Since 2013, PfefferminzGreen has partnered with local NGO, Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM), in Sierra Leone. Founder and director Rugiatu Neneh Turay established AIM in 2000 with the goal of rebuilding and empowering communities, minds and bodies in the aftermath of a devastating civil war.
The main pillars in AIM’s work are raising awareness of the rights of women and girls, promoting their health and wellbeing and ensuring their equality in politics and the development of their nation. Focus across all of their projects lies in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other harmful traditional practices that affect almost 90% of all girls and young women in Sierra Leone.
From the planning to the implementation of all of its programs and projects, AIM builds on the resources and strengths that already exist within local communities. When working with these communities, AIM often begins projects with a sensitization program, first creating awareness within local communities and calling for the consent and understanding of community members of all ages. For example, before starting on the construction of a school, it is important to develop awareness in a community, particularly amongst parents, about the benefits of educating their daughters. When building water wells, AIM employees first hold group discussions about the benefits of clean drinking water and hygiene with community members, young and old, before construction begins.
Over the years, AIM has built schools, water wells, sanitary facilities, a vocational center for women and an orphanage in this way, and worked on numerous other ventures including agricultural projects.