By Sara Portugal and Nick Mason, Partnership Officer and Sponsorship manager, respectively, for WYCF, December 2013
Overseas Help and New School for George Brook
We have moved to a new office and cosy home for hosting international volunteers.
The children love having volunteers to help with their education and we want to learn from you, so please come and join us! Check out the testimonials of previous volunteers.
We have signed an MoU with Developing World Connections (DWC) to confirm the construction of a new school in George Brook (hillside community near Freetown). In April 2014, DWC will bring a team of volunteers and funding to assist in the project.
DWC is a Canadian charitable organization that provides international volunteer experiences to people of all ages and backgrounds. It connects volunteers to communities in developing nations to work on sustainable projects.
WYCF held more discussions with community representatives in George Brook in relation to the April 2014 school reconstruction. They are thrilled the MoU is signed with DWC and have begun supporting the project by clearing large boulders from the proposed construction site. One resident has also generously allowed us to start building reinforcements into the hillside on his land to support the new school.
Appeal for a Flood-proof School in Kroo Bay
Kroo Bay is a buzzing slum community in Central Freetown – home to around 6,000 people.
We are extremely relieved that Kroo Bay didn't flood once during this year's rainy season! We may not be so fortunate in 2014.
Poverty in the area is exacerbated terribly by these summer floods. This is the motivation behind building a flood-proof school. However, we have, in discussion with community representatives, agreed to postpone the project until proper rights to a new plot of land can be arranged.
With your help we could do a lot better...
The initial design for the flood proof school in Kroo Bay was being designed by Building Trust International (BTI). Due to a problem with the planned location for this building, the project is temporarily on hold. (please get in touch for full details).
However, we are already in talks over a new plot of land and we are more motivated than ever to see this project to a great end. Fundraising for this land has begun and BTI have confirmed they still wish to work on the project when the land is purchased and planning permission received.
The childen in both schools are very short on paper, notebooks and clothing. To assist with this we welcome in-kind or targeted cash donations. Drop us an email to say how much you've donated and it will be spent on the items you request. We welcome the latter as we are experts at stretching every single $1 in Freetown.
Our library has grown thanks to in-kind donations from volunteers. It's still too small though, so we'd like some help with this!
Summer School 2013
Our amazing partners, The Collective, sent three fantastic volunteers to work with WYCF for Summer School 2013.
Summer School was huge fun. The volunteers and kids both learned a lot from each other. WYCF received excellent feedback from all parties. Our main response will be to invite teacher trainers to join our teachers over the coming year.
New and fun techniques have been incorporated into teaching at Kroo Bay. Classes 2 and 3 now use flash cards to assist with spelling. Class 1 has started doing a lot more drawing, counting in teams and interacting as a class to help understand basic maths.
New Slippers Bring a Smile to Alusine
Alusine Kamara is 7 years old in Class 2 at Kroo Bay.
When Alusine’s slippers became too worn out to use, he started using his grandmother’s shoes (5 sizes too big) while she saved money to buy him a new pair. She was Le 3,000 ($0.70) short, half the total amount, when one of Alusine’s borrowed slippers was stolen during break time.
Knowing his grandmother would become angry and punish him, he started to sob in fear and ask our founder, Santigie, and Sara to plead to his grandmother for him.
Instead, we took him outside the school and bought him a new pair of slippers - his choice and his size!
Pens for Kids
In September, a volunteer from the UK, Saoradh, assisted Mr. Kamara with teaching and gave some fantastic feedback on improving the standard of literacy. Now, in November we have been joined by Mark, a.k.a. 'Uncle', who is providing highly valued expertise to the charity with his background in business.
Pens for Kids UK kindly sent WYCF 2,500+ pens, pencils and assorted school supplies which have been distributed in George Brook and Kroo Bay, and some kept for storage.
Children to Present News on WYCF Radio
Mr. Kamara has introduced the WYCF Radio to Kroo Bay. Children from classes 4, 5, and 6 are selected each day to present the news - one anchor and two reporters, twice a day, in English.
Rescued Puppy to Live in WYCF Home!
Santigie and Sara stepped beyond the call of duty, rescuing a puppy from Kroo Bay.
Pullo will now live in the WYCF Home.
Certificate from City Council
Freetown City Council has awarded WYCF a Community Based Organisation Certificate.
New Look for WYCF
WYCF has a new look!
We have a new logo, bespoke fonts and a new website – all prepared by Archie and Cian, our amazing volunteers from the UK.
Safe World for Women Partnership
WYCF has begun a partnership with Safe World for Women who are supporting us with the advocacy of women's rights.
New Baby Girl
Finally, notes of congratulations: Wuya Senesie (Class 1 teacher at George Brook) has given birth to a baby girl, and Santigie's sister, Dora Kargbo, is getting married.