By Nick Mason, Sponsorship Manager, WYCF, June 2015.
Let's start with the good news! New Beginnings for Kids at George Brook
Our children returned to school in May, 12 months after Ebola first arrived in Sierra Leone.
The kids in George Brook are learning in their new school building ['Safe Place in the Hills'], which just needs finishing touches to the windows, doors, and guttering.
In George Brook we've signed an agreement with teachers, parents, local leaders, and our trustees to lower and regulate school fees to SLL10,000 per term (£1.50).
We have launched our new website! Enormous thanks to our incredible design and development team: Archie Norman and Cian O'Sullivan.
Our landlord is making improvements to the WYCF Home. When volunteers aren't working in the schools or providing specialist skills to support our team, they can stay here to relax, read, cook and chat...or, as some have done, write a Masters thesis!
Challenges: Ebola Crisis Causes More Delays
We have not started building A Safe Place on Stilts [in Kroo Bay]. The Ebola crisis of the last 12 months affected our finances on two fronts. Our income dropped due to the prioritisation by funders of Ebola-related activities, while our costs have risen due to the scarcity of resources (up to 25% increase in the price of cement).
We decided to revise the budget and review the timeline. Having done this, the rainy season has now begun, making it impossible to sink foundations in the poor soil conditions of Kroo Bay. We have to wait until October/November 2015.
In the meantime, our kids are learning, but in very poor conditions. We urgently need to raise £700 to build a temporary school shelter for the rainy months. Please help.
Please also accept our heartfelt apologies for the continued delays to this project. The last 12 months have been a struggle, but the last thing we wanted was another season of children learning with water up to their ankles.
Call to Action
We're recruiting five adventurous friends to join Team WYCF for the Sierra Leone Marathon in October. The marathon is a feat of physical resilience, and this year has great symbolic importance for a country emerging from a crisis.
If you're not a big runner, we're building an emergency school shelter and a block of toilets.
£10 buys 1/3 of the nails we need for the temporary school.
£21 buys 3 bags of cement.
£36 buys 1 bundle of corrugated iron roofing.
£50 pays for 1/3 of labour costs for the temporary school.
£172 pays for all the cement.