The David School, Sierra Leone
Thank you for supporting this Garden Party Lunch. The amount raised was £2400 to be shared between Macmillan Cancer Care and The David School.
Our school is located in a rural area about fifty miles from the capital Freetown which is on the ocean. We work with members of a tribe called Temne who have their own language. Our village communities are subsistence farmers and are very poor. Families tend to be large.
We have educated youngsters since 2008 with an annual intake of around fifty infants. We have successes. challenges and disappointments, some of which we would like to share today.
All exams are in English and our children perform very well at 11+ and 14+ with the challenge of 16+ being a priority. Employment means moving away from the rural area to larger towns which means we lose contact with most students.
All our teachers are recruited locally and some are former pupils of the school. This is a great bonus in knowledge and relationship’s with the villagers. All our teachers are qualified, some up to graduate level.
We provide more than basic education and would like to outline a few other developments.
Keeping girls in school has been a major challenge for several years and we no longer lose many girls to early marriage. Provision of sanitary wear, guidance, raising the profile of female role models and increasing the number of female teachers have led to great success.
Special cases help to illustrate our priorities and describe how some of our donated money is spent.
Isatu Bangura is a blind girl from one of our villages, discovered in a back room aged around seven and now aged seventeen aiming for a place in university.
Mohamed had a progressive infection and was in danger of losing his leg.
Mother is herself a polio victim with several other children. Father is a subsistence farmer. The charity has provided funds for surgery, treatment and accommodation. Patients in hospital are not fed which creates additional demands. The hospital that he was in is three hours drive away from his family. The good news is that the worst scenario for him will be a lifelong limp. Bright boy now ready to start Year 4.
Sara, a boy, achieved the highest mark in 14+ exams yet at the same time lost his father, his last living relative. The charity has supported him and other orphan pupils to allow them to continue their studies. Food is provided for foster carers and we can report that this provision has been a great success.
In addition to providing basic education, these are just a few of things that have been done to enhance the lives of some of our pupils. Without your generous help and support none of this would be possible. We are proud to say that every penny raised is spent for the good of the young people in the school. Every volunteer is self- funded and we have no charity expenses.
Thank you all so much, enjoy your lunch and together we are making a massive difference to the lives of our severely disadvantaged children.