Paupers' Kitchen and Clinic

in Bo, Sierra Leone



This is the homepage of our project "Paupers' Kitchen and Clinic with Integrated School Programme".

Since 1987, our aim is helping the less advantaged people of our community in Bo, Sierra Leone.

The founders of the organisation are Dr. Sheik-Umarr Mikailu Jah and his wife Mrs. Betti Elisabeth Beckmann-Jah.

For more information about the various aspects of the project please refer to the appropriate subcategory:

Meals    |    Medical    |    School Programme    |    Workshops


History - 25 Years of Paupers' Kitchen and Clinic

In 1987 Rtd. Dr. Sheik-Umarr Mikailu Jah founded Paupers' Kitchen and Clinic. At that time he and his family were living in Sierra Leone. Initially the target group was old and sick people struck by poverty, as well as physically or mentally handicapped people, many of them blind. A house with a large dining room and two treatment rooms was rented.

Cooking was done – and is still being done today – on an open fire in a traditional kitchen outside in the compound.

Approximately 50 people, among them some children who used to accompany the blind people for instance, received a free warm meal three times per week, as well as free medical treatment. Rtd. Dr. S.U.M. Jah provided this medical treatment on his own until he fell sick in July 2006. He treated patients, provided medicine (supported by friendly doctors and pharmacists) and carried out necessary operations in the local hospital, where he was the Chief Specialist Surgeon.

When the project house was destroyed during the civil war (1991-2002) the medical treatment as well as the cooking and feeding took place in the compound of the private clinic of Rtd. Dr. S.U.M. Jah.

After the civil war Rtd. Dr. S.U.M. Jah bought the present project house and estate from his own resources. In the course of time a kitchen, a water well, the latrines and the community hall were built. A vegetable garden was also laid for self-supply and the compound fenced with flowers.

By the end of the war the street kids got more and more into the focus of our attention. Many of them were completely alone, as a result of the war, due to sickness and death in their families or due to impoverishment of their parents. Their drifting into criminality, drug addiction and prostitution could clearly be seen everywhere and help was urgently required.

At present, in 2012, the project constantly cares for approximately 50 registered children and 50 adults. All of them receive warm meals and primary health care. Furthermore, 30 of these children can attend school at the expense of the project.

The adults and the children in the project have developed a good relationship. Some of the adults pass on their knowledge and abilities to the kids and teach them the crafts that they once learned themselves, e.g. weaving. Young and old make music together, the blind beat the drums, the kids dance the traditional dances. A retired teacher living in the neighbourhood puts a lot of effort in supervising and assisting the students with their homework in the afternoon. He wants to ask other former colleagues for support, as well. A payment of honorariums is actively considered when funds are available.

It is thanks to many people in Bo/Sierra Leone and Lienen/Germany that the Paupers' Kitchen and Clinic continues to exist. Although the founders and proprietors are now living in Germany, the acting manager and nephew of Rtd. Dr. S.U.M. Jah, Mr. Abdulai Swaray, carries the main responsibility in Bo. On the other hand, it is the founder’s family in Lienen who eagerly raises funds and takes care of the financial control as well as the planning of future goals.