Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update from Balla Turay

Balla Turay attended EducAid Sierra Leone and did excellently in his senior secondary exams.  Thanks to his excellent results and his community service certificate, he got a place to study ICT in Venezuela.  Here is how he is a little update on how he is getting on......

What I have done so far since my arrival in Venezuela?
When I arrived in Venezuela on 21st July 2011 I was taken to a school to learn Spanish with some international students from 29 different countries. (Countries from Central America, the Caribbean and some African countries too). The scheduled time for the class was two months but it only lasted for a month and one week. I took four different exams and all my grades were between 19 and 19.5/20. (90 to 95%).  During the whole of this period, we were not allowed to leave the compound or use the telephone.
Afterwards I was sent to my University (Universidad Maritima Del Caribe) which is 20mins from the capital Caracas where I started my career studies. It was not really an easy job at the beginning due to the facts that I didn´t even understand 5% of the language at that point so I had to translate each and every note in English, read and understand and later re write it again in Spanish to memorise. Moreover 60% is the passing grade for the Venezuelans but 75% for international students. (I used to cry). 
Thank God for the school I went to (EducAid Sierra Leone) where I was not taught to take any subject as less important, where mathematics and English were the key. That is almost the same story here. I am offering 6 modules of which passing calculus, English and Logic with over 75% will send you to the next semester. This I was able to achieve as I was the best Calculus, Logic and English student in my class I even scored more than 60% in others although they were difficult because they involved a lot of reading in Spanish. 
I would like to say much thanks to Miriam and the EducAid staff as a whole because my success is due to the quality (holistic) education I had from EducAid. Things my friends from other African countries find difficult do not appear to me like that. On the other hand, I am doing as much as I can to help them catch up. (Still doing community service though... please keep my certificates!)
In extracurricular activities, I am the captain of the University football team. Although we lost the first University football competition in the country, I am hoping to win the next one coming up in mid July.

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blessed George Napier et al supporting EducAid

Josh worked with his father, doing the garden
for friends and neighbours and raised £200+ for EducAid
Now back in the UK for ten plus very cold days, I have just spent the morning in Blessed George Napier School.  I left there as a pupil some 26 years ago, (scary thought) and did not expect at the time to ever be welcomed over the threshold again!
I first went back a couple of years ago and since then the pupils have been fundraising for EducAid.  Last November when I went in though, things notched up significantly.  A good number of teachers got behind the project.  Loads of them signed up themselves to be regular donors and different year groups organised different activities to get the money coming in.  A month later, they sent in cheques totalling over £2500 enough to pay for over 20 children at EducAid for a year of food and education.
Year 9 English class discussing their fund-raising activities
and getting ready to do their display work about EducAid.
I went in today to say thank you and hopefully encourage them to keep it up.   I was particularly touched by the Year 9 students I spoke to.  Their year head, Prim Herridge, is not to be messed with and she organised and activated them and the result was impressive.  On their own, year 9 raised half of the whole school total.

Matthew, Year 9, is conscious that his mum's strength
and courage have given him what is necessary to
overcome the difficulties in his early childhood and
have something to give others.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to and