We are excited to launch the second 18-month pottery school program in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, aimed at nurturing young creative talents. Throughout Aurora’s engagement with the Lettie Stuart Pottery center over the past years, we have been supporting them in ways to grow their production capacity. Training skilled ceramic artists is a key aspect of growing the business. The first time this 18-month pottery school project was executed was in 2019 and when the trainees graduated in 2021 many of them joined as staff to the Lettie Stuart Pottery following their graduation. The key objective of this school is to provide technical pottery skills to youths in Sierra Leone and promoting employment in the creative arts. This pottery school project objectives are in line with Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan and several Sustainable Development Goals (Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Responsible Consumption and Production). Considering Sierra Leone’s high youth unemployment and limited opportunities in arts and crafts professions, this project is very crucial for the development of some of our key growth drivers as a nation.
**Mohammed, head of Production/Ceramic Teacher, teaching the students their first lesson on using the kickwheel**
The second-round pottery school started November 6th, 2023. This program features a curriculum, created in collaboration with local and Icelandic experts, and offers extensive training in the art of ceramics, which includes skills in measuring, mathematics, and business management. It integrates hands-on learning with the operations at Lettie Stuart Pottery. Importantly, there is a gender balance in the 8 trainees who have enrolled, including a 50% female cohort. The overall goal of graduating skilled potters who can enhance the center’s sustainability and contribute to Sierra Leone’s economic diversification.
The Aurora Foundation facilitated the successful application for funding from the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement the pottery school. The Sweet Salone team from Aurora Foundation helps in overseeing the pottery school project, in collaboration with the other members of the Lettie Stuart Pottery Management Committee, comprising representatives from SLADEA, and LSP managers. The Foundation will also conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluations post-project to ensure objectives are met, including SDG compliance, with sustainability audits and operational reviews by the Aurora Foundation.