By Nick Mason, Sponsorship Manager, WYCF. May 2014.
Plans for a Safe Place in the Hills Firmly Underway
After several months of planning, a few tears and a mountain of monkey nuts [peanuts], we have started building a school in George Brook! A Safe Place in the Hills is now firmly underway.
A wonderful team of volunteers from Developing World Connections (DWC) teamed up with local engineers and builders to launch this project. Many hands made (quite) light work carrying cement, iron, and wood up the 1,000 steps from the road to the community.
The warmth and smiles from parents and children along the route filled us with energy. A retaining wall has been completed and we'll get more done before the annual rains begin. Thank you to DWC and the George Brook community for lending their labour and love.
DWC will return in November 2014 for the final stages of the building.
A huge thank you to our dear friend Reg Dennill at Thompson Valley for his generous contribution to A Safe Place in the Hills!
Marathon for a Safe Place on Stilts
A few days to go until Team WYCF arrive to run the Sierra Leone Marathon. Lizzy, Emma, Ariana and Nick are feeling fit and ready to challenge President Koroma for the victory.
A HUGE and happy welcome to Hal Hudson who has boldly joined the team at the last minute!
With the £10k target beaten, the bar has been raised to £15k. Help us get there (and beyond!) and the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) will double what you give - ONLY UNTIL 15TH JUNE. We've burnt through our only thesaurus trying to emphasise how enormous this opportunity is.
We are enormously grateful to Ritika Daswani for producing the site map for A Safe Place on Stilts (flood-proof school in Kroo Bay).
Negotiations are firmly underway with civil engineers, contractors and materials suppliers for A Safe Place on Stilts. Our architects, Building Trust International, are getting ready to begin a final set of designs based on the upcoming soil tests and Ritika's site map.
Expert Video Footage Coming Soon
We will soon be the proud owners of expert video footage as Tom Dickson records promo videos in George Brook amd Kroo Bay and for Team WYCF's marathon.
Testimony from Canadian Volunteer
Teressa is a volunteer from Canada who worked with DWC to deliver the first part of the George Brook school construction. She kindly wrote:
“The nine days spent on site in George Brook was an incredible experience. Words can hardly express the joy I feel in being part of phase one of the building of WYCF's first school.
I am thankful for the opportunity to help provide the children of George Brook with a proper building for their school and the opportunity for a brighter future.
While in Freetown, I was very impressed with the community support as well as the enthusiasm of the children to carry sand, haul water or shovel dirt right along side of us. Pastor MaCaully, Edna, and the other teachers are so dedicated to those children and their eduction.
And last but not least, cheers to Santigie and Sara who work tirelessly to see Santigie's vision for schools in the slums of Freetown become reality.
God bless you all!"
New Volunteer from Australia
We are thrilled to welcome our newest volunteer, Rosi Aryal. Rosi is from Australia and is in Sierra Leone to conduct research for her MA in Anthropology. She has also been a huge help in George Brook so far - thank you Rosi!
Kids Forced Out of “School Building”...Again
Last Monday this boy, Alusine, and his 100 classmates were forced out of their “school building” in Kroo Bay, so Mr. Kamara led classes outside.
The kids were forced out because the pastor decided he didn't want them to learn in the church any more. We have had to rent a new piece of land and build a temporary construction to accommodate them through the rainy season.
The kids now have a roof again, but for how long?
They have seen two schools in one year - the first was a shack where drunkards roamed outside, the second was a church where the pastor stopped caring.
What can we possibly do?
Call to Action
If you are starting to like WYCF, then we invite you to make one of the following pledges to us:
1. Start a campaign to raise £500.
2. Host a dinner party and ask each guest to donate £25.
3. Put us in touch with trusts and corporate donors who you think might be interested.
4. Donate a laptop so that our team in Freetown can work more effectively.
Thank you so much for your continued support!