Catholic Relief Services

CRS was founded in 1943 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist poor and disadvantaged communities overseas regardless of race, nationality or creed. CRS’ mission statement calls the agency to alleviate human suffering, advance full human development, and foster charity and justice in the world.

The blue area shows program areas from 2007. The green area shows program areas for 2009.

CRS began operating in Sierra Leone in 1963, providing humanitarian and development assistance in a variety of sectors. CRS Sierra Leone currently has  programs in the areas of health, education and livelihoods, as well as microfinance, and is focusing its attention on the geographically remote districts that border Guinea and Liberia. These districts often represent the poorest communities in Sierra Leone and have the highest food insecurity. In 2007, CRS Sierra Leone piloted the Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) methodology within the recently-concluded five year USAID Livelihood Expansion and Asset Development (LEAD) project.  SILC was implemented in the eastern part of Sierra Leone in three chiefdoms in Kailahun district and Kenema town, and in the Nongowa chiefdom in Kenema District. Experience from this program has shown that the SILC methodology has contributed to improvements in the livelihoods of  poor families–particularly rural, agriculture-based households with whom CRS is working.

The SILC scheme is a programming approach supported by CRS to provide community managed, savings–led financial services that are accessible to all members in the community. The SILC model is based on an innovative approach to improve the traditional Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) and Accumulating Savings and Credit Associations (ASCAs).

Meet the CRS Team:


Claire Hancock
Agriculture Programme Manager (formerly)


Ibrahim Tarawally
Assistant Agriculture Programme Manager


Dominic Lumeh
Project Officer-SILC


Nancy Turay
Field Agent-SILC

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