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J.T. Reffell School is a 75-year old institution in Freetown, Sierra Leone. JTR provides education to scores of underprivileged students and promotes excellence both in and outside of the classroom. The school has continued to raise the bar for its students and staff. The school has operated through good and bad times and now needs your support to expand, reach out to alumni, and develop the future. Tax ID 74-3110269


We have operated as an independent school and need your help to keep going.

Reffell School was founded in 1940 for indigent children in Freetown, Sierra Leone by Bassa Tribal Chief James Thomas Reffell. The school opened its doors to twenty seven boys and twelve girls between the ages of seven and twelve. Currently, enrollment is approximately 600 students.  For many years Chief Reffell's wife, Phebean, led and operated the school as head teacher and proprietress. After many years of leadership, she handed the work over to daughters and currrent proprietresses, Daisy and Pearl Reffell, in 1986. 

In the 1990s, the brutal war for blood diamonds brought the school system to the brink of financial ruin and annihilation.  Now that there is peace in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the J.T. Reffell Memorial School is promoting  a fundraising drive to complete the construction of a high school to meet the educational needs of children of this war torn country and implement an international student exchange program.

With the generosity and support of family and friends, we have kept the school going through the second generation of school leadership. However, we need to broaden our efforts and settle on a plan for longevity and sustainability. The last year has been especially trying because of the health crisis, travel restrictions and loss of international presence by volunteers. In addition, we are facing reduced national and regional resources.

We seek donations of all kinds to help with the completion and use of the new school building.  The school needs: reading books, chairs, tables, bookshelves, blackboards, chalk, paper, binders, computers, calculators and similar types of useful supplies for elementary to middle school age students.  We aspire to add the finishing touches to the high school and the main school.  You may contact: 

Wachuku Foundation for Humanitarian Aid (WFHA) is located in Rochester, New York.