About The Fig Tree Children

The Fig Tree Children is a Brisbane based not-for-profit founded by Jane Shakespeare in support of the work Reverand Father Peter Konteh (Father of priests and Director for Caritas, Sierra Leone) is doing in Sierra Leone to help orphaned and vulnerable children and youths. Jane met Fr. Peter in February 2006 when she visited St. Mary’s Children’s Home, a home he had founded in 1999 in response to the number of orphans resulting from the 10-year civil war that destroyed his country.

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“Many children suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of rebels and were left to die in the streets. There was a desperate need for a safe haven for children such as these to rebuild their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually and the home offered this outreach of love and support. Today, the ebola virus is responsible for even more orphans on the streets of Sierra Leone and as a result providing homes for thousands more orphans is now critical.” Rev. Fr. Peter Konteh

Fr. Peter was transferred to Freetown from St. Mary’s in Bo and has continued his work for orphaned and vulnerable children there. During her first visit to Sierra Leone in 2006, Jane was shocked to see bare feet children climbing and rummaging around in landfills. She was told they were looking for food or something they might be able to sell to buy food to eat. Having seen this, it was something she wasn’t able to unsee and she made a vow to herself there and then that she would one day do something to help.

Our Story

The Fig Tree Children was founded in 2015 to work alongside Caritas Freetown. We encourage people to donate to help give an opportunity to a child or young person that needs a helping hand. Most of the children/youths we help support have lost one or both parents.

As of September 1st, 2015, in response to people asking if they can sponsor a child directly, we introduced the ‘Sponsor a Fig Tree Child’ Programme where a sponsor is found directly for one of the children. In our first week of doing this, we received sponsors for 7 children. Today we have 75 children/youths sponsored by 60 sponsors over 55 households. these children are aged between 2 and 23 years old. 

The Fig Tree Children are located in different parts of Sierra Leone, including Freetown, Allentown, Bo Town, Makeni, Newton, Waterloo, Lakka, Kenema and Messima.

Our technical advisor, Reverend Fr. Peter Konteh is Director of Caritas Sierra Leone and Caritas Freetown helps us occasionally by sharing their bookkeeper with us, loaning us a vehicle from time to time, and providing office space. We also help provide for children supported by Afewy (Anerdan Foundation for the Empowerment of Women and Youths) who are a community-based organisation founded by Michael Bangura in 2004 in support of disadvantaged women and vulnerable children and youths. In 2010, Afewy opened the Anerdan Preparatory and Primary School in response to the growing number of children orphaned and vulnerable and in most cases not attending school. There is capacity at the school for 265 children aged 3 to 13 years. We compliment Afewy’s and Caritas’ work by attracting donors to help us provide these children and youths opportunities.

We have also partnered with other organisations who have helped us provide extras. For example, in 2016, we partnered with Bikes 4 Life in Melbourne and organised for over 440 bicycles to be sent and distributed to different groups, The Fig Tree Children was one of the group benefactors. All of our older children were given bicycles which helped those who had a long distance to walk to school in particular. Days for Girls, Toowoomba and EcoPads Australia also donated over 420 sanitary and healthcare kits for different groups. Girls of menstruating age registered with The Fig Tree Children, and our female carers, were also given kits. Missing a few days from school each month because girls don’t have/can’t afford sanitary wear is common.

Become a Volunteer Today

Have you ever wanted to directly make a difference and give an opportunity to a child living in one of the poorest countries in the world but can't commit to donating financially? Volunteering your time to help The Fig Tree Children is another way you can make a real difference. Contact us to find out more.

Contact us

Giving Opportunity to Orphaned & Vulnerable Children Since Sep 2015

Children attending school

Days carers received support

Youth in tertiary education

SCHOOL DAYS FUNDED

We’ve Raised over $435,000 to Help Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Sierra Leone

From our inception in September 2015, The Fig Tree Children has grown and each year provides more help to those in need in Sierra Leone. Without help from our donors, sponsors and partners, none of this would be possible.

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

Please contact us using the contact methods below. Thank you

PO Box 5297, Kenmore East, Queensland 4069

Call Us: +61 431 895 733

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