There have been many successes but equally many difficulties, many challenges and many sadnesses. In 2009, we not only lost Alhassan but also 4 students (and we know of several ex-students too) to the attrocious medical provision. We are hoping for happier times in 2010.
These are some of our dreams and where our energies will be focused:
- A new teacher training programme is being piloted and at least 12 of our youngsters will be involved. This programme promises to provide opportunities for our ´graduates´ to develop their skills and therefore ability to better build the country but it should also have a significant impact in all the schools where teachers are engaged on the course. The quality of teaching and learning, in so many schools in Sierra Leone, is absolutely terrifyingly low.
- EducAid has new construction work on three out of four sites in 2010. The new primary school building in Maronka has already started. The new senior secondary building in Rolal will start in January. The new ICT building in Lumley, in Alhassan´s memory, will start as soon as the new store has been finished.
- Alongside the Girl Power Group, which seeks to help girls understand and realise their rights, responsibilities and educational potential, we hope to start a ´White Ribbon Campaign´group, which will encourage boys to use their strength for the defending of women and women´s rights, instead of going with the cultural flow and continuing the suppression of girls and women.
- Out of these two groups, we hope, too, to start a newsletter for young people about these gender equality issues. The suppression of women, particularly in education, is a massive issue for development here.
- ICT seems to be the most likely way forward for EducAid students to make an impact, on their own life situations but also on the country´s. We hope to move into an era where we have all students, from primary to secondary, using basic applications competently so we can move on to a stage where thinking is being developed and ICT becomes a tool for problem solving, creativity and enterprise.
- The health situation is where we feel most vulnerable. We hope to start looking for ways of accessing proper medical care for our students. If we can find ways of supporting medical education, even better. This is the real face of the day to day poverty in Sierra Leone.
We have many long term dreams and hopes too and truly want to work to extend the reach of our impact so that ripple by ripple the EducAid effect may change thinking, attitudes and skill levels in more and more young people and thus destroy poverty.
If you are interested in reading more about our work please go to http://www.educaid.org.uk/