Friday, February 22, 2013

Miriam Mason-Sesay MBE

On the evening of Wednesday 20 February, the Acting British High Commissioner, Ms Lesley Beaton, hosted a reception at the High Commissioner’s Residence to formally present Miriam Mason-Sesay with the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) that she had been awarded in the most recent New Year Honours List.  This award was in recognition of Miriam’s outstanding contribution in the fields of education and charitable work in Sierra Leone.

The Diplomatic Service and Overseas New Year 2013 Honours lists awards to British people doing outstanding work for the UK internationally.  The List has 99 awards in a range of fields such as for peace and security, stabilisation and development, education, science, British business and community/voluntary work plus exceptional contributions to London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The evening included a presentation from Miriam outlining the current work of EducAid and how it has developed since it began in 2000 and a statement from one of the governors, Emmanuel Gaima, on the challenges EducAid currently faces in delivering its ambitious agenda for the development of education in Sierra Leone.  There were also contributions from some of the real EducAid success stories:

·         former pupils who had trained as teachers and were now working in EducAid schools giving back and inspiring the next generation;
·         current primary school pupils who made impassioned pleas to the assembled audience asking for support from key players in the Government of Sierra Leone in taking forward a range of initiatives for the benefit of the young people of the country;
·         a wonderful song highlighting the empowerment and capacity of the girls currently resident in the EducAid safe house.

After receiving her award, Mrs Mason-Sesay said:

At EducAid, we passionately believe in the power of education to destroy poverty. 
The hunger for education amongst the country's poorest youngsters is what first motivated us to start our programmes.  It is still what keeps us excited and hopeful for a strong Sierra Leone with an educated population able to participate in moving the country forward and upwards.  EducAid is a growing family and we look forward to having an impact on more and more young people's lives.  Sierra Leone is a wonderful place to work and the young people who we work with are inspiring.  It is great to have our work recognised by the Queen and the opportunity to thank all those who have worked with us over the years.  Together through education amazing things can be done.  There is plenty of work to be done but we are ready for the challenge.

Following the event, the Acting High Commissioner said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been able to provide a venue for such a unique event.  Award recipients usually opt to travel to the UK to receive their honour at Buckingham Palace.  It is testament to Miriam’s commitment both to EducAid and to the future of Sierra Leone that she chose to receive her award surrounded by those who have been instrumental in the success of EducAid as it has developed.  I know that Miriam and the team have a number of ideas on how best to increase access to education for all.  Many of these will require the support of the Government of Sierra Leone and I look forward to working with EducAid in pursuit of their goals in this area.”

If you want to know more about our work, get involved or you know of someone else who would like to volunteer or support our work or if you have items you would like to donate please email us at

If you want to make a donation please go to 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 gift 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 

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Its time for change worldwide and small small steps make big big change, keep supporting our girls and girls worldwide ; )

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Exchange of ideas and hats

Sr Adamsay and her staff visiting EducAid Rolal

A few months ago I was contacted by a very enthusiastic lady with whom I eventually managed to fix up a time to meet.
At our first meeting, I was confronted by the most lovely woman, a young Catholic nun, battling away in a small school maybe an hour from Rolal.  She was full of fervour and urgency to improve her school and had decided EducAid was the answer.  One of her members of staff had a brother teaching in Rogbere and the word was out about our excellent results and she wanted a piece of the action.
The Rolal staff in their new hats given as a sign of the
exchange of ideas and the new friendship
As a result of our initial discussions, she immediately decided she would be implementing our entry level skills classes and decided to fix a visit to the Rolal site as early in the new year as possible.
A couple of weeks ago, AA was asked to attend a parents' meeting where the idea of having entry level numeracy and literacy classes was proposed to the parents.  He explained our methodology and reasoning and achieved 100% support (to Sister Adamsay's surprise!) for its implementation.
Last week, two of their teachers attended the agricultural science week long training in content and methodology and greatly enjoyed it.
On Friday, they decided as a whole staff to visit Rolal and see what it all looked like on the ground.  This is AA's report of the event:

They spent the whole day with us.  They were curious to know how we work and indeed they enjoyed it. 
Sr Adamsay had 30 minutes session with the girls encouraging them and doing a lot of  life skills activities relating to moral lessons. Sr. Adamsay was impressed with our kids' curiosity and ability to communicate well in English.

They attended the assembly and witnessed a White Ribbon Presentation. She was moved by it and even promised to start it in her school. She commended the kids' creativity and communication skills. 

She asked all her staff to give their caps to us as a sign of partnership, exchange of ideas. According to her this is just the start... 

Finally, she promised to implement a lot of the things they have learnt.
AA and Rolal team

It is exciting to see people who are genuinely wanting to have an impact on the state of education in Sierra Leone.  We need more people with her love for her students and indeed for education!

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