Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The first EducAid wedding

The first EducAid wedding:  Ezekiel and Mamie are now Mr and Mrs Nonie.
The very smiley Ezekiel is a founder pupil who joined EducAid on 18th September 2000 for the earliest lessons on the back veranda of the rented building EducAid called home for the first 5 years of the school's existence: 105 Regent Road, Malama, Lumley.
When he joined EducAid he had been out of school for 7 years and though he was desperate to finish his education, there had been no way he could, due to the lack of family finance.
After finishing his secondary education, Ezekiel went and served as junior staff in Rolal and Maronka and then went to Milton Margai College to train as a teacher, sponsored by friends of EducAid. When he emerged with his qualifications he joined the full EducAid staff and has served now all over the programme.  For all the right reasons, Ezekiel has risen to become a key member of the Leadership Team where his contribution is invaluable.  With his easy going manner and sunny nature, he is a great mediator.  Wherever there is conflict, disagreement, misunderstanding, Ezekiel's calm, firm voice can be relied on to bring sense to the situation. He is un-tiring in his service to his juniors and someone of whom we are very very proud.
Through nearly all the years that Ezekiel has been in EducAid, there has been a quiet presence by his side.  As time has gone on, Mamie too has started to play a vital role within EducAid, particularly working with the girls.  She is gentle and firm, with a ready laugh and a peaceful sense of herself that the girls love to emulate.

They may be beautiful to look at facially but they are also lovely to watch in terms of how they look after each other.  Couples that role model respect, love, courtesy and integrity so well are not ten a penny.  It is wonderful to have this example at the heart of EducAid.  We are very proud of them.

We wish them much love, much happiness, much courage and strength as they continue their lives together.  We hope that many within EducAid will follow their example.

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

Monday, May 27, 2013

EducAid students selected to go to Ghana

How exciting.......

A number of EducAid students applied for a place on the African Gifted Foundation's summer academy and ALL OF THEM WERE SELECTED.  

This is the letter we received:

African Gifted Foundation Academy Summer 2013 – 21st -27th August, 2013

Following a detailed selection exercise we are very pleased to invite the Educaid Students to the African Gifted Foundation’s Academy, and look forward to welcoming them at The Kofi Anan Centre of Excellence in Accra, Ghana from Wednesday 21st – Tuesday 27th August, 2013. It will be a very fruitful experience for both the student and the Foundation, laying the groundwork for the online learning programme to take place throughout 2013.

Each participant has been selected for their clear potential in the mathematical field and their ability to articulate a powerful vision of Africa’s future. The Academy programme is designed for such gifted children to introduce them to further fascinating concepts.

We have industry experts from two different fields coming to inspire the students and introduce them to mathematical concepts unlikely to have been encountered before. David Cope, from Bletchley Park in England, will focus on codes and cyphers. Simon Roberts, from the UK’s Space Academy, will take classes looking at the role of mathematics in space, specifically exploration, satellites, and mapping.

In addition we have a varied and extensive extra-curricular programme. This will compliment the mathematical modules, while also ensuring that the students enjoy themselves, engage with other young people from across the continent, and learn about Ghana. Activities include a visit to the Volta Aluminium Company, and a chess masterclass by the Chairman of the Ghanain Chess Federation, George Arko-Dadzie................

Accordingly, eight EducAid students will be heading off to Ghana to participate and benefit from this wonderful opportunity.  Congratulations to them all!

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

International Women's Club in Maronka

The International Women's Club went on a visit to EducAid Maronka last week.  We greatly appreciated their visit and especially their feedback.  One of the visitors, Julia West, has written her own blog post about their trip.  Please follow this link to see what she had to say:

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cobra, the problem solver

Cobra, and colleagues as the relationship between EducAid
and some of its partner schools starts

Cobra and colleague, Marion, at the same event
Mohamed Cobra Bangura, youngest leader at EducAid, had an idea.  In his own words.....

Well, at first it was a bit of a daydream when I had this idea.  The idea was about letting people know that whenever there are problems, there need to be solutions.  People are always coming with problems and this happens all over the world but I thought we could introduce a problem solving idea to EducAid.

Initially, I proposed that we should encourage problem solving and we would make a sort of competition so the person with the best 'solution' to an EducAid problem should receive Le 100,000.  I talked to Miriam and she liked the suggestion and said this was so important she wanted everyone to get involved.  We upped the prize money and sent the message out across all the schools.

When I also entered the competition, it felt a bit like a joke because all of the senior staff were entering too so I thought I could not possibly succeed as they are so experienced.  I gathered ideas and submitted my entry, explaining the need and the solution and what I had done so far towards motivating staff and students to contribute towards the solution.  I wrote about the need for dedicated boys' accommodation in Maronka and I explained how the staff, students and the community had engaged  in making bricks to bring the costs of the construction down.  Finally, I submitted it but I had little hope.  I was shocked when Miriam spoke to us all at a management meeting and announced that I had won the million Leones prize.  It was as if I was flying across the world because my idea was appreciated and I won the competition.  I now know that I can make things better with my little thoughts.  Thanks a lot.

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

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Successful outreach

Young Alusine Barrie leading teacher training
on positive behaviour management

Science teachers gathered for active learning training

Deputy Director of Education for Port Loko District
addresses assembled principals from partner schools
EducAid is approached regularly with requests to start more and more schools across the country but funding and even managing them is not within our reach at the moment.  Instead, we started an outreach programme supporting the improvement of teaching and learning in schools that already exist.  There are so many that have teachers who have barely, if at all, finished their own secondary education and become the most efficient blockage to children's progress it is possible to imagine.
This outreach programme has whole staff training components on positive behaviour management (that's right - no canes!), accurate subject content and teaching skills and is delivered by EducAid staff.
Some schools are absolutely lapping it up and are so excited to be improving and seeing their students starting to have a hope of passing the public exams.  Some are lethargic and indifferent to their pupils' plight at their hands.
The Deputy Director has recently started getting more involved in the programme and is insisting that every school should participate and that he personally will ensure that all participating schools fully cooperate.  This, in our experience, is unusual behaviour for a government official so we wanted to know why.  He explained how he has been going round community schools to shut them down because the quality is so poor.  On one occasion, however, he arrived at the John Buya Foundation School, ready to do just that and found the standard of teaching and the ways the teachers were organising their classes to be so out of the ordinary that he started to probe.  When he found out that they credited their abilities to their participation in the EducAid Quality Enhancement Programme, we gained a new friend.  He is delighted.  The school stayed open and a bunch more young Sierra Leoneans are gaining an improved education.
We are greatly appreciative of his support and look forward to collaborating more and more.  We have meetings with him on Saturday to discuss EducAid training his inspectors and supervisors whose skills he realises are lacking.  What a fantastic opportunity to have a real impact on how Port Loko District youngsters learn.  On and Up!!!

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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Member of the Order of the Rokel

Haja Gbla's name was pulled out of the hat and she came
as staff representative to State House
Fellow MOR recipient Jussein Jaward congratulates Miriam
Independence Day 27th April 2013 and Miriam Mason-Sesay MBE is invited to the State House by the president to receive another honour. The
Member of the Order of the Rokel (MOR) for her services to Sierra Leone in the provision of quality education. Hopefully now the MInistry of Education will stand up and listen.  This is a big step as EducAid moves towards advocacy for change in the education system.

Here are some photos from the day.

posted by Ann Beatty.

'Innocent' and Kofi

A quick celebratory G&T at the end of the day :)

The traditional dancers and musicians at State House

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