The Centre for Development and Peace Education (cdpeace) is a Canadian / Sierra Leonean international organization working in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Primary areas of focus are community development, health, peace education and reintegration of former child soldiers.
From 1991 - 2002, Sierra Leone experienced one of the most violent conflicts in African history. Over fifty thousand people were brutally killed, half a million lived as refugees and two million were internally displaced. Over 10,000 children were kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers. Rural and urban infrastructure were destroyed. It is against this background that I began working in conjunction with cdpeace on multiple projects.
"Sherry has photographed and documented human condition, our programs, their impact and our people. Her visual documentation tells the story of our people, culture and communities that is difficult to put into words. Her images capture the resilience, hope and beauty of the people and also show the needs of a country destroyed by 11 years of war.
Sherry’s work has been invaluable in building our capacity and ability to advocate on behalf of others. She oversaw the procurement and shipping of educational / building / medical supplies into Sierra Leone and continues advising our Board of Directors. Her work has been significant in the development of our programming; fundraising and marketing. It has created great awareness about the people of Sierra Leone especially about the communities of Gbonkolenken and Paki-Masabon Chiefdoms.
During the war there was a brutal rebel attack against the village of Mathombo. The village was destroyed; the school set on fire while in session. Many people died. With Sherry's intervention, she created awareness in Canada about the tragic story of Mathombo. This provided the support required to build and furnish a new school for Mathombo. In April 2009, in Sherry's presence, the new school was officially opened and handed over to the Mathombo community and the local leaders. It's curriculum is built upon peace and this school has become a model for all of Sierra Leone.
The President of Sierra Leone has one of Sherry’s limited edition prints in his private collection, “Makeni Window”. It represents to us the struggle of our country, our people and our hope for humanity. We have been deeply affected, touched and captivated by Sherry’s work and inspiring photography."
— Dr. Thomas Turay PHD and Mary Turay, Co-Founders cdpeace