PfefferminzGreen's heart and focus of work lies in the very trustful and close cooperation with local NGOs in Sub-Saharan Africa, which independently develop their diverse projects.
One of these NGOs is the Sierra Leonean organization Amazonian Initiative Movement, AIM for short, with which PfefferminzGreen has been able to successfully implement numerous projects in recent years, entirely in line with the bottom-up approach. All projects are planned and implemented together with local communities. Through this, the projects have the potential to grow and the people the opportunity to build self-determined improved future prospects.
Around the chairperson Neneh Rugiatu Turay, AIM's work primarily revolves around the fight against female circumcision and the strengthening of women's rights. The sustainable projects range from water well construction, because it is girls and women who are sometimes busy every day and for hours on end to provide their families with fresh water, to the granting of microcredits. Based on the deep common conviction that school education, especially of girls, is the most important component in the fight against female genital mutilation, as it strengthens the social role of girls and women in the long term, AIM and PfefferminzGreen operate a primary and secondary school in Port Loko. The kindergarten built by PfefferminzGreen and AIM is also one of the first childcare facilities for young children in the Port Loko District and offers mothers the opportunity to pursue a career and/or relieves them of their already diverse daily tasks. DVS TECHNOLOGY supports the schools as well as the kindergarten by paying for the entire teachers' salaries since the opening, thus making this valuable project possible.
Educational and vocational measures are always in the focus of AIM's work. In the fight against female circumcision, AIM has been implementing education programs in various village communities for years. The success of this work by AIM was demonstrated in December 2019, when the first Bondo Initation was conducted without the ritual of circumcision. In Sierra Leone, the so-called Bondo Society has existed for centuries. Admission to and recognition by this Society, is a central goal in the life of every woman. The social and cultural importance within the Bondo Society serves the girls positively. Among other things, the youth learn various culturally significant customs, as well as skills and knowledge relevant to the community. However, female circumcision is also one of the main criteria for admission to the Bondo Society. Measures and campaigns in the fight against female circumcision only show success in Sierra Leone if the social interrelationships in terms of religion, culture, witchcraft, social support system (or community) are understood and considered. This is exactly what AIM achieves through its multi-faceted work, with success - for the first time in Sierra Leone's history, circumcision did not play a role in the admission of new members.
In the meantime, AIM's work is also gaining international recognition. This fall, for example, AIM's chairwoman and our close partner, Neneh Rugiatu Turay, received the Theodor Haecker Human Rights Award for political courage and honesty.
These impressive successes and the long-term support of thousands of people, not only in Sierra Leone, but also in Ethiopia, with our partner organization NIGAT, are only possible thanks to the reliability and loyalty of our supporters, such as the DVS TECHNOLOGY Group.