[Skip to main story]
Africa with Bo OWL Logo UK Map - Warwick Dist
Bo District,
Sierra Leone
The friendship link between Bo District in Sierra Leone and Warwick District, UK
Warwick District,
United Kingdom





Schools Group

The Schools section of the website is now open. Click here to access it.

There are nine primary schools and one secondary schools in each district with links to the other district. We have built up a collection of material that can be provided to schools. For more information about the schools group and school linking, please email our Schools Coordinator


Youth Group

Young people are an integral part of our community. One World Link, as an organisation, wants to promote friendship between young people at both ends of the link. Youth participation within our organisation is particularly important because it is the young people of today, who will be the future of this country and the next generation of the link.

The youth wing in Bo, was established in 2005, and currently has 20 registered groups, who work on a variety of issues ranging from agriculture to music. Out of the 20 registered groups, currently there are 10 – 12 active groups, which serve over 1000 young people. The intention of the various groups is to equip the young people with a variety of skills, which make them more “rounded” and give them greater employability. It is important to note, that youth unemployment in Bo is extremely high, however the members of the youth wing remain motivated and passionate about what they do.

Our Warwick–district based youth group has had several large extremely successful events – an evening celebration event for the Day of the African Child and One World – One Weekend, a world music festival, for our guests from Sierra Leone. Following the visit of Alpha Bah, the youth chairman for OWL in Bo, Two members visited Bo in October 2009. Two members of the Youth group also visited Bo in summer 2011, in preparation for the Voyage Youth Exchange.

The Youth Exchange went ahead to great success in Easter 2012. During the trip, the participants (and leaders) gained cultural awareness and understanding, communication and leadership skills, which in turn will help them to become better global citizens. This short video was shot and edited by Tom Williams. Further information about this visit can be found the Evaluation Report.

The Youth Group were active at the Leamington Peace Festival. See the film of their activities at a previous Peace Festival on YouTube:

We are currently focusing our efforts on the return visit of the Voyage Youth Exchange in July 2013.

The membership age of our youth group ranges from 15 to 25, and we meet regularly. We are always keen to have new members.

For more information about the work of the youth group or if you'd like to get involved in any of our projects, please contact us, (Catherine Moody Youth OWL Co–ordinator)
– email youth@oneworldlink.org.uk
– phone 07765 638063 or 01926 421965

Enthused and inspired by their visit to Bo

IMG_1871_Youth_Voyage_Group_with_Mayor_Sept_2011.JPG, 13kB

IMG_1869_Youth_Voyage_Group_with_Mayor_Sept_2011.JPG, 14kB
The Voyage group with Leamington’s Mayor, Councillor Alan Wilkinson
2010_April_Youth_Visit_Group_photo.jpg, 19kB
The visitors and friends
2010_April_Youth_Visit_Training_before_a_football_match.jpg, 14kB
Training for a football match in Bo

One World Link (OWL) ran a youth exchange to Bo in Sierra Leone for young people in Warwick District to experience international development issues firsthand.

FOR THE GROUP of six young people and four adult leaders the visit during March and April 2012 was a life-changing experience.

The party, led by Ben Wesson, Catherine Moody, Holly Jones, and Paul Atkins, was made up of students from secondary schools across Warwick District. The participants included: Helena Slater, 18, and Mairi Enticott, Clara Galloon, Hanisah Othman, Ben Sidaway, 16 and Tom Williams.

Whilst visiting Sierra Leone, under the guidance of the adult leaders, the six participants delivered leadership skills training and ICT development sessions to their counterparts in Bo. They also held a number of global issues discussion forums, which aimed to give young people a time to debate issues affecting the wider world and an opportunity to come up with localised solutions. The group also went to Tiwai Island Nature Reserve, a traditional African village, and Tribe Wanted – a sustainable community – in Freetown during their two week stay.

Catherine Moody, One World Link's Youth Coordinator, said: “The visit was a huge success and has gone some way to cement the relationship between the youth communities in Warwick and Bo districts.” She continued: “Whilst in Bo, we participated in a number of activities which, I believe, have gone some way to improving the level of cultural understanding between young people at both ends of One World Link. Our group experienced wonderful drama performances, met with local youth groups, visited a traditional African village, and most importantly made lifelong friends.”

Ben Wesson, who was primarily responsible for organising the trip, said: “It was my third visit to Bo, and by far the most enjoyable, constructive and successful in my opinion. It was so inspiring to see how all of the young people reacted to their time in Sierra Leone.”

Planning for a return visit

The group are now planning for the return visit of Sierra Leoneans, which will take place in summer 2013. Ben said: “We have a long way to go before the party of young people from Bo travel to Warwick in terms of both planning and fundraising, but I am excited about welcoming the young Sierra Leoneans.”

Jane Knight, who was visiting Sierra Leone at the same time, said “The Bo adults were very anxious to take care of all safety and comfort aspects of the group. At the workshop sessions I was very impressed with the mature and thoughtful discussions on leadership and global issues which the Sierra Leoneans and English had. The excitement throughout the two weeks was palpable. The youth group in Bo is now concentrating on who to select to visit UK next year and how to raise funds so that they can contribute to the cost.”

If you wish to contribute to the group's fundraising efforts for the return visit, contact Ben on: 07810 633518 or at: youth@oneworldlink.org.uk.


Local Government Group

The Link
Warwick District, Warwickshire County and Leamington Town Councils are all linked with Bo City Council in Sierra Leone as part of a long year relationship (One World Link), which was originally started by members of the local communities in Bo and Warwick. It was supported from the outset by Warwick District Council (WDC). Bo City Council came on board in 2004 when Sierra Leone had its first truly democratic local elections since the 1970s. These activities will set the stage for our long term cooperation. On top of this, Leamington Spa is now officially twinned with Bo at council level. Read more ...

The Projects
Local council involvement has slowly grown in recent years as the benefits to both partners have become clearer. There is now a great deal of excitement building following the visits Bo of the Environmental Health Officer from Warwick District, Waste Management and Finance Officers from Warwickshire County and an ex-President of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Bo City sent its Chief Administrator to Warwick for a further exchange of ideas and the Chief Environmental Health Officer for Bo District (under an Commonwealth Professional Scholarship). An Action Plan was adopted by the Mayor of Bo and plans are now under way for a pilot Environmental Health Project with funds from UNDP and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

The Benefits to both Warwick and Bo
Nicola Cumberledge is a member of the Local Authority Group. Her experiences of visiting Bo and the subsequent professional developments included:

• Worked with people from different professions and organisations from the UK, Sierra Leone and Uganda
• Helped to give an assembly about Sierra Leone to my old primary school in Leamington
• Found my way from SL airport across the sea to Freetown on a helicopter in the dark
• Eaten fresh pineapple with villagers in Sierra Leone and made friends with a beekeeper
• Visited a school in Sierra Leone, where they sang songs to welcome me
• Been driven to a rainforest island by the Bishop of Kenema

Read more ... of her many and varied adventures!