Day 13
90 hours of light for a maternity clinic in Sierra Leone

Lighting the way into this world Lighting the way into this world

Safety for mothers and children thanks to better infrastructure

Sometimes it takes a little bit of ingenuity. Midwife Agnes and her clinic staff are experts in this field. So for many deliveries, torches become the source of light. This has been going on for some time. Since the solar system of the clinic in Bo was destroyed in a lightning strike, there is no electricity. And there is no money for a new system - and newborns are not concerned about what time of day or night it is. But that is no reason to lose heart. The sound of healthy babies screaming and the exhausted but happy smiles of the mothers are affirmation enough for Agnes and her team. Together they do everything to create a safe atmosphere for the women and their children. But of course they know that this cannot be a permanent solution. Because the darkness unsettles the expectant mothers and makes medical work more difficult. Agnes hopes that her wish will soon become reality: To have enough money to secure the electricity supply for the M.M. Maternity Clinic.



Secure electricity and water supply, access to necessary medicines and skilled antenatal care for pregnant women in the region around the city of Bo



Solar panels will be installed, the clinic will be connected to the water supply and extensions will be built to meet the increased demand

Countable effort


Number of hours during which light, electricity for all equipment and a water supply are available



Births are made safer for both mother and child with sufficient light, water, refrigerated medicines and ultrasound examinations

Systemic effect


The people of the Bo region can count on quality health care during pregnancy and birth. Infant mortality at birth will decrease in this region


Bo is the capital of the district of the same name and of the Southern Province in Sierra Leone. According to a 2017 estimate, around 233,000 people live in the city. This makes Bo the third largest city in the country. The M.M. Maternity Clinic has been here since 2003. It has been run by midwife Agnes Kallon, the second generation of the family to do so. The clinic is an important part of the health care system in Bo: as there are only a few hospitals in the vicinity, Agnes and her staff also take care of the occasional broken leg. On average, 160 births happen here every year. Many expectant mothers from villages in the surrounding area also visit the clinic. However, the work is made difficult by the lack of electricity and water supply. The births have to be performed in the dark with makeshift hand-held torches. Likewise, no ultrasound machine can be operated, which is why examinations are often inaccurate. Vaccines cannot be kept under refrigeration. The only water supply is via a well outside the clinic. These specific problems are also a consequence of the civil war, which lasted from 1991 to 2002. As a result, poverty, lack of access to clean water and toilets as well as poor medical care affect a large part of the population (UNICEF, 2018). Although progress has been made in recent years, government resources are not sufficient to address the problems and ensure access to healthcare for all (World Bank, 2021). However, the problems of the clinic in Bo could be solved relatively quickly.

The good deed

The good deed funds a safe welcome into life. Thanks to the new solar system, the newborns will literally see the light. Mother and child are better cared for during pregnancy, birth and aftercare: improved diagnostics with an ultrasound machine help to detect problems early on. Important medicines and vaccines can be refrigerated and stored directly in the clinic. In addition to the installation of the power supply, further construction measures are planned. First of all, the well will be modernised and the clinic connected to the water supply. New extensions will provide more space and privacy for the mothers and their families. To ensure the sustainability of the measures, the clinic will be made able to finance itself in the long term. To this end, a pharmacy will be established, which will generate additional income. From now on, no birth has to take place in the dark. Mother and child can safely start their life together.


About Sierra Leone






Number of inhabitants



Gross domestic product per capita per year

Rang 181 von 191

Rang 181 von 191

Human Development Index

A landmark in Sierra Leone is the "Cotton Tree". The more than 230-year-old tree stands a few hundred metres from the coast in the capital Freetown. The tree was a symbol of hope for the first people to reach the country from the sea in 1792.