WYCF-June-2014Photo by Emma Philipps

By Nick Mason, Sponsorship Manager, WYCF.

Huge thanks to supporters and to Street Child

JosephJosephLike Joseph, in the photo here, we are overjoyed to announce that Team WYCF raised over £47,500 during their recent campaign – and including matched funding earned through Street Child's 'Every Child in School' campaign - that's a mighty £84,249.

Thank you so much to all 236 donors - you are amazing and we love you!!!

 

Blessing from Liberia

BlessingBlessing. Photo by Santigie Bayo Dumbuya. A girl called Blessing recently arrived in Kroo Bay from Liberia, with her mother and two young siblings.

She has decided to attend our school in the hope that she will learn in the new school and wear a uniform.

 

 

The Circle for girls

The Circle is a hit! [The Circle is a focus group designed to intervene against the high rates of 10+ year old girls leaving school for domestic work.]

The girls are so happy to have a space to talk, have fun and be themselves. With more and more 10+ year old girls joining in, we are considering expanding The Circle to two meetings per week.

Rachel Grant, volunteer and co-founder of The Circle, is now back home in Canada. She did an amazing job and we hope to see her run the SL Marathon again next year!

Ebola prevention

In response to the recent Ebola outbreak in parts of Sierra Leone, we are running prevention and sanitation training at our schools.

Our new Kroo Bay school is nearly ready

We have finally moved into the new (and hopefully last!) temporary school in Kroo Bay before the completion of A Safe Place on Stilts (flood-proof school in Kroo Bay).

The designs for A Safe Place on Stilts are underway and we have identified a solution for solar powered lights and sanitation.

New to WYCF

Volunteer: A very warm welcome to Hamida Massaquoi who is our newest volunteer in Kroo Bay.

Teachers: We are recruiting four new teachers who will receive training in August/September.

Volunteer's Story - Rosi Aryal

It is Friday the 13th of June at the new temporary WYCF school in Kroo Bay. Despite the ominous date, this is a day of fun, laughs, joy, and the occasional disgruntled tear (much like most days at Kroo Bay!). We are having a party to celebrate moving into our brand new, temporary school; and to commemorate the June 16, Day of the African Child.

Tying in well with the goals of WYCF, this year’s theme is, ‘A Child Friendly, Quality, Free and Compulsory Education for all Children in Sierra Leone’. As June 16 itself is a public holiday, we are holding our party early. The children perform songs, speeches, dances and skits, roaring with applause at each other’s performances. The day concludes with a special treat of a hot sandwich and soft drink for each child before they run home to see out their week.

Kroo Bay is not an easy place to be for me. Yet over time, I have come to not only respect, but also admire, the tenacity and commitment of the children in coming to school day after day. Their laughs, their shouts, their childhood fights and dramas, the way they gang up against each other and then help each other in the turn of a breath – put simply, their zest for life – contrasts sharply with the poverty, violence, flooding, illness and constant child and domestic labour I see around them.

Poverty, violence, natural disasters, illness, hard labour. These are all firm tenants in the general Western imagination of “Africa”. While they are certainly essential factors in understanding the lives of the children at Kroo Bay, they are not all-defining.

At school, we see how much the children want to learn, how diligently they apply themselves to completing their lessons despite the heat, noise and distractions around them, how they always manage to slot school time into the myriad of other tasks expected of them: gathering water, cooking, cleaning, nursing younger siblings, selling small items on the street to augment their families’ income.

WYCF gives the most disadvantaged children in Kroo Bay the opportunity for that education.

I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers at WYCF – Santigie [founder], Sara, Nick, Rachel, and Amar – and of course the cheeky children at Kroo Bay and George Brook for an unforgettable stay in Freetown. The WYCF team welcomed me into their home in Sumaila Town for three months while I conducted research for my masters thesis, and volunteered at the Kroo Bay school one afternoon a week on an exciting new project involving the older girls.

Moreover, Santigie was instrumental in my research, as he facilitated my entrance into George Brook community.

While I will miss the team and the children, it was a privilege to be involved with WYCF, and I look forward to returning to Freetown to see the new, completed, permanent schools that WYCF are currently constructing in Kroo Bay and George Brook.

Until then, goodbye Salone*!

Call to Action

Pease reflect on what 300 children in school means to you. You have made this possible – thank you!

Keep talking about us. If you find someone who is interested, our costs extend beyond the building of a school. Ask them to donate here .

For more information, write to  

*Salone = Sierra Leone