola and its surroundings.

Stakeholders in Mayola have seen that the action plan and accountable governance pathways works. Citizens now have better understanding of their rights and responsibilities and show confidence in demanding improved services.