Challenging a culture of underachievement

This year, EducAid senior secondary students came 5th in the country in their public exams. On the face of it, fantastic. In reality, however, I was mad as fire at the horrible underachievement of some of our students. Many of … Read More

How incredible

Amazing good news. The diagnosis we had hoped against hope for – full recovery from Hepatitis C has actually now been confirmed. 15% of cases self heal so it was a possibility but very unlikely once Hepatatis C antibodies had … Read More

He is speaking for himself now

For those of you who have been following Jimiyke’s story since the early days, you may be interested to hear that he is telling his story for himself now. http://jimiykevisittotheuk.blogspot.com/ While tests have revealed that he does need intervention to … Read More

Women and education in Sierra Leone

My recurring problem: how to get strong women to teach the girls and provide a positive role model. The women who should be teachers by now have not been invested in at the appropriate ages in the past. Accordingly, finding … Read More

We’re back

Still out of breath after the whirlwind tour organised by Jan and Anne [my long-suffering diary arrangers] Kofi and I are now back in Sierra Leone. It was hectic, but it needed to be and there are many positives from … Read More

Jimiyke in shock!

The ‘Welcome Jimiyke to UK’ fireworks in Battersea Park! At long last, Jimiyke is in the UK ready to be assessed for treatment. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of many. He was given a horrible time in the … Read More

‘Champion’

Just to share a little taste of our tropical joys….. Fancy a bit of this on your shoulder? ‘Champion’ is the local name for a little black and red acid fly. Kofi has a little scrape on his shoulder too … Read More

And another one…..

The sun rising over the Malama Hills – the view from EducAid Lumley [Freetown].A couple of weeks ago, I posted Juldeh’s success and consequent plight on the blog. He had gained a place at Fourah Bay College, successfully saved £250 … Read More

Go Girls Go!

The Women’s Project started in Lumley, Freetown in March 2006. Its target beneficiaries were girls who wanted to go to secondary school but, for whatever reason, were not at an appropriate academic standard. The project started with 18 girls and … Read More

Hungry to learn

While kids are kids and we would not pretend that our students are universal saints who always thirst for knowledge, it would certainly be fair to say that we see far greater willingness to put themselves out for education than … Read More

Congratulations to the EducAid staff and students

Newspaper cutting from ‘Awoko’. It doesn’t matter where our staff go at the moment, they are congratulated at every turn. Once again, we have 100% pass rates in the junior secondary [key stage 3 equivalent] public examinations [BECE] and Magbeni, … Read More

Really good news this time

At long last! Thanks to the kind efforts of a talented lawyer by the name of Paul Chiy, who took up Jimiyke’s case, his application was resubmitted and today we got a phone call to say that the visa has … Read More

24/7 electricity – too good to be true?

EducAid at night with it’s new electricity provision. I met someone from World Bank in June. I was simultaneously outraged at the impunity with which, those who can, blatantly steal donor funding and at the incompetence of the aid agencies … Read More

Difficult choices

Sitting up in their bench beds.3 years ago or so, we realised that the one room in Alhassan’s mum’s bungalow which was for the live-in girls, was just not sufficient, in comparison to the need. We put steel doors on … Read More

EducAid on the BBC

Some of our youngsters have the most harrowing tales from the war. A few of them interviewed each other as part of the BBC ‘Hunger to Learn’ series. Although, the versions they told in the interviews were quite calm, it … Read More

Issa settling in

A month or so ago, Issa Fowai, our second student to achieve international scholarship, set off across the world to study engineering in China. This was a fantastic achievement and was, surprisingly, done entirely on merit [Sierra Leone not being … Read More

Working it out at 4 years old

Today, the family held the 40 days’ ceremony for Alhassan. Lots of money was spent on lots of food and lots of people came and said some prayers and then ate lots. The family and friends came from near and … Read More

More memorials

The differences in cultures is nowhere easier to see, between Europe and Africa, than in the bereavement process. To my mind a significant contributor to many families’ poverty is the amount of money that has to be spent on burying … Read More

Tertiary difficulties

The problems at the tertiary institutions continue apace but we still somehow or other need to be fighting that while continuing to push to get as many of our students in as we possibly can. This year we have managed … Read More

Mike in Berlin

More goodwill and support from outside Sierra Leone. While the Paris to Brussels cyclists were training and foraging for funds to complete their bike ride, my very dear friend, Mike, was training for his first marathon. One week after we … Read More