Positive Action in Sierra Leone and Canada

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Greetings! I would like to share some stories from my trip to Sierra Leone in November 2007 and what is happening now.

One of the things that keeps motivating me about the Sowing a Seed project is a memory of when I attended a meeting at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls between school children, their parents and the school management. The meeting was about catering to the needs of the Senior Secondary school girls. During that meeting, the school management outlined all the things that the school girls needed to have - their tuition fees, books, school uniforms, badge, necktie, hat etc. If you don’t have these things, they expel you from school. That was a huge challenge for the parents to be able to afford to get all these things in order to continue to send their children to school. Selling uniforms and some of these things is part of the way that schools make money to fund the school because they don’t get enough money from the government to pay teachers and keep the school running. My fear is that young girls are vulnerable universally, especially in Sierra Leone. If girls aren’t going to school, there is a tendency for them to be pressured to be married or become teenage mothers when they are too young. They don’t have a sense of choice. So because of this, what motivates me is to support these girls to go to school. With education, their lives will improve because they will have more choices for their future. In Sierra Leone, people with an education have somewhere to start.

Presently in Freetown, the Sowing a Seed project is in full swing. Volunteers have identified needy students and students with lots of potential, selected by teachers, head teachers and community members. Volunteers are linking with educational institutions to pay fees and gather receipts. The volunteers are so willing to be part of this project, which makes me feel very good for what we are doing. We have also provided some of the volunteers with the opportunity to continue their education in Sierra Leone; they are also gaining valuable experience in doing the work of the Sowing a Seed project. They have lots of energy and passion to work with us for the development of Sierra Leone. The parents of beneficiaries in Sierra Leone are so excited. Often when I was visiting in November, me or the volunteers would be walking down the street and would stopped by people whose children have benefited and were so eager to express a strong appreciation of what Sowing a Seed is doing for them and their kids. The feeling is so strong that it keeps us strong as volunteers and gives us encouragement to continue the work.

Here are some details of who Sowing a Seed is supporting since January:

* Ninety primary and secondary school children have been supported through a mixture of tuition, books and uniforms.

*Five classrooms of primary school have been provided with text books and reading materials - this will support over 300 children.

*Nine young adults have been supported to continue their education through post-secondary schooling - nursing, tailoring, electrical installation and
computer studies. This will help these young adults to gain skills and experience so that they can support their own families in the future. 

A huge thank-you to all the volunteers in Canada and Sierra Leone, to everyone who donated and to the school kids who made Sowing a Seed a landmark in the lives of people in Sierra Leone.

- Ibrahim Bureh Kamara (Benji)


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