Building One Health through School-Community-University Model in Sierra Leone
Project 1808, Inc. is a multi-generational and multi-layered One Health based school-community-university partnership model for sustainable development in Sierra Leone. The country, Sierra Leone has faced successive years of war, a deadly Ebola outbreak, and in 2017 severe environmental disasters in the form of floods and landslides. It was precisely for these reasons that Project 1808, Inc. was conceived in 2011 to help break these logjam of community challenges and build sustained health by engaging, exciting, empowering youths with tools that foster community well-being in Sierra Leone. Building resilient and thriving communities in Sierra Leone is central to the Project 1808 Model and embodies the One Health concept of the interdependence of health (and disease) among humans, domestic and free ranging animals, and our shared ecosystems. Our One Health concept further embodies an integrated, holistic, multidisciplinary life cycle of programs from school to university that aims to tackle significant global or public health problems. We draw upon the global thinking and local action akin to a World Without Borders, where our collective thoughts and efforts are used to develop tools that enables the individuals, families, and their local communities to empower themselves, sustainably manage and utilize their natural resources, and at the same time ability to adapt, anticipate, and better respond to changes in their environment. To this end, we engage and connect students, teachers, community members through small pointed and targeted projects that address disconnects between learning and community problem solving in Kabala, Koinadugu Districts and Freetown, Western Area of Sierra Leone.