By Nick Mason, Sponsorship Manager - WYCF
Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon
29th May 2014 was the third annual Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon. A total of 936 men and women competed to support Sierra Leone’s most vulnerable children, making this the biggest Sierra Leone Marathon to date.
HUGE congratulations and thanks to all the members of Team WYCF for completing, with varying style, the Sierra Leone Marathon!
Lizzy McGregor claimed an incredible 2nd International Lady place [second out of the international ladies], while Ariana and Emma fought their way bravely into the mid-ranks, leaving Hal and Nick to stumble over the finishing line after 6 hours and 40 minutes.
Rachel, Rosi, Sara, and Santigie all completed the 10km race. We owe an enormous thanks to Street Child, the Sierra Leone Marathon team and the host city of Makeni for this truly extraordinary experience.
Since 2012, the WYCF team have worked with 4,000 miles between them. We were all so happy to be together again in May!
WYCF was recognised in 3 national newspapers for the extraordinary progress being made towards A Safe Place on Stilts (flood-proof school in Kroo Bay). That’s a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far!
Call to Action
You can still donate to our Safe Place on Stilts appeal here.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Design Process Begins for A Safe Place on Stilts
We have paid a Sierra Leone Leones ( SLL) 5,000,000 ($1,150) down payment for the land for A Safe Place on Stilts. Following this HUGE step, we received the results of soil tests conducted by our civil engineer.
These results are now with Building Trust International – the design process begins!
"We arrived in Freetown in the dark and unprepared for the almighty storm which rocked our ferry over to the city from the airport.
Finally, arriving at the volunteer home was absolute bliss, as is the view we woke up to the following morning.
We spent our first day visiting George Brook and Kroo Bay - eager to see how the new schools were taking shape and, of course, meet the kids who will be benefiting from them. The building work is well under way in George Brook and the air of excitement around the progress is intoxicating.
The Kroo Bay school building plans are also well under way and we spent the afternoon with the children in their temporary location - the community church. I took the oldest class and was amazed by their good behaviour and competency in English.
When asked to draw a picture of something they loved, nearly all decided to draw a picture of their school which just goes to show how important it is to them all. And I'm sure it will exceed all their expectations..."
Lizzy McGregor - Team WYCF
Safe Place in the Hills
Safe Place in the Hills (at George Brook) is making fantastic progress. We have completed two retaining walls, the cement floor and steel uprights for columns. With the rainy season starting in earnest, and Developing World Connections returning in November, the project will continue in November and be completed by Christmas.Our
Following on-going pressure from the church we are currently using as a school in Kroo Bay, we have been forced to rent a plot of land and construct a temporary school structure to ensure our kids aren’t made to sit in the rain.
We’re upset with the treatment of the kids, but proud of the resilience shown by WYCF (We Yone Child Foundation), the teachers and above all, the kids.
Two wonderful volunteers have arrived to stay in the WYCF Home – Rachel Grant from Canada and Amar Kamboz from the UK. A very warm welcome to them!
'The Circle': A Safe Space for Girls
We are thrilled to announce the launch of ‘The Circle’ – a focus group designed to intervene against the high rates of 10+ year old girls leaving school for domestic work.
Rachel Grant – MA in Global Health, Sara Portugal – WYCF Partnership Officer, and Salamatu Turay – Kroo Bay teacher, are running The Circle to give girls a voice, a safe space and a freedom of expression which they are denied in all other aspects of their lives.
The sessions have produced an openness among the girls which Sara has never previously seen in the last three years she has known them. Rachel believes this signifies a longing for the girls to talk about their problems and concerns.
This programme will continue indefinitey - eventually to be run by the girls, for the girls.