Establishing Hope

Dr. Chernoh and Jennifer Wurie met in June 2009 and have collectively expressed interest in empowering the women of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Jennifer was born in Manassas, Virginia. Chernoh was born in Kenema, Sierra Leone and migrated to Virginia, in 1997 due to the senseless rebel war, which plagued the country for nearly 12 years. Both work full time and have earned  advanced degrees in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. In their free time, they enjoy spending time with their son and daughter, hosting gatherings with friends and family, and traveling.  With their diverse backgrounds and their desire to affect change in Sierra Leone, they continued to seek discernment for a more concrete mission.

Through prayer and patience, they received their vision as they maintained constant contact with the proprietress Mrs. Aminata  Maude Eliza Wurie, the founder of St. Peter’s Women’s Community Education Centre (St. Peter’s) of Freetown, Sierra Leone. St. Peter’s was established in 1993 through the timeless effort of Mrs. Wurie. For nearly two decades, Mrs. Wurie has worked with young Sierra Leonean women by empowering their lives through education. In the late 1990’s, the school began to cater more specifically to young women devastated by the senseless rebel war that shocked the country for more than a decade.Today, the school assists nearly 200 women who have been rescued from sexual trafficking, who are living with HIV and AIDS, and/or who desire a better life for themselves and their families. St. Peter’s provides students with vocational training in order to become self-reliant and live peacefully productive lives. St. Peter’s offers the following programs: catering and hotel management, tailoring, adult education, gara tie dying, and arts & crafts. Women can graduate with skills to empower their lives. These programs remove sex workers from the streets and instill hope to women living with HIV and AIDS.

In October 2010, Jennifer and Chernoh paid an honorary visit to Sierra Leone in order to visit students at St. Peter’s and family. Their vision was enhanced with a realistic perspective when they witnessed the positive spirits and the willingness of the students to learn through such tragedies in their lives. They interviewed students and learned that the common thread among them was abuse, loss, and tragedy. The personal time Jennifer and Chernoh spent with the students and teachers, confirmed their mission and vision. In December 2010, their vision was birthed when they jointly founded Barrels of Hope International, Inc., a Virginia non-stock charity. Barrels of Hope International, Inc. supports St. Peter’s through prayers, encouragement, monetary donations, and tangible donations, which are shipped directly to the school. 

(Barrels of Hope International, Inc. is a 501 (a) organization and is treated as tax exempt by the IRS. The organization is not required to file for 501 (c)(3) exemption until the charity’s gross receipts exceeds $5,000.00. The charity’s tax identification number is 27-4441054).

4 comments

  1. Chernoh says:

    This is coming along nicely. God will lead us in the right path with regards to soliciting donations, encouragements, and credible patrons for sponsoring.

    Keep up the good work

    Chernoh

  2. Yolanda Moore says:

    What an awesome and powerful message Mrs. Wurie, Chernoh, and Jennifer are bringing not only to the women of Sierra Leone but to the country. May God continue to bless each and every one of you for helping to lead his children to a greater life. I respect and applaud you.

    Sincerely,

    Yolanda Moore

  3. Sasha & Summer says:

    Jennifer & Chernoh, this is an awesome initiative. I am so proud of you guys! Please keep me on your mailing list and I will spread the word! God Bless you both!!!!!

  4. Deb Burroughs says:

    That’s my girl and my son in law! Very proud of both of you for impacting not only our world in America but on another continent!

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