1994 - 2001

The Formation of NewLife Project Inc.


The Formation of NewLife Project Inc.

One evening at the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, three women – Sonia (late), Brenda and Adiatu - reached out in love to young at-risk ladies in Government Wharf, Sierra Leone. From this outreach, six women decided to change their lives for the better. Some of them are still in our lives up to this day.

Inspired by this experience, Brenda created NewLife Project Inc. with the vision of building up women and girls through effective support systems.

We honour the memories of the late Sonia Hu (née Bangura) who passed away in November 2023.  She was a loving soul who cared for women, especially the education of girls. Sonia left behind a husband and two children. May her gentle soul continue to rest in peace. Her seed of love will never be forgotten.

2001 - 2003

Expansion and Diversification

NewLife Project Inc. experienced a new dimension of glory. Young women from the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Sierra Leone and other vulnerable women in the surrounding community joined NewLife Project Inc. for vocational training. Together, we organized a clothing drive and provided a free medical assistance program which addressed the health needs of hundreds of women, men and children in the Project and surrounding impoverished communities. This was possible through the generous donation of the Word of Hope Ministries and pharmaceuticals in the USA. During this time, we also organized various exhibition programs to display the talents of our students and created a job placement program and microfinancing business which was added to our curriculum.


2003 - 2006

Certification, Expansion, and Rehabilitation Efforts

We standardized NewLife's education syllabus with the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone for program certification. In addition, we collaborated with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and the Nigerian embassy to combat the trafficking of women and HIV/AIDS in communities like Brocodie, and Ajamé. One of our key initiatives included the establishment of NewLife Project Côte d’Ivoire as a rehabilitation centre as a place where women who were trafficked could come to heal and rehabilitate, which included engagement in vocational training in sewing, crafts, tie and dye, and assisting women in establishing home-based businesses post-rehabilitation. Finally, we initiated the provision of medical assistance in Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire for malaria and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Through these initiatives, we assisted hundreds of trafficked women.

2006 - 2009

Collaboration, Recognition, and Further Outreach

In collaboration with organizations like Geneva Global Inc., NewLife Project Inc. expanded its outreach and training programs to more communities, churches, and local organizations. We acquired the USA 501 (C) 3 Not-for-Profit Organization registration. The Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone granted NewLife’s education licence and official certification for our graduates. NewLife Project Inc. was also registered with the Government of territorial affairs as a non-governmental organisation in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. We involved the Ministry of Health in our HIV/AIDS and \STDS awareness campaigns in various parts of Abidjan.


2009 – 2013

 Transformation and Employment Opportunities

 With our vocational training certificates, NewLife students acquired jobs in renowned companies and establishments in Sierra Leone. Most of our ladies’ lives were transformed through this institute.  The project also opened a center in Azopé, Côte d’Ivoire where we continued to train women in various subjects such Catering and Tie and dye and Craft. Women acquired micro-financing for their business and the Project opened bank accounts in a renowned Cooperative Bank.

NewLife students, armed with our vocational training certificates, secured jobs in renowned companies in Sierra Leone, which transformed their lives. NewLife Project also opened a centre in Azopé, Côte d’Ivoire, offering training in Catering, Tie and Dye, and Craft. Women acquired micro-financing for their business and the Project opened bank accounts in a renowned Cooperative Bank.

                 2014 – 2016

International Expansion and Partnerships

NewLife Project expanded to Canada where we obtained our Non-Profit status. We acknowledge Lorna Harve, a former employee of the Youth Service Bureau, for her inspiration and encouragement in establishing the NewLife Project in Canada. Equipped with the goal to inspire, educate and empower women and children, we organized various exhibitions in the city of Gatineau and Ottawa on Cultural Day celebrations, Salon de Femme during the Women’s Day celebration, and Black History Month.

Although the Sierra Leone Institute closed due to the Ebola virus, NewLife continued to sponsor tutoring classes for students during the Ebola epidemic to help them continue with their education through other organizations such as Scripture Union. The Azope Rehabilitation Centre in Côte d’Ivoire also closed due to vandalization, but we were able to continue making an impact by partnering with NGO Women with a Mission in Development to sponsor women and students to pursue their education. We provided computer training classes to economically disadvantaged women in Abidjan. In February, we shipped donated clothing and items to Abidjan in collaboration with the Network of Black Business and Professional Women during their Dress for Access Program. We are grateful for the support of Phoenix Business Exchange for all their support with fundraiser ventures for those in need in Sierra Leone, Ghana etc.



Continued Growth and Community Engagement

NewLife continued to grow in Canada during this time. We expanded our international relief program by sending aid barrels to assist victims of the mudslide in Sierra Leone from Canada. This was followed by fundraiser events and Backpack and School Supplies Drive in the Ottawa community to sponsor education in Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana.  Thanks to Cultural Arts Studio for making their space available for our fundraiser events. Other events included exhibitions at renowned centres like EY Centre and Barbecue (Taste of Africa) to raise funds for our shipping project and assist Restoring Hope Shelter in acquiring more beds. NewLife organized several forums through the NewLife Women’s Forum which was sponsored by the Government of Ontario to give women a space to inspire, educate and empower each other. Various workshops from entrepreneurs and professionals were a good source of empowerment for women who are planning to take a bold step towards being self-employed. NewLife acquired its office in Dec 2018 at 5-2000 Thurston Drive, Ottawa ON K1G 4K7. This location is used as the head office, boutique for NewLife Designs, and a space for project activities for the Women’s World Forums, Afro-Canadian Craft and Tutoring classes.

 2019 – 2020 

Educational Initiatives and COVID-19 Response

We continued to establish our exhibitions in various parts of Ottawa. We also developed our marketing and sales department through various platforms to raise funds and support the various activities of NewLife. We developed NewLife Designs (Fashion and Craft) as a channel for education about the Black culture and its values through crafts and fashion. Determined to see women rise to a place of accomplishment, we worked with women who wanted to establish their own businesses as Entrepreneurs. In collaboration with established female entrepreneurs, we served as a link for new female entrepreneurs to connect with relevant mentors. Since 2018, the Afro-Canadian craft classes have been developing the skills, self-esteem and confidence of kids and teens in the community. In collaboration with the Youth Service Bureau and Causeway, Youth Service Bureau and the Ecole Alternative of the Public-School Board of Ottawa, NewLife has been providing training and employment for youth and adults. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved our French tutoring online and offered both paid and free classes. NewLife Designs produced thousands of masks (printed with company logo or African print fabric) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19


2021 – 2023

Pandemic Support and Further Empowerment Initiatives

We strengthened lives of women and children who have been affected by the pandemic through our services.  We obtained the financial support from Employment and Social Development, Canada to establish a vocational training (fashion and design) to assist women and youth to develop their skills and establish a home-base business. NewLife has been giving sewing lessons to over 120 women and children. We have also assisted over 80 students and adults with French classes. We launched a campaign to help student from low-income family develop their knowledge of French language. Our kids/youth camps have developed creative skills in the young generation in the community. We recently established our youth empowerment program with the aim to nurturing the potential of young individuals aged 15-21 through a transformative mentorship program. Our mission is to inspire, guide, and equip them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to thrive personally and professionally. NewLife continues to participate in various exhibitions, such as the Black Business Expo and organize fashion shows around the city to display the richness of the Black culture and educate the community on the importance of diversity. We support other entrepreneurs with boutique space for their products. In collaboration with Afro Caribbean Business Network NewLife is helping small business and organization through the ‘ACBN Unlocking Capital Info Session to Start and Grow Your Business’ in Ottawa. We also represent Empower4x Toronto on a virtual office partnership. We are grateful for our sponsors who have sponsored our French session such as African Canadian Association of Ottawa, Tyler Shaver of WFG, UPPA KUTZ barber shop and It’s Time Company.

With the help of a registered social worker, we organized counseling sessions for women and youth to address crucial issues facing young and their mental health.

We continue to work with interns (COOP) from different schools and universities including Adler University, Centennial, Alternative Public High School and Carlton University. We are engaged as a placement partner for Institute of African Studies, Carlton University, Ottawa, (Queen Elizabeth Scholars - Advanced Scholars West Africa Program) under the supervision of Dr.Nduka Otiono, Director and Associate Professor of the Institute.

Due to the diligence and dedication of Brenda Williams (Founder and Executive Director) and her team, she has received several awards over the past nine year namely: in 2020 she was one of Honorees of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women, Leadership Award from the Black History Ottawa in 2021, RBC Women of Influence Nominee in 2022, and African Canadian Association of Ottawa Community Award in 2018.


10 Years of Success and Looking Forward

Celebrating 10 Years of existence in Canada and looking forward to a great year full of success, increase, and the opportunity to transform more lives.

Thank you for being part of our journey.  Your contribution to our mission is vital to our existence. We appreciate you dearly.


Team NewLife