Monday, December 31, 2012

Much more than a one man / woman achievement

EducAid is now a really big family.  Between the Trustees, Advisory Board, donors and supporters in the UK and all the staff and students in Sierra Leone, we are talking about a few thousand individuals who together make up EducAid and achieve its successes.
The MBE is nice to receive, although of course its Empire origins are somewhat uncomfortable to say the least! but the glory is certainly not due to one person.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me, personally, during the ups and downs of the last 13 years as well as all of who you contribute so generously with your time, money and love to make available the all powerful gift of education to our young people in Sierra Leone.
We passionately believe in the power of education to change lives and destroy poverty.  The examples within the EducAid family are numerous.  May we all continue to fight for the right to thinking education in whichever way we are able to.
Today would have been our wedding anniversary. Maybe instead of that particular celebration we, that knew and loved Alhassan,  can recommit again, in his name too, to work for the education that he was so proud to be helping bring to his fellow Sierra Leoneans.
May 2013 see many more coming in to school and learning that they can learn and that education with all its trials and tribulations brings great joy and empowerment.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Miriam Mason-Sesay awarded MBE

PRESS RELEASE December 29, 2012, Freetown 

Miriam Mason-Sesay, Country Director EducAid Sierra Leone, awarded an MBE in Her Majesty’s  2013  New  Year’s  Honours List for her outstanding contribution to education and charitable work in Sierra Leone 



EducAid Sierra Leone, a UK registered charity, has been providing high quality education to some of the poorest children in Sierra Leone since 1994. Miriam Mason-Sesay has lived in-country since 2000, initially visiting in 1998 to work with the Guinea-based refugees fleeing the horrific civil war. 

Originally from Banbury in Oxfordshire where her parents still live, Miriam was educated at Blessed George Napier secondary school and then attended Goldsmiths College, London to read French. Subsequently she trained as a teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge. 

Prior to moving to Sierra Leone, Miriam taught in the UK, including the Salesian college in Battersea, London and St Edmunds College, Ware, Herts primarily focusing on modern languages. 

Since  moving  to  Sierra  Leone,  EducAid,  under  Miriam’s  close  direction,  has  established  a  network  of schools  which  are  successfully challenging the national culture of under-performance. Restricting intake to the very poorest and using a robust, success-focused curriculum, EducAid has achieved the best exam results in the country year after year. 

EducAid Chairman, Dr James Boardman, said that he was delighted for Miriam. 

“She  deserves  the  recognition  for  her  unique  and  selfless  contribution.  She  has  both  delivered  EducAid’s  programme   and personally raised the bulk of the necessary funds to do so. The personal cost to Miriam has been significant: it is terrific  to  see  public  acknowledgement  of  her  work”. 

EducAid students were affected by the war in so many ways: a significant number live permanently in EducAid facilities for want of dependable family. Many are rejected by, or have no family to look after them. EducAid provides daily food, education and medication through their academic life at a cost of approximately £180 per student per year. 

EducAid is predominantly funded from private resources in England: individual philanthropists, schools and churches provide  EducAid’s  ongoing  funding  base.    In  addition  EducAid  has,  when  requested,  provided 
services  through  funding   from a range of international bilateral donors – including  the  UK’s  Department for International Development. 

Further information on EducAid’s work can be found at www.educaid.org.uk or contact Dr James Boardman (james@educaid.org.uk) 

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/new-year-honours-2013



If you want to make a donation please go to www.educaid.org.uk and click on the mydonate button. Remember it costs £15 per month to educate and feed a child, that is a pizza and a drink in the UK. The best Christmas present you could give us is to sign up for a direct debit of £15 per month.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people, please go to 

http://www.educaid.org.uk/ and http://www.educaidsierrleone.blogspot.com

You can keep up with the currrent news and activities at the EducAid Face Book website:
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/48572325218/
EducAid Sierra Leone is a charity helping to improve education in Sierra Leone. Registered charity no. 1048012

Friday, December 28, 2012

A taste of things to come - unbelievable fee hikes

An on-going problem for EducAid is how to help our youngsters achieve their potential when they finish school.  EducAid runs schools not universities but clearly, to leave these bright young things at this point misses an amazing opportunity to have a greater impact on the country and to enable them to achieve all they are capable of.
Sometimes we get the offer of sponsorship from friends and visitors for some of our youngsters.  We are very excited, for example, that 16 will start a distance (during the holidays!) teacher training course.  We have a small number who have also got sponsorship to go to university to study engineering, medicine, accounting etc.
Just before the elections fees were fixed.  Now, with the elections behind them, in most of the colleges the fees have been doubled.  This is like a step back in time: an issue quoted as being the straw that broke the camels back was when President Momoh told the people in the early 90s that education was a privilege and not a right.  This led to student protests that were eventually hijacked and militarised and the war began.
A sudden increases in the fees sends a clear message.  Education is not for everyone.  It has to be said that this is not a new message from government here but it is discouraging to see such blatant disregard for equality.
Young people who are not invested in, will become a burden to society.
In the last couple of weeks, we have had 5 of our students affected by the fee rises.  For some, they are fortunate and their sponsors have been able to send the additional funds.  For others, this is not the case.
e.g. Sumaila's mother paid for his education until he got to the end of Junior Secondary School but then she died so that was the end of school for him until he found EducAid.  Sumaila started at EducAid and quickly realised that with a system like ours he could really develop his thinking and learn well.  He got excellent results in the public exams: EducAid came 2nd in the country and Sumaila came top in EducAid.  He applied for medicine and has been awarded a place and a sponsor was found but with the sudden rise in fees, it looks as if he will not be able to take up his place.  We are short by approximately £1200 per year.  Sierra Leone is crying out for doctors with commitment to their country and willing to serve with integrity.  How will we ever get them if this is how the potential doctors are treated?

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jimiyke once again

Jimiyke enjoying his food during his UK visit
Many of EducAid's long term supporters will remember Abu Bakarr Koroma (alias Jimiyke).  Jimiyke was kidnapped and taken to fight in the war as a child.  Although so many other youngsters in a similar position fail to emerge from the margins of society, Jimiyke got himself into the EducAid school in Rolal and made a success of his education.  He was extraordinarily determined.  In Sierra Leone, generally Arts students do the Arts and Science students do the Sciences, full stop!  Jimiyke was an Arts student who beat all the Science students in maths.  He never wasted an opportunity.  Just before his senior public exams, he nearly died of TB which was then treated but incompletely, due to the hospital's incompetence.  A year later, he lost the use of his legs because he got a TB spinal abscess because the half treated TB recurred.  Last year he had a son and after a period of ICT training in the UK and Sierra Leone he took an opportunity to start working in telecoms in Ghana.  A few days ago, he started having seizures, his speech was slurring, he was unable to eat and he was struggling to walk again.  Thanks to the intervention of some very kind friends, he is now in hospital in Accra and tests are being done to see exactly what the problem is and he is starting to improve with antibiotics.

He is a courageous young man who has been through an awful lot already.  With support he will surely come through again but this will not be thanks to the Sierra Leonean health system.  TB drugs are free in Sierra Leone and yet fully trained and experienced doctors twice gave him an incomplete course of treatment.  Anyone needing health care in Sierra Leone is really in trouble.  Through the kind offices of a Ghanaian friend who is helping him navigate the Ghanaian system, he has managed to get some treatment but as a foreigner he is in a very vulnerable position still.

We need doctors.  We need compassionate, honest and accountable doctors.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleone.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

EducAid Bicycle Project 2012




This Saturday saw 20 students and teachers attending the village bicycle project workshop here in Rolal at the teacher training centre.  Its been really great working in partnership with the Village Bicycle Project which aims to
  • Bring discounted bikes to regions where bikes have been infrequently used
  • Offer bicycle riding and repair workshops to communities and people in need
  • Provide specialized bike tools and parts to keep bikes rolling
  • Address the special needs of African women and girls
Check out their website for more information www.villagebicycleproject.org


Several of our students walk 4 to 6 hours to get to school each day and having their own bicycle will cut the travelling time by half, so making more time for studying instead!

For teachers it means a cheap way to travel, when they need to for their work and to enable them to do the much needed outreach work in the community and communicate with parents and carers in the surrounding villages.


Both students and teachers were taught simple maintenance and repair skills on their own bicycle and the project also provided a repair kit for the site. Young women and men learning new life changing skills and enjoying it too!!


We had 9 girls on the workshop and one girl said she wished she had learned to ride a bike early on in life as she had been so nervous at first.  She is now riding with confidence but says she will be on the alert for all the pot holes, of which there are many in Port Loko.


We also had one student who joined the workshop with his own bicycle which he thought was beyond repair and Joe and Jak showed him how to repair and transform it, so he is one very happy lad now.

It is good to blow the EducAid trumpet now and then...............Jak the trainer was very impressed with EducAid students and said "we finished the programme early as the EducAid students are very quick to learn and take responsibility for their own learning, it's fantastic really"


Thanks Jak and Joe and we are looking forward to next week when 20 more students, staff and community members from Maronka learn new skills and receive their bicycles.


Remember if you haven't sponsored us already, we rode over 240 miles from Hoek Van Holland to Brussels, how about that!! Its not too late you can sponsor the EducAid bike ride by clicking on this link

http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/annbeatty1


If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people, please go to 

http://www.educaid.org.uk/ and http://www.educaidsierrleone.blogspot.com 
and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com



You can keep up with the currrent news and activities at the EducAid Face Book website:


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alieu Moinina is off as well....

And another one.....

Alieu Moinina has just been informed that he too is due to be a recipient of a Moroccan scholarship.

Alieu has been with EducAid for his senior secondary education and despite some considerable health issues, he performed excellently in the public exams.

It is great to know that Alpha and Alieu will have each other to support them through the ups and downs of learning a new language, coping with a new culture and pursuing their studies.

The list of EducAid students on international scholarships now goes to 6.

Congratulations to Alieu and we wish him every success in his new adventure.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

Alpha is off to Morocco

Alpha Bangura (generally known as Archimedes!) has been awarded a scholarship to go to Morocco to study engineering after an initial year of French.

Alpha comes from a small and very poor village near the Magbeni school and did his entire secondary schooling with EducAid.  He and his brothers are the first in the family to ever complete their secondary education although his father is a great enthusiast and has supported their pursuit of learning throughout.

Alpha finished his secondary schooling last year and got exceptional results.  He has been serving as a junior staff in the Magbeni school where he did a great job of preparing the science students for their junior secondary public exams.  A few months ago, he applied through the Ministry of Education for a scholarship opportunity to go to Morocco and after jumping through lots of hoops and making his way through forests of red tape, he has just been told that he was successful.

Alpha joins a small but growing number of EducAid students who on pure merit have gained this exciting opportunity.  Alpha is the fifth EducAid student to gain an international scholarship.  We wish him every success in this new adventure and we know he will continue to make us proud as he goes.

Congratulations Alpha and Good Luck!

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pat Horn's assessment....



Retired UK teachers, Pat Horn and John Young just got back from a three week visit to EducAid.  They spent most of a week each in three sites and lived the whole experience to the full.  

I am sure they will be making the most of their home comforts now after weeks of grass mattresses on the floor, endless spice and rice and no running water apart from the first two days.

This is what Pat had to say about his trip. ......


I have just returned from a three week visiting the EducAid Schools in Sierra Leone.   Whilst there I met Miriam and through her good offices I was able to see, briefly in two instances, all five EducAid Schools.   I was able to stay in Lumley School in Freetown for a couple of nights and was able to call in and see the Rogere School on my way up-country to the other schools.   I was able to stay for a few days at the Magbeni School, the Rolal School and the Maronka School and see, and share in, the work of pupils/students and teachers at each of them.

I found :-

  • clear evidence that Sierra Leone was a country in great need of support and help
  • that if Sierra Leone is the eighth poorest country in the world, the poorer ones must be in really dire straits
  • the country is working to reconstruct and establish an infrastructure after ten years of a brutal, cruel and bloody civil war 
    • the country has just completed (November, 2012) the third general election since the civil war ended some ten years ago ; the campaign was peaceful and we can only hope the result is accepted by all parties
  • the pupils/students were
    • aged from five years to students in their twenties - one student had travelled from Liberia
    • very keen to learn, determined, resourceful, resilient, co-operative, 
    • very hardworking, -  in their academic work and in caring for their environment and each other,
    • very kind and generous to visitors and each other  - they have nothing, but will willingly share it with you,
    • always demonstrating their religious faith 
      • mornings start with prayers at 6.30 am 
    • immensely proud of EducAid, - as they should be !
    • very appreciative of 
      • the work of EducAid
      • the support EducAid receives from countries such as England
    • ambitious for themselves and Sierra Leone,
      • it is well worth remembering that the fine qualities of pupils/students are those promoted so effectively by EducAid 
      • the qualities that the pupils/students take away from EducAid are developed by Educaid rather than the qualities they bring to EducAid - the EducAid pupils/students, like children everywhere, do not arrive with such attitudes and qualities!   
      • the qualities demonstrated by the pupils/students are the result of a great deal of hard work by a great many adults and the older students.
School starts with the pupils/students lining up and singing hymns, and prayers led by pupils/students, followed by The National Anthem and The Oath of Allegiance to Sierra Leone;  all sung and said with an obvious and transparent sincerity

  • the teachers and adult helpers were
    • very committed to their work 
    • very hard working in difficult circumstances and with very limited resources and materials
      • teaching areas are far from ideal
      • furniture is far from ideal 
      • text books and reading materials are in short supply
        • there is a desperate need for materials to teach phonics to enhance literacy as a threshold skill to enable pupils/students to access the subjects of the Sierra Leonean curriculum
    • very caring for all the children in their care

  • EducAid to be
    • very successful whilst working in very difficult circumstances
    • providing education that is far superior to that provided by the state schools, although such schools charge fees that many families cannot meet
    • the only school providing 
      • free education for children - materials and teaching
      • free care to support the education for children
    • very successful in enabling pupils/students to achieve success in National Examinations
      • The National Primary School Certificate of Education
      • The Basic Education School Examination
      • The West African Secondary School Certificate Education
        • EducAid frequently comes top in the list of schools in these Public Examination 
    • in desperate need of additional resources in order to extend their work.

In conclusion I am able to confirm to you and all the generous donors from Christ Church Parbold that 

  • every penny donated goes directly to support the work of EducAid in Sierra Leone 
  • there are no paid employees except those teachers paid in Sierra Leone 
  • EducAid does a fantastic job in providing improved life chances for all the pupils/students attending their Schools
  • EducAid makes no charge to any pupil/student for teaching, accommodation, food, books or clothes
  • EducAid is the most worthy cause I have experienced
  • EducAid is very worthy of continued support

My prime reason for visiting EducAid was to inform myself of the situation there in order that I may be able to inform others here in the United Kingdom of the need for support.   This being so I am looking for uncritical but generous groups that would be willing to hear my personal view of EducAid and any contacts would be welcomed ! I maintained a diary of my visit, and was able to take videos and photographs of life in EducAid and hope to work out how to use these to enable people here to appreciate some elements of life in EducAid, Sierra Leone.    In addition I recorded, in written form the stories from some EducAid students, and I intend to produce these in a booklet for purchase, at a nominal cost (although more generous donations would be appreciated!) as and when I am able to speak to groups.     

Very Best Wishes,

Pat

Patrick Horn

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Monday, November 19, 2012

Difficult news


With great regret, EducAid has excluded a group of students from its school at Rogbere after discovering that they cheated in last summer’s public exams. This has been a very difficult and distressing time for our students, staff and trustees, as it marks the first time that any cheating has been discovered in EducAid’s 12 years of running schools in Sierra Leone. Miriam Mason Sesay, our Country Director, and our trustees have acted quickly and decisively, within a few days of the initial allegations being brought to our attention, to find out the truth and to ensure that the good reputation of our schools and our charity is maintained.
We have agreed with the students, their parents and the community that those who demonstrate their will to put this right will undertake community service around the school that they will assign themselves.  After one term, there will be a review and decisions taken as to who will be granted a place in the Senior Secondary School.  Those who are not willing to make amends will be permanently excluded.
We would like to stress that this misbehaviour on the part of the students in no way reflects on the teaching staff who prepared them for the exam.  These teachers worked with total commitment, giving up their holidays and weekends to ensure that the first exam group sitting from Rogbere were fit for purpose.  They could not have been more distressed by their students' choice.
We have achieved a great deal in all our schools and our results remain among the highest in the country. We continue to work among the most underprivileged students. We think it is essential to take a zero-tolerance attitude towards cheating. The vast majority of our students are a great credit to us, their families and teachers. We cannot afford to invest our donors’ money in students who are not prepared to invest time, energy and effort in achieving results based solely on their own endeavours. We believe it is only through honesty and hard work that our students will make their way in the world successfully.
As an organisation we are committed to working with examiners, students and staff to ensure that this does not happen again.


Miriam Mason Sesay, Country Director
James Boardman, Chairman
Swithun Mason, Treasurer
Mark Wallace, Trustee

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Matt's biology materials


Matt's biology booklets in action - the kids love them
Matthew Herridge, Biochemistry graduate, volunteered with EducAid last year in the spring term with his friend Harry.  He was village doctor, class 4 teacher and Biology tutor.  On his return to the UK, he continued his work on the Biology materials rewrite.  With retired British teacher, Ken Hall, they have turned the kids' experience of biology upside down.  There has been a historic problem with Biology here because the kids just don't believe it is a subject people can pass.  They have this year proved that this is not the case and the kids have done excellently in the WASSCE and Matthew has carried on his support, even badgering his grandparents into funding the printing of his new Biology booklets.
The kids love them and are really confident now that biology is doable!

Thank you Matthew.  Thank you Matthew's grandparents!

We are trying to book him for chemistry in the summer when he finishes his Chemistry PGCE : )

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

EducAid bike ride 2012

Quick munch while resting on the ferry 


Not quite sure what Alex did to deserve that!

One excited small person
having finished his 17 miles on the last day
A fair bit of pain and some very sore muscles later, the EducAid team were very pleased to say that they did it!!!!
240 miles in 3 days, going from Hoek van Holland via Amsterdam to Brussels was indeed quite a feat but the team spirit, plentiful supplies of flapjack and determination of one and all meant everyone completed in time to enjoy beers in the sun before hopping on the Eurotunnel!
The total for the fundraising is still coming in but we are well over the £10,000 mark with ten people cycling so thank you all who cycled and thank you all who sponsored.  Greatly appreciated and coming in at a time when every penny is invaluable.  With the global financial situation deteriorating on the one hand and EducAid's excellent results on the other has come ever increasing pressure from needy youth.  The schools are full to overflowing.

If you meant to donate and have not got round to it, it is not late yet!  You can still follow the link and make your contribution....  Thank you in advance.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rogbere - new team

The Rogbere school has a new leader and he is really getting into his step.

Raymond Koker has worked with EducAid for over six years as part of the Magbeni team.  The combination of the training AA Kamara has given him and a natural enthusiasm and commitment to his work are bringing wonderful benefits to the Rogbere School.

Koker took over the Rogbere site in September and had quickly sorted out all manner of niggles that had been drifting on.  He has a great way with him and staff and students are quick to cooperate.

This weekend, when we went to visit, he was very pleased to be able to show us the new farm they have started planting up: so far the peppers and potato vines are taking precedence.

Pepper plantation 
Koker - the smile is invisible in the shadows but it is always there!

The Rogbere staff team (8 out of 12 are EducAid past pupils)
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stockport Grammar School support continues for EducAid


Sixth Former swims Windermere in preparation for English Channel challenge

Rachel Lord competing in Great North Swim
Sixth Form pupil Rachel Lord competed in the Great North Swim and raised £200 for school charity EducAid recently, and has already set her sights on another challenge – the English Channel.
Rachel managed to swim the mile on Lake Windermere in just 32 minutes – a result of her rigorous training schedule of 6 sessions a week, 2 of which are outdoor.
The talented swimmer holds Cheshire records in front crawl and has loved swimming since she was 7 years old, when her skill in the sport was quickly spotted.
Rachel plans to swim the Channel next summer and is hoping to raise as much money as possible for EducAid – a charity which has long-term links with Stockport Grammar and helps to provide free secondary schools in Sierra Leone.
Keep an eye on the school website nearer the time for details on how to sponsor Rachel’s next swim.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people in Sierra Leone, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls@blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Debate Training

Lumley staff on debate skills training
Staff from both Senior Secondary Schools (Lumley and Rolal) are continuing to upgrade the quality of their teaching.  They spent the whole of last weekend doing critical thinking and debating skills training.  Research has indicated that improved debate skills have a significant impact on young people's thinking and learning.  We don't want to miss out on any of that so all the staff are on the case!

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls@blogspot.com


Community Service


One of the activities that is unique in Sierra Leone to EducAid's schools is the Community Service.  All secondary students undertake a two week period of community service each year.  They go into schools and hospitals around their area and often serve too in our own primary school in Maronka.
It is an opportunity for our young people to enjoy the experience of giving.  It can be hard work being on the receiving end of charity all the time!  The chance to put back and help others is dignifying and rewarding.  It was wonderful the other day, therefore,  to receive this letter from a primary school where our students help out.  
Well done to all the young people who have been part of helping these little ones achieve this success.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans,  please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls@blogspot.com


Evening study had to be abandoned : )

As the EducAid public exam results started coming in, the kids could not contain themselves.  I was summonsed to get myself up to the Lumley school as quickly as I could from a meeting and was mobbed on arrival!
Sadly, it would seem that across other schools the results have been disappointing once again but not in EducAid.  We have not had all of them in yet but all the results that have arrived so far are excellent.
Students celebrating their excellent exam results.
e.g. Ibrahim Bangura has finished his secondary schooling 2 years early and has all the requirements for medical school.  Mabinty Sudan (member of the first exam class to sit under the new Senior Secondary section in Rolal) having done things a bit upside down and back to front along the way, got herself on track and has an excellent 6 'goods' and 3 credits!  etc etc
We look forward to seeing the rest and wish all our graduates well as they make their way forward.
The sort of youngsters that EducAid is working with are so often at the bottom of the pile and working against such difficult circumstances that they can at times forget what they are really capable of.  Today is a day for great jubilation and boosts everyone's  confidence that all the unusual approaches to education that we use are worth it!  They say it all the time: train hard to fight easy!  The staff and students have worked incredibly hard to achieve these results and now fully deserve to celebrate.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls@blogspot.com

Friday, September 14, 2012

EducAid - Harvard University partnership






A few months ago, EducAid was approached by Harvard University’s Katrina Hann and her team.  They wanted to see if we would partner with them in a significant study on clinical psychology interventions with young people affected by trauma.  Teresa Betancourt, who leads the team is a world-renowned psychologist and researcher and we are excited to be working with her.
The Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI) is a ten-week programme of weekly sessions with groups of young people who are taught strategies for setting meaningful goals and targets for themselves and self-management techniques for achieving them.  At the end of this intervention, the young people (104 of them + 104 who have not received the intervention as a control group) will join EducAid. The idea is to compare success rates at sticking meaningfully with their choice to get back into education after a period out of school.
We have greatly enjoyed working with the team although the EducAid staff are thirsty for more information and training themselves but that would skew the research findings so we can’t be allowed access too early.  When it gets to the role out phase next year, we will be allowed into the secret of all the techniques the young people are being taught and it may be possible to make some form of it available to all our youngsters.
The YRI team seem to like working with EducAid too – our staff are enthusiastic, systems flexible and aims more than compatible with theirs.
The first groups of youngsters will join us for their orientation in a couple of weeks.  Watch this space as the story evolves. 

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thanks and appreciation



Abdul Noah Mansaray was the youngest ever EducAid student to finish his secondary studies when 4 years ago he sat his West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).   Emile Carr, longstanding friend of EducAid, has sponsored Abdul Noah through his tertiary studies and is enthusiastic about his progress.  It is great to see how wonderfully Abdul Noah is using the opportunity he has been given.   Today he sent me the following email:


Hi Miriam,    
                           
I just want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all the great things that you have done in my life. I have taken my final exams at the university. Based on my grade point I will be coming out with a first class degree in Accounting  and Finance. Furthermore, our Head of Department has recommended that I should be taken as an intern at SLRTA and hopefully I will be recruited in the internal audit department. I spoke with Mr. Emile Carr and he was pleased with the information. Once again thank you for bringing my dreams alive. May God reward you abundantly.  

With best regards.

Abdul Noah.

This goes with a massive thank you to the whole EducAid family who make it possible for these young people to break out of poverty and take control of their lives.  Thank you all!

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ann Beatty, the torch bearer

Ann conducting family literacy classes in Maronka.
Ann Beatty, long term supporter and volunteer with EducAid is helping ensure we participate in the Olympic fever at least a little bit.
Nominated for her generous work with EducAid and in particular for setting up the Girls' Safe House in Maronka, instead of pursuing her original plan of swanning off to Latin America to sip cocktails on a beach somewhere (who could possibly have chosen that over the opportunity to work for love in service free Maronka!), Ann is a little nervous about her run tomorrow.
We want to add our voices to the many who will be cheering her on at 11:53 a.m. as she runs through West London and wish her all the very very best and at the same time thank her for all her love, generosity and hard work on our behalf.

(Official photos to follow!)

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Balla making EducAid's name in Venezuela


Balla playing football for his university.

A year or so ago, Balla Turay, EducAid past pupil, took up his scholarship to study ICT in Venezuela and has clearly been making his (and our) name since.  I was touched to receive this mail today:

Hi Miriam,

Attached are my grades for this semester which ended on Friday the 20/7/12 and I´m on holidays presently. 

I want to say much thanks to the EducAid staff and family as a whole for the great role they played in my life. 
All the achievements I´m making now are because of the holistic education I got from EducAid.

I will like to make it known to all that EducAid is not only the best in Sierra Leone but it´s one of best in the world.
The HOD for science was curious to know who is this Balla Turay at the University. I was called to his office on the 19th in order for him to interview me personally. He asked me to tell him the high school I went and what the educational system is like. After explaining to him about the EducAid holistic system he said “I don´t think there is any high school in Venezuela that covers a lot like your school.  Congratulations for your scores.  We are really happy to have you as a student here.” 

Words cannot really express how sorry I was to hear the death of the boy in Magbeni my condolences to his family and EducAid as a whole.

Thanks 

Love from Balla

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com