Monday, April 13, 2015

Ebola Crisis Response Update: Getting Supplies to Survivors

May 2014 confirmed the arrival of the deadly Ebola virus to Sierra Leone.  Almost a year onwards and whilst the World Health Organization has reported there have only been 67 cases of the Ebola virus in the past 21 days with zero unsafe burials. But communities are still reeling from the devastating impacts on their lives.
LemonAid Fund’s Ebola Crisis Strategy activities are focused on education, psychosocial support, food supplies, and especially wash and sanitation efforts. This focus falls in line with UNICEF’s WASH program, for water, sanitation, and hygiene. We often take for granted how easy it is to turn on a tap and use the bathroom- but focusing on WASH has been particularly important in the past year in Sierra Leone. It will continue to have this importance in order for Ebola to be contained as well as progress to be made in minimising associated health risks.
The organisation aims to halve the amount of people without sustainable access to safe water and sanitation, to make sure that all schools have child-friendly water and sanitation facilities and to teach children about hygiene education in schools.
It is still so crucial to get necessary supplies to survivors so all can get back to a normal pace of life.
In order to help in this effort, LemonAid Fund has a shipping container just waiting to be filled! Due to ship the second week of May, we need at least 30 barrels filled to send this container.
Any of the following supplies would be helpful, and it would be particularly useful for each of the 10 schools to have a handheld thermometer that does not touch skin.
Medical: Aprons, bandages, First-Aid kits, hair protectors (including shower caps), over-the-counter pain killers, protective gloves, scrubs, shoe protectors.
Health: Disinfectant, disposable food containers, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, liquid soap and bar soap, thermometers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes.
Technology: Flash lights and batteries, USB memory sticks, old mobiles phones, scientific calculators, solar powered lights of any kind, used or new laptops, notepads, a wireless connector.
Food items (Please ensure expiry date is at least a year from when you are sending): Juice bags, energy snacks, milk powder, and nutritious single-serving items.
School Supplies: Any learning-type game, backpacks, bananagrams, children’s books (especially for young children 0-3 heavy cardboard or material or plastic), crayons, flash cards, notebooks, number games, paper, writing utensils (pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers/erasers etc.), scrabble games, sturdy puzzles, white board markers, white boards.
Sports: Yoga supplies (mats, straps, blocks etc.), balls, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, swim suits, tennis balls and rackets.
General (please no heavy winter clothes or boots): foot wear and socks (children’s/women’s/men’s), rain coats for rainy season and plastic ponchos, sheets, pillow cases, used clothes (all sizes but especially children’s), washable sturdy toys.
We are relying on the kindness of others to help us and contribute any of the above items, or make financial donations, to allow us to collect the supplies needed and fund the shipping and storage of the container.
The cost per barrel to ship and store is $300, or can be sponsored in parts of $100 or $200. If you have goods but not the money to ship them, LemonAid Fund will be fundraising to cover these costs. Shipping of these items is to (or from) Maryland, so if you are in this area please feel free to drive over any items!
To find out more on how to make a financial donation, or donate goods (or both!), please click this link!
We greatly appreciate your help and we will keep posting on the blog as the container fills up, and with other LemonAid Fund updates!
For more information about the current status of the Ebola crisis, please click here!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 3 - From UNICEF meeting to Shakira dancing!

Another day in the LemonAid Fund week saw The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) PhD delegates having a slew of back to back power packed meetings with different stakeholders in Sierra Leone. From the head of UNICEF to the American Ambassador and his wife, directors of the AIDS secretariat, Ministers of Education and Social Welfare, Directors of FGM NGO's, the delegation had a huge mission in front of them because everyone was excited to share possibilities and conduct dialogue with a group of psychologists from around the globe.

LemonAid enabled these meetings because of their long and trusted presence in Freetown, Sierra Leone. So much so that when Dr. Nancy Peddle (founder) walks the streets of Freetown, she's often greeted with a "Hi Aunty Nancy!". The Ministry of Social Welfare was particularly enamoured with LemonAid's work and The Chicago School Students and put forth the proposal of having a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and TCSPP for continuing work with Sierra Leone including offering office space, Internet, support and protection.

The Group had wonderful dialogue with each stake holder by listening to in depth experience on the ground, fact checking, sharing of ideas and approaches. Through this many bridges were formed throughout the day.

The next day was very poignant to the delegation as they came out of meetings and academic ivory towers and fully demonstrated their talents and those of who they engaged. The delegation went to Goshen Community School in Rokel and listened to village students do their morning prayers, do some class work, recite skits and dance. At one point, a star dance student was asked to dance but became shy so TCSPP students instead danced to Shakira's 'Waka Waka'! The students then engaged the little students with capacity and skill building games. PhD Candidate Valerie Saffold had a blast playing with the little children and reveled in the simplicity and warmth whilst marveling at their football (soccer) skills!

The PhD delegation than drove deep up north to study and understand Female Genital Mutilation(FGM)/Cutting/Initiation and were deeply touched to interact with religious leaders, former cutters, chiefs of districts and the director James Kunduno of the Amazonian Initiative Movement. The speeches and presentations were impassioned and intellectually stimulating so much so that the FGM group spent the rest of the day whilst the remaining students went back to the Delle-Peddle School to continue work on their consultation presentations coming up to a varied cross section of Sierra Lenonian society.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Learning through experiencing: Day 1 for the TCS delegation

First full fledged work day in Sierra Leone and what a day! It's one thing to learn in a course and to know you're doing a field experience, but to see what your professor is all about, to literally see them walking the walk and talking the talk is something else. All of the PhD Delegates from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP), the USA's oldest Psychology School, stopped in awe and admiration to wonder at the school that their delegation leader Dr. Nancy Peddle had built in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Dele-Peddle School some 12 kilometres away from the centre of Freetown is nothing short of splendid. Delegates commented on being completely taken aback by the shape in which the school is in. Modern, spruced up with caring and diligent teachers, switched on children which has them seeing them ranked as some of the best in Freetown, Sierra Leone, one could not help but marvel at the delicate balance of a Western influence (e.g. the child welfare centre) juxtaposed with indigenous culture prevalent everywhere. As the delegates watched content parents pick their children up from school, we knew we were witnessing the flourishing of a seed planted a long time ago. 

The PhD delegation from The Chicago School is here to build capacity and to learn more about Sierra Leone. There are specific groups on forgiveness, trauma, female genital cutting (FGC) and education etc. Deseree Howlett, PhD Candidate from TCSPP is working in the FGC group and spoke briefly about how meeting Minister Moijueh Kaikai, Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs and Pastor Peter Kainwo changed her perspective on crucial aspects of the issue. By combining local and global thinking, a truly humanitarian partnership, Howlett was able to understand how to best proceed with the 'Children of Influence' Club her group is starting. Knowing the position of the government, of UNESCO (officials which TCS students met with through LemonAidFund) and of the pastor's on ground experience, Howlett along with her group was able to tweak the consultancy strategy for best practise in Sierra Leone. Howlett sounded completely  charged up with the new knowledge and though mindful of the fact that progress might be slow, she was positive about the impact taking place slowly but surely.

All the students, both of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the Dele-Peddle School were floored by the library that Ms. Vicki Browne single handedly organised from the United States. Drawing on part from friends and part on ingenuity, Brown collected 20,000 pounds of books and had the shipped to Sierra Leone in a sea container. The library is nothing short of inspiring and it was evident the respect of the students who wanted to get a glimpse of 'Aunty Victoria', the lady whom the library in which they diligently study is named after. Speaking to Brown and walking around, many of the delegates were touched by the personal connections they had to text books they use in their own work with colleagues in the USA or grew up with e.g. The World Book Encyclopedia Set.

Later, the TCS students met with various Sierra Leonian groups in the capacity of International Psychology consultants in order to facilitate ground breaking presentations and recommendations to be delivered in the near future.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology comes to Sierra Leone!

A group of anticipating PhD candidates of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) arrived from all over the world to engage in service learning, fulfill a corner stone of field experience requirements and to most importantly put theory into practice. Jet lag aside, the delegation hit the ground running and took in a country vastly different from what most people call home or experience on average. There was as much diversity as similarities to be found. For example, the students could not stop laughing at the dance competition blaring until 3am showcasing Justin Bieber and Usher songs. Similarly, whilst watching children day school parades, playing familiar US band songs left the PhD candidates heart warmed. Nearly everywhere was juxtapositions of wealth and poverty: The UK High Commission side by side with corrugated tin roof huts, a Bus full of Westerners taking Kodak moment photos with shades on and children as young as five selling fruit. 

Everything that seems natural or automatic was necessarily challenged: running water, electricity, paved roads and even quantity of food. There can be no greater preparation on understanding another's life, another world and becoming International Psychologist than travel and compassion.

Speaking to LemonAid Fund's director and founder and adjunct faculty of TCSPP, Dr. Nancy Peddle, she recalls her over 15 years of experience on the ground in Africa. In the midst of strife in SL, Peddle was able to be evacuated without a second thought, with white peace flags waving from her car. This experience was deeply engraved in her heart as she wondered what the people who couldn't leave would do. Making good on the thought in her heart, she set up LemonAid fund to collaborate with people on the ground in SL to improve life from the grassroots level. The fund is involved in many areas including early education, female genital mutilation and forgiveness.

The PhD delegation is here in the capacity of consultants and will work on a variety of levels to tighten efficiency and help build capacity. After the first day, it was very evident that a whole new world exists out there, that the learning will be deep and mutual.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Greetings Friends of LemonAid Fund!
Tune your radios and listen up – we're going to be on NPR!
During our stateside visit this August, we spent time all over the country: New York, Washington DC, Stanford University in California and Chicago.
While in the Windy City, we had the privilege of chatting with the producers and staff at WBEZ 91.5FM, Chicago's branch of National Public Radio. In the interview, host Jerome McDonnell highlights LemonAid Fund's mission, our new programs and The Forgiveness Project, the training forum that brought us to Stanford University last month.
Please support us in our third appearance on WorldView by listening to our broadcast on WBEZ 91.5 or listen anywhere at We'll also have a link to the broadcast on our Facebook page. Like us, and you can listen in!
Learn more about our work with Dr. Loren Touissant at Stanford, the progress of the PeaceJoyMobile, hear an exclusive interview with Frances Browne, the LemonAid Fund Village Schools proprietress, and more. 
Pass this link on to your friends. Post it to your Twitter feed or on your Facebook page. Print and post the attached flier at your workplace or local coffee shop.  However you do it, spread the word!
Thank you, thank you for your support!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Special Appeal for Support: Leave a Legacy of Love and Forgiveness

Peace is a crucial component of a functioning, healthy society. Peace is also central to LemonAid Fund's mission, especially in 2011. In conjunction with Dr. Loren Toussaint at Luther University and Dr. Frederic Luskin at Stanford, LemonAid Fund has been involved in an ongoing peace study, The Forgiveness Project, which evaluates the effects of forgiveness training to restore communities and emotionally heal victims following tragedy and trauma. 

Phase I of this study was completed in 2007 with Dr. Toussaint and his "Promoting Peace Through Forgiveness" project. Dr. Peddle of LemonAid Fund aided with research and the published results proved positive. A community's commitment to a forgiving attitude is invaluable to its functionality. 

Phase II of this study is to be held at Stanford in August 2011. Eight educators and administrators from Sierra Leone will help in measuring the impact and value of forgiveness training and be given and taught a forgiveness curriculum to bring back to their schools. It will be a 10-day research and training project at the Stanford University campus, and it's aim is to engage in Dr. Luskin's proven forgiveness methodology and develop culturally specific tools to aid in implementation. 

We anticipate that stronger leaders that are well-versed in forgiveness, conflict resolution and stress reduction skills will emerge from this training and provide a positive example for their communities.

LemonAid Fund is honored to work with the following 8 educators chosen to participate in the event: 
Frances Browne, proprietress of Dele Preparatory School K-12; Program Director for LemonAid Fund
Christie Browne, student
Victoria Samuels, New Life Ministries, Children's Coordinator
Alpha Bangura, Owner of Rural Primary School, Christian Mission School and Foster Care; LemonAid Fund Team Member
Keifala Vandi, Pastor of New Life Ministries Church; Program Manager of Child Ex-Combatant Skills Training & Rehabilitation
Alusine Tempy - Koroma, French Teacher and Theater Troupe Leader at Dele Preparatory School
Aaron Farma, Teacher in Calabatown; Children's Staffing Network
Haja Hurianatu Peters, Proprietress of Muslim Elementary School

Each of these participants will also develop their own individual projects to contribute to the study.

The plans are laid, the benefits will be immeasurable, but we need your help.

The cost for such an event is high, with a single round-trip air fare from Sierra Leone to San Francisco at $2,300. LemonAid Fund has covered the cost for 5 of these tickets, but needs assistance with the remaining $8,144 needed to make the trip. 

Perhaps you'd like to fund a ticket ($2,300), two people's transportation to the Lungi Airport ($24) or support the implementation of one of the forgiveness projects ($250). General donations to the effort are welcome as well, no amount of support is too small!

Without your support, all attendants may not be able to make the trip, leaving The Forgiveness Project unable to achieve it's important goal – the implementation of peace and forgiving attitudes in Sierra Leone.

Please donate on our website or send a check to:
LemonAid Fund
490 Lincoln Ave. West
Highland Park, IL 60035

100% of your funds will go directly toward the project. 

Please take a moment to donate to those in need of our aid. We can't thank you enough for your support!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

For the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Sierra Leone

                       LemonAid Fund
would like to give a global gift
to Sierra Leone
on the event of her
50th Year of Independence
27 April 2011
But we need YOU
to help us bring the inspired gift of the PeaceJoyMobile,*
which can save and change lives, to Sierra Leone.
(see for more information)

We need to raise $30,000 by January 2011 (in addition to our regular budget) for the PeaceJoyMobile to make it to Sierra Leone in time to be part of the INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS.

To make this a global gift we need as many states/provinces and countries as possible represented through your donation. We are specifically asking YOU because you believe in and act on making a difference in this world.

We appreciate you “Summoning your Best Self” by:
1)    Donating now (any amount of donation counts) and ensure your state/province/ country is represented: click or go to LemonAid Fund on facebook or send check/money order to:
LemonAid Fund
490 Lincoln Ave. West
Highland Park IL, 60035
2)    Passing this blog post along to 10 friends/family especially in other states/provinces/ countries and encourage them to donate.

3) Send along something from your country/state that could be used in the Windows to the World exhibition

With each donation your declared state/province/country will be filled in on a map that will be painted on the PeaceJoyMobile. Could be where you are living, the country of your birth or your parent’s birth. Sierra Leone will know the whole world supports them in peace and prosperity as it is part of the month of national celebration and then continues to inspire people for years to come. For more information and to follow along go to: and read our Blog.   Could be a great gift to someone you love as well.

*The PeaceJoyMobile aims to inspire people to summon their best selves socially, physically, economically, psychologically, and spiritually. It also will promote prevention and well-being for children, their families and communities in order to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals and vision of Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It will bring educational and health resources and services to people living in areas of greatest need.