STRATEGY – YOUTH INVESTMENT – COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP
PJ grew up in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone where from an early age he worked alongside his father, supporting him in the community development initiatives he was establishing, such as farms, schools and a home for orphans, street children and ex-child soldiers. At the age of 13 he was class teacher to over 60 children and was also part of the team that set up and managed some of the very first social enterprises at Lifeline Nehemiah Projects. At age 20 PJ moved to the UK where he graduated in Law from the London Metropolitan University. He completed LifeLine Church‘s Dolous International training, worked with young people as part of LifeLine Community Projects, and was Legal Researcher and Policy Advisor at Faith Action.
PJ is passionate about whole person and community development. Recognising that poverty is often the result of several factors and dealing with it requires a multifaceted approach in partnership with the communities. He is passionate about building relationships with communities and solving the problems leading to poverty together, thereby equipping the community to lift themselves out of poverty. PJ is convicted that our investment in young people, families, and communities will continue to form part of the building blocks of Sierra Leone post war and post Ebola, contributing to its growth and helping re-build the nation.
Involvement with LNI
PJ’s parents founded Lifeline Nehemiah Projects, and worked in partnership with John Singleton and the LifeLine Family to develop the projects and cater to the needs of the community. As such from the age of 6, PJ has been exposed to LifeLine Network, and grew up receiving many network members visiting Sierra Leone.
PJ leads the work in Sierra Leone providing strategic direction and divides his time between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. When PJ’s father, Richard Cole, passed away, PJ was asked to lead the work in Sierra Leone. In 2012, PJ accepted the role of Executive Director of Lifeline Nehemiah Projects. PJ is a 2014 Queens Young Leader’s Award winner, recognising his commitment to investing in young people, and mobilising a whole community Ebola Response.