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 and

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 and

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 and

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 and

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 and