Vocational Training Center Updates

March 2024 – Video update from David’s trip

February 2024 – Videos of students and tie-dying

July 2023 Newsletter – “Board of Directors approve Satellite School in Sierra Leone”

After 3 successful years of training young girls and women in tailoring and tie-dying, it was observed that there is much interest and need to expand our services into the provincial headquarter town of Kabala, about 10 miles from our present school location. Click here to read the full article…

February 2023 Update from Sierra Leone

David spent the month in Sierra Leone getting a first-hand look at the progress and success that is being made because of our faithful donors.

A message from David Sawaneh in Sierra Leone

October 2022 Updates

The following is an update from  Joseph Mansaray, Teneba’s Haven, Inc., Sierra Leone, Africa

Our Donors/Sponsors.

Teneba’s Haven vocational School and Oxen Project is delighted to report that our oxen are 8 years old now, and for the past four (4) years, have helped our rice farmers significantly by plowing more farmlands, thereby increasing rice production for our communities. This year alone, the oxen plowed about 180 acres of swampland for farmers. Proceeds derived from plowing are used for veterinarian fees, accessories for oxen, as well as compensation for oxen handlers/keepers. To that end, I am pleased to report that the oxen project is self-sustainable. We hope to transition to mechanical farming someday when power tiller machines become available, replacing the aged oxen.

The school has completed a community engagement meeting including stakeholders, seeking everyone’s cooperation in influencing community members to bring their sewing needs to our school. This will create income for sewing supplies. Also, we were able to meet with the District Chairman for Koinadugu District Council, as well as the Minister of the Environment, seeking their attention to help direct sewing projects to our vocational school.

Staff stipend for September are fully paid. Thanks for making this possible.

May 2022

From Mr. Joseph Mansaray, Project Officer for Teneba’s Haven:

  • Year 1 and 2 students have completed the tailoring portion of their studies for this year.
  • Year 2 students are prepping for graduation.
  •  The first graduation ceremony for the school will be held this September.
  • Stipend payment for April was made to staff.

Mr. Mansaray also expressed his gratitude for COR’s continued support of the school.
As the institute continues to successfully educate their students in math, language arts, and tailoring, there remain

  • Forty-five students share 12 sewing machines. Neither the eleven new graduates nor the school will be able to afford machines at graduation for them to start a business. The cost of the sewing machines has also increased to $200.00, with a $25.00 shipping/assembly fee.
  • Teneba’s Haven has lost two of its three church sponsors, with only COR continuing annual donations of about $1,500. The staff payroll is $14,000/yr., but to this point the staff receive a smaller donated stipend monthly.
  • Their oxen continue to plough crop areas for local farmers, but the animals are aging and can hopefully be replaced with more modern equipment.

Still, the most urgent challenge for the school is not financial. It’s the fading membership on the Teneba’s Haven board.
Several highly dedicated people have served and shared in the school’s vision since it was just a thought. They need to pass their efforts into new hands. The school needs those willing to pray for and share ideas on the school’s needs, funding, and future.
Please prayerfully consider if you are one of those people. If you are drawn to know more, or can share in a vision for the school’s future-please contact David Sawaneh at (813) 850-4610.


October 2021 – Sewing machines have arrived

This is to inform you that 8 out of the 12 needed sewing machines and some supplies arrived safely in the mountainous district town of Kabala,  about  7 miles to our vocational school in Sulaimania.  The machines will be transported to the center and assembled by the weekend.  4 more machines needed  at $ 210.00 a piece.  Thanks to you for your donation  and approval to use $ 1,850.00 for the above purchase.

UPDATE: Our newly purchased sewing machines have been assembled  and ready for use. We have also been blessed by a Board member who has offered to purchase the remaining four machines needed for the school year.

September 2021 – Vocational Center Updates & Needs


Dear Mr. Sawaneh & Board Members,

It pleases me to update you on the significant development that has taken place for the new school year at Teneba’s Haven Vocational Institute in Sulaimania Village. On the 6thSeptember 2021, we started the 2021/2022 school calendar with a very good turnout from both staff and students. We are optimistic and working tirelessly to see that we accomplish the organizational goals. Below are some things that have taken place:

  1. Effective classes are ongoing for newly enrolled and year two students.
  2. Up-to-date payments for June and July stipends for teachers and security personnel.
  3. Completion of public notice for students seeking admission at the school.
  4. Filing of relevant documents, vouchers, etc., in their correct order.
  5. General cleaning of the school compound.

We remain grateful and praying for God’s blessings and protection as you continue to help the less privileged.


Sewing supplies

Additional school furniture

Additional sewing machines

General maintenance of machines.


Stipend increase


(Note: Above list extracted from the full list published earlier in August.)

From: Joseph Mansaray

Project Officer Teneba’s Haven, Sierra Leone.


June 2021 – Teneba’s Haven Vocational Center Updates

– Submitted by Joseph Mansaray. Project Officer, Teneba’s Haven, Inc., Sierra Leone

Dear Mr. Sawaneh & Esteemed Board Members:

It is with great pleasure for me to keep you updated on some of our achievements for the month of June 2021. We were able to accomplish the following:

  1. Successful completion of practical and theoretical exams for all students.
  2. Successful interview and recruitment of additional teacher, who is specialized in tailoring designs.
  3. Successful sewing of the first set of school uniforms, sewn by the students with supervision and directives of teachers.
  4. Payment of May Stipend for teachers and security personnel.
  5. Treatment of the bulls (oxen) by Vet and purchase of new plow.

Teneba’s Haven Vocational Institute can now boast of having over 50% of its students who can take correct measurement, cut various designs, as well as sew their own uniforms. As your project officer, I am happy to report that the Institute has brought about transformation of so many female youths by restoring their hopes at so many levels. Therefore, on behalf of our staff, students and the communities we serve, I hereby thank our esteem board members & donors for this hope-given institute. May God bless and protect you all.  Below are some photos:


April, 2021 – Important Progress Report for April 2021

– Submitted by Joseph Mansaray. Project Officer, Teneba’s Haven, Inc., Sierra Leone

Dear Mr. Sawaneh & esteemed board members & donors:

I am delighted to send you this significant and fruitful visitation report by our administrative assistant, Mr. Musa Beretay (March 30th to April 4th 2021)


  1. Assessment of teachers and students’ progress
  2. Official survey& acquisition of land plan
  3. Application for government assistant with education department
  4. PTA meeting/ meeting with students
  5. Review of school policies& sustainability means
  6. Payment of March Stipend

Download the full report here.


March, 2021 – Important Progress Report for March 2021

– Submitted by Joseph Mansaray. Project Officer, Teneba’s Haven, Inc., Sierra Leone

Since its opening in January 2021, Teneba’s haven vocational Institute has made significant progress in the training process in tailoring and most of our students are doing extremely well in performing required basic tailoring skills. The Institute is all-female students who either never went to school, dropped out of school or did not complete grade school and have at least one or more children. Almost all our students can now cut and sew masks, various size curtains, simple dresses, fixing buttons, zippers and more. We have ten sewing machines serving 32 students while the remaining 20 students are placed on the waiting list until machines become available. The staff and students hereby thank you all for making this ministry a viable one. Despite our achievement and progress, Teneba’s haven is facing many other challenges.

Listed below are some of our needs:

  1. Additional sewing machines ($ 125.00 each)
  2. Solar lighting for the school, ($ 2,800.00)
  3. Motorcycle transportation for teachers, ($ 1,600.00)
  4. Salary for 3 teachers, ($ 450.00 /month)
  5. Salary for 2 security personnel. ($ 120.00 /month)

Presently teachers and security personnel are getting a monthly stipend which is half or less than half of the recommended government minimum salary. This generosity from our staff will end this school year. Once again, our staff, students and the communities we serve thank our donors wholeheartedly, for this great life-saving project.

Download the full report here.

February 18, 2021 – Update! Teachers have begun teaching

– Submitted by Joseph Mansaray. Project Officer, Teneba’s Haven, Inc., Sierra Leone

On the 27th January, 2021 the teachers started the tasks that were assigned to them: teaching of both the theoretical and practical aspect of tailoring. We normally start the school session with an assembly and prayer time wherein the students will have the opportunity to listen to a short exhalation from the Holy Bible by the project officer, Joseph Mansaray. Meanwhile, the school is run from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00 Am to 14:00 Pm daily. There is a thirty minute lunch.

Our staff is doing their best in sharing the 10 new sewing machines, one over-lock machine, one press button machine and some important materials that were recently purchased, enabling 35 students to train as they take turns to learn various skill in using the machines and equipment.

We also succeeded in getting the bulls (OXEN PROJECT) two new nose rings that will enable them to work adequately in the next farming season. Please note that the oxen project is self-sufficient and does not require funding from our donors. New flash-lights were purchased for our two security personnel to help ease their work in securing the building and assets of the organization.

On behalf of the team in Sierra Leone, we express our thanks and appreciation to the chairman, board members, church family and all donors helping to make such dreams become a reality.

January 25, 2021 Teneba’s Haven Vocational Institute has opened!

Monday, 25th January 2021 marks a historic day at Teneba’s Haven. The long-awaited vocational institute whose foundation was dug on December 16, 2017 is officially open to the public for tailoring at Sulaimania Village in Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone.

In attendance were representatives from the two host Paramount Chiefs, the Deputy Director of Education, the Koinadugu District Council Chairperson, the Station Manager, Radio Bintumani, Kabala Town, Police Partnership Board, Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union, town chiefs and key community stakeholders, as well as residents from surrounding villages.

The entire occasion was of great success because all in attendance were happy about the developments coming into these impoverished communities. Stakeholders, staff and students promised to keep the facilities in a “healthy state” so that the organization’s goals are met. All in attendance expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Chairman, Board Members and all those who support this hope-giving ministry. In his remarks, the Chairman for this occasion, Steven Bockarie Mansaray, emphasized that we give our love and loyalty to see that Teneba’s Haven succeeds.

Read the full report here!

November 2020 Updates

We are excited to announce that we now have 3 teachers and 52 students ready to go when Teneba’s Haven Vocational School opens on  Monday, January 4, 2021. We are in need of additional sewing machines (we have 6 simple and 1 designer) and sewing supplies. Please contact us if you can help.

September 2020 Updates

Teneba’s Haven announces job opening for teachers “who are suitably qualified to teach the following subject areas: Tailoring (both theoretical & practical), Literacy & Numeracy and General Paper.

Download the Public Notice.

Download the Application.

January 2020 Updates

We have our initial 6 pedal-driven sewing machines being tested by Miss Isha Daramy (over 25 yrs experience) and her team. Looking forward to an exciting year as we prepare to open our hope-giving vocational institute.

October 2019 Updates

Most recent state of Teneba’s Haven Vocational Bldg. Sample furniture for students’ sitting accommodation.

September 2019 Updates


Interior painting in progress at Teneba’s Haven Vocational School.

August 2019 Updates

Despite continuous heavy rains, our newly hired Joseph is working hard to insure work at the school is ongoing. Please see photos of how the grass almost took over the surrounding building and how the construction of gutters are making a difference.


February 2019  Updates


Installing face boards and more

January 2019 – Updates


December 2018 Update – Ceiling progress


October 2018 Update – Doors & windows being installed 10/4/18

September 2018 Update – Metal doors & windows being made



August 2018 Update – Mixing Concrete and paving classrooms!

July 2018 Video update

June 2018 Update

May 2018 Update

Gathering stones to fill remaining section of school foundation.

Unloading rocks for remaining portion of foundation. We lost a tire, punctured by a sharp stump.

April 2018 Update

March 2018 Video Update

Construction Progress for January 23, 2018

Land prep – December 2017

Vocational Center vision

Projected for 2018, Teneba’s Haven is working for Vocational Training to be offered in tie dying, embroidering & tailoring. The area was canvassed for possible applicants & the results were overwhelmingly in favor. A site for the school is in the works.  Once trained, materials will be dyed & various clothing will be created for local sales & possibly marketed here in the States. Pedal Driven Sewing Machine costs available upon request. Further info to follow. Donations now being accepted.