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Village school children at Sunbird Bioenergy sponsored school in Sierra Leone

Corporate Social Responsibility

Community and Rural Development

Sunbird Bioenergy’s out-grower meeting in Sierra Leone

We deliver a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that contributes to the long-term development of our host communities.

Many people in our host communities live below the poverty line and the focus of our CSR is to deliver programs that contribute to both regional rural development and assist individuals to become economically self-sufficient. 

The program is funded as a percentage of locally produced profits, and invests in programs that deliver tangible development. This builds upon the projects initiated by Addax Bioenergy that are widely regarded as a benchmark for sustainable development in Africa. The programs include:

  • Farmer Development Program

  • Farmer Development Services

  • Village Vegetable Garden

  • Reforestation

  • Education and Apprenticeships

  • Community Healthcare

  • Rural Electrification

  • Rural Water

Farmer Development Program 

Sunbird Bioenergy’s farmer out-reach meeting in Sierra Leone

The Farmer Development Program is modelled on an FAO agricultural programme for developing countries and is aligned with the government’s strategy for smallholder commercialisation.

The primary objective is to ensure that all people within our project areas will have sufficient land and agricultural skills to increase their food security and incomes on a sustainable basis with a view to achieving long-term economic development and poverty reduction.

 

FDP activities currently assist subsistence farmers with GIS plot allocation, ploughing, harrowing, seeding, seed harrowing, harvesting, threshing and transport. 

Farmer Development Service

Sunbird Bioenergy farmer development services

A key regional objective is to reduce urban migration and help African youth view agriculture as a career. To support this, the company has put in place a service outlet known as the Farmer Development Services. 

This provides continuity to villages and individuals leaving the Farmer Development Program and supports their development to become professional farmers. The farmer development service assists with contract ploughing, storage and threshing as a readily available service to farmers, for which full cost recovery is required. At the same time it provides a vehicle for investors and donors to support, and facilitate the transition towards a longer-term strategy that will include diversification of cropping and development of commercial agriculture.

Reforestation

Reforestation sapling in Sierra Leone

It is our policy to sustain ecological corridors within the project area while at the same time providing support towards sustainable community cultivation of economical trees.

Under the program the company is planting 30,000-50,000 trees annually in cooperation with local communities. The programme was partially funded by DEG.

Village Vegetable Garden

Sunbird Bioenergy village vegetable garden

The Village Vegetable Gardens programme assists local communities in diversifying from rice production to help improve general nutrition.

The programme has provided seed, extension support, fertilisers and garden agrochemicals, mostly to women, to produce vegetables for sale and domestic consumption.

Education and Apprenticeships

Sunbird Bioenergy apprentices learning about electric circuits

The program assists with the training and skills development of young agriculturists and engineers. 

Agricultural apprentices follow the FAO’s Farmer Field School  syllabus which has a strong focus on improving farming techniques during a single season. The training includes educating smallholder farmers in better agricultural practices and life skills and helps them to develop farming as a career. 

Engineering apprentices focus on developing practical skills that bridge the gap between learning and the workplace. These practical skills will increase their value in the workplace and include fitting and testing, machining, welding and basic electronics and electrical engineering.

Education and Apprenticeships

Rural Electrification project in Sierra Leone

Sunbird is developing local micro and mini-grids to support rural electrification.

Sunbird is connecting electricity to our neighbouring  communities and businesses. We are developing local micro and mini-grids to distribute our excess power to facilitate rural electrification. 

Water Infrastructure

A village water pump in Sierra Leone built by Sunbird Bioenergy

Sunbird is increasing the quality and capacity of village water pumps.

The corporate social responsibility program is funding the construction of new boreholes and water pumps in adjacent villages to bring clean fresh water directly into local communities.