News blog

“The education of our children is the only asset that cannot be stolen from them”

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in News | 0 comments

“The education of our children is the only asset that cannot be stolen from them”

The fifth school to be funded by The Millione Foundation opened in September. It is in a poor community in the centre of the country in the district of Sierra Leone’s second city, Bo. What follows is an extract from the report sent to us by ActionAid Sierra Leone. It includes several quotes from the local people involved and clearly shows the benefits, the obstacles and the appreciation. It is a far better statement of why we do what we do than anything I can write. Thank you so much for your commitment to improving the lives of children...

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New Wine Book Raises Funds For Schools in Sierra Leone

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in News | 0 comments

New Wine Book Raises Funds For Schools in Sierra Leone

Exciting news! My book “YOUR WINE QUESTIONS ANSWERED: The 25 things wine drinkers most want to know” has been published by Citizen Press. And even more exciting- 100% of the revenue I receive will be donated to Millione to fund primary schools in Sierra Leone. Working in partnership with ActionAid we have funded 5 schools educating 1500 kids. Those funds came largely from sales of the Millione wine brand. Book sales will go towards building the 6th school.     WHY I WROTE THE BOOK I started my first wine business 30 years ago. Since then I have had...

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One Day We Got a Call

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in News | 0 comments

One Day We Got a Call

“One day we got a call from someone who was going to work, she was screaming down the phone saying ‘there is something that is happening you need to see’ … (so we went)….. there was a woman giving birth on the side of the road, people were around her looking. We discovered that she had gone to the hospital but been turned away because of fear about contact with body fluids, so she had her baby on side of the road. The baby died but she survived. So we can’t just focus on the Ebola infections and people...

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Mohamed Sillah: Man on a Mission

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Mohamed Sillah: Man on a Mission

Mohamed Sillah is a busy man. The Executive Director of Action Aid Sierra Leone is responsible for the organisation’s many country programmes. I first met him during my visit there in 2010 when the talk was about plans for education, women’s rights and development. But that was then. To-day Mohamed is pre-occupied with helping communities recover from the effects of the Ebola crisis. That means additional work for Action Aid, and more work requires more money. I caught up with Mohamed at Action Aid’s London office en route back home from a fundraising trip to the USA. These were...

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Bye Bye Ebola

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Bye Bye Ebola

So at last it’s officially over. After forty-two days with no new cases – the incubation period – Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free on November 8th at a ceremony attended by the President. Nearly 4000 people and 220 health workers died during the epidemic. Many more were infected but survived. Including Liberia and Guinea over 11,000 people have died since the outbreak in March 2014. Despite the terrible losses people celebrated the end in style. Many were inspired by Sierra Leonean rapper Block Jones’s song “Bye Bye Ebola”. Treat yourself to this hugely uplifting video of the song....

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Positive News

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Positive News

  For once football has given us a genuinely good news story. Former Manchester United football stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs plan to turn the old Stock Exchange building in Manchester city centre into a boutique hotel. Conversion work is due to begin in February 2016. When the homeless group Manchester Angels occupied the building looking for shelter over the coming winter months, instead of rushing to have them evicted Neville let them stay. He is reported as saying “I am quite relaxed about this”. What is unusual about the story is not just Neville and Giggs’s warm...

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Street Child

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in News | 0 comments

My last blog looked at the story behind Heaven Homes, a charity formed by Sierra Leonean Kippy Agyei who has been living in the UK since the age of 13 when her family were caught up in the political unrest of the civil war. This time I talked with Chloe Brett of Street Child, a charity formed in 2008 by Tom Dannatt, son of former Army Chief General Sir Richard Dannatt. Street Child came to prominence in the print and TV media for their unique reporting from the ground during the Ebola crisis in 2014. About 90% of their...

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Heaven Homes

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Heaven Homes

What’s in a name? Our partners in Sierra Leone are ActionAid. And that’s what they do- they use aid to produce real action in changing lives. What I like most about ActionAid is this: they seek to empower the poor and disadvantaged they work with to take control of their lives and solve their own problems. They take the lead from those they seek to help. Whether it is building primary schools in partnership with us at The Millione Foundation, championing women’s rights or working to establish food security in remote rural areas, ActionAid always work to empower the...

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Our fifth school is open!

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Our fifth school is open!

The Millione School at Gollu in the district of Bo was completed in August 2014. That was just when Ebola began to spread with a vengeance. Government efforts to stop the virus led to schools being closed and public gatherings banned. But with Ebola in check the school was officially opened in April this year. Today the kids are back. The new school caters for 354 children (233 girls & 121 boys) with hopes of taking 100 more in future. There are 9 teachers – 8 men and 1 woman. And after the disruption of Ebola there is a...

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Don’t judge a charity by its overheads

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Don’t judge a charity by its overheads

The Millione Foundation’s purpose is philanthropic. It exists to fund the building, equipping, and development of primary schools in Sierra Leone. Its objective is to give some of the world’s poorest children an education they would not otherwise have had. But it is not a charity. Its mission is “charitable” but its’ legal and tax status are as a limited company. Unlike most limited companies The Millione Foundation has no shareholders or owners. It is a company limited by guarantee with myself, Cliff and Mike as directors. We are charged with running the business to achieve its objectives. We...

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