27 September 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today we talk about Isatu, our Strong Girl Incubator (SGI) acting coordinator.
Through the SGI, EducAid supports girls and young women who have dropped out of school to re-enter mainstream school. The project helps them not only acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, but also provides them with a safe space to learn more about topics that can affect their wellbeing. In SGI classes, girls and young women discuss about gender-based violence, FGM, early marriage and other topics related to their sexual and reproductive health. One of their favourite activities is the shero talk, where each student prepares a presentation about their female hero.
When she was younger, Isatu herself benefitted from EducAid’s Women Project to return to mainstream school and complete secondary education. The Women Project then became the SGI, and Isatu was very happy and proud to join as teacher of literacy and numeracy. She is also passionate about leading discussions that help her students build their confidence and mentor them when they need guidance. Isatu is also a teacher of Religious and Moral Education in JSS. A few weeks ago, she was appointed SGI acting coordinator and she hopes that this will become a permanent role.
“I want to take on more responsibilities and this project is very important to me. As a girl, I faced so many challenges and this experience helps me relate to the girls. I love working close to them and I hope to be a role model. My favourite moment is when we discuss a topic sitting in a circle, and a new girl stands up for the first time to share her opinion with the group. In that moment I know that we are succeeding in building her confidence”.
20 September 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today the spotlight is on Zainab, EducAid’s Equality Coordinator.
Zainab attended senior secondary school at EducAid Lumley and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Applied Accounting at the Institute of Public Administration and Management of the University of Sierra Leone. She has been working for EducAid for eight years in different capacities, and today she teaches Commerce in Lumley as well as covering the key role of Equality Coordinator. Her aspiration for the future is to enroll in a master’s degree programme.
As Equality Coordinator, Zainab manages all activities related to the promotion of gender equality within EducAid’s schools and communities. These activities include Girl Power Groups and the White Ribbon Campaigns. At the Girl Power Groups, girls are encouraged to achieve their full potential through education. They also find a safe space to learn about sexual and reproductive health and how to prevent, respond to and report gender-based violence. The White Ribbon Campaigns focus on boys, in an endeavour to sensitise them on gender-related issues and shifting social behaviours to build together more equal communities.
“The most difficult thing is to change the mindset of the girls who are raised to think that their place is in the kitchen”, says Zainab. “I want to see the change. I want to see women take the lead without asking the permission of men. I want to see something different from how I was raised. My mother was submitted, in our community women had no power, no right to speak up. I want things to be different for these girls. They are the future of the nation.”
6 September 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today we talk about Emmanuel, or as we call him EBT, our Site Coordinator in Lumley.
EBT was born and raised in Kambia district. Following advice from a family friend, in 2008 he enrolled at EducAid Lumley school. He completed SSS, passed his WASSCE and then started volunteering for EducAid while completing his bachelor degree at the Institute of Public Administration and Management of the University of Sierra Leone, where he graduated with honours.
As most of EducAid’s staff, EBT covers different roles. He is the head of school, he oversees all EducAid’s activities on site and teaches Economics in SSS. When the need arises, he also teaches other subjects related to economics and mathematics. EBT is an excellent team player and believes that teamwork is essential to motivate people to do their best and to make sure that no one is left behind.
“When I was appointed as Site Coordinator in Lumley three years ago, I felt a lot of pressure because the site had a long track record of successful students’ performances at school exams. I am proud to say that my team and I managed to maintain those standards. Over the years, my team has been nothing short of amazing in their collaboration, support, and inspiration.”
EBT is committed to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone through education. “Education is strategic to build stronger economies and improve the quality of life. I have been to the most marginalised communities in Sierra Leone, and I can see the difference between being educated or not. Education gives people the opportunity to participate in society and access employment. Thanks to my education, I have a fulfilling job that allows me to sustain myself and my family. It was not easy to leave my village and my family as a young man to come to study in Freetown, but I am proud of where I am now, and I do not regret that choice.” #EducAid#BehindTheScenesTuesday#SierraLeone#education
30 August 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today we have the pleasure to introduce you to our Deputy Human Resources Coordinator and Research Coordinator, Isatu.
Born and raised in Port Loko district, Isatu has been with EducAid for over 10 years. She started as a JSS student, then worked as a volunteer while studying to obtain her HTC (Higher Teachers Certificate) and her degree in Business, Administration and Management at the University of Makeni.
Isatu is committed to EducAid’s work. She supports the Human Resources work in Port Loko, coordinates EducAid’s teacher-led research activities and teaches business studies in JSS and commerce in SSS. She works at the Rolal site, where she also takes care of the girls residing at the school. Her typical day starts with making sure that the girls complete their morning tasks such as cleaning up their rooms and common spaces, having breakfast and getting ready for class. She is then busy with her various roles until the afternoon when she takes the time for tutoring the girls and helping them with their homework.
When she thinks about her time as a student before entering EducAid’s school, she remembers that she was never encouraged by her teachers. They would flog the students and break their confidence. At EducAid, she found a completely different environment where teachers do not use corporal punishment, they use dialogue and peer support to intervene when students need to change their behaviour. Isatu is particularly proud of EducAid’s work on promoting girls’ education to empower girls and young women to and take control of their lives.
“I think my strengths are patience and perseverance, and I have developed these skills thanks to EducAid. I love my job, even if it is very challenging. I want to continue inspiring girls and being a role model for them”.
23 August 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today the spotlight is on Amadu, EducAid’s Finance Coordinator.
Amadu, or AK, is a proud Fourah Bay college graduate. His first full-time job was with EducAid as a Business Management, Economics and Commerce teacher. After a few years, he was offered the role of Finance Officer and started working at EducAid’s Lumley Offices.
His role today is Finance Coordinator, responsible for managing EducAid’s financial records and processes. This includes accounting, bookkeeping and payroll, but also contributing to the preparation of budgets for EducAid’s departments and programmes. One of his key tasks is, for example, analysing expenditures to find strategies to make more value-for-the-money choices and improve EducAid’s efficiency. He also contributes to the preparation of teaching and learning materials when needed.
“What is unique about EducAid is the team spirit. All the people I work with are dedicated and helpful. We work in an environment of commitment, mutual help, and love for what we do and for each other.”
AK is also very focused on his professional development. Not only is he a part-time student, studying to obtain the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Qualification, but he also spends a lot of his free time doing research on topics that can support his professional growth, such as project management, supply chain and logistics.
“I come from a poor family. My mother was an uneducated basic trader who strongly believed in the importance of education, and she transmitted that to me. I did not attend an EducAid school, I had to go through schooling the hard way, and I did not give up. I believe that the only thing that can help Sierra Leone is education and I hope that by supporting education I can make a real impact in the development of my country”
16 August 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today we talk about another one of our Site Coordinators, FA.
FA is responsible for the supervision of activities at EducAid’s Maronka Primary School. She is the Head Teacher and manages the daily activities on site. At Maronka, classes focus on literacy, numeracy and all the other subjects in the national curriculum, however the team also places emphasis on learning through play, children safety and confidence building.
Passionate about her work, FA carefully plans the school schedule to engage children for the entire day. She enjoys working with all the teachers as a team, to ensure that children meet their study target and feel part of the community. Children have regular classes in the morning, then they can join afternoon and evening activities that contribute to their learning and personal development (reading circles, sports, outdoor learning and more). FA also teaches Literacy and Numeracy, and she is a mentor to young girls.
“EducAid made me what I am today. Thanks to EducAid I have learnt how to be independent and face challenges on my own. As a woman, I feel the responsibility to pass this on to young girls, and to teach them how to find their way in life, how to take their own decision, how to fight for their rights and be the leaders of tomorrow”.
9 August 2022 – It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Lights on Mamadu, our Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. Monitoring and evaluation, often called M&E, is a key activity for the success of a project. It is a combination of data collection and analysis to assess whether an intervention has met its objectives.
At EducAid schools, success means that students learn and thrive. As M&E Coordinator, Mamadu continuously monitors the performance of students through the analysis of school reports. Mamadu is also a teacher of Religious and Moral Studies in JSS and English in SSS.
Like many EducAid team members, Mamadu attended an EducAid school before joining EducAid as volunteer first, and staff later. Born in Kono district, he currently lives in Rolal with his wife and two sons.
“EducAid has transformed my life. I used to be a troublesome student. When I arrived at EducAid, I had just lost my father and I did not have anyone to guide me in life. At EducAid, I have found a new family that helped me grow up and learn how to control myself. I hope I can keep working with EducAid and help young people fulfill their potential”.
It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today we want to introduce Kai, our Education Innovation Challenge (EIC) project coordinator. Initiated by The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation – DSTI, the EIC project improves the quality of education across Sierra Leone. Within this project, EducAid works in 60 schools in various districts to train teachers, with a focus on improving literacy and numeracy.
Before becoming the EIC project coordinator, Kai had already been working for EducAid in different capacities for over a decade. In this new role, he is enjoying the challenges of having to manage a field team. His main interest is however teacher training. A teacher himself, he is part of the Literacy team that supports teachers build not only their academic abilities, but most importantly their pedagogical and leadership skills.
“I teach Social Studies, Language, Art, Religious and Moral Education, Literature and Agriculture. From my experience, I can say that teachers have the potential of being real change makers. Building the capacity of teachers should be a priority for Education in Sierra Leone. Teachers need to learn how to be leaders and teach students values, not only school subjects. Also, it is important to strengthen the relations between the schools and the communities because the schools are for the communities, and the communities are the first to benefit from better education”.
In his freetime, Kai loves watching Bollywood and adventure movies, reading, and practicing yoga to keep active and healthy.
It’s Behind the Scenes Tuesday! Today the spotlight is on one of our Site Coordinators, Kabiru.
As Site Coordinator, Kabiru is responsible for the supervision of all EducAid’s activities in Rolal, EducAid’s largest school, in Port Loko district. Kabiru is very dedicated young man. He is the school principal and manages the day-to-day running if Rolal site. His role is to ensure a safe and high-quality learning environment for all students.
After completing secondary education at EducAid’s school in Lumley, Kabiru obtained his HTC teaching certificate and then became a volunteer teacher while earning his bachelor’s degree. At 23 years old, he was the youngest school principal of the history of Port Loko district. Today, he is pursuing an MBA in Human Resources Management at University of Makeni while working full-time at EducAid. On a typical week, Kabiru works at the Rolal site from Monday to Thursday. He has oversight on all the activities, engages with teachers and students, solve problems. He teaches Physics and Math. Then on Friday and Saturday, he is in Makeni to attend lectures. On Sunday, he is back to work in Rolal.
His plans for the future are to continue working as Education administrator to “ensure that all children and young people in Sierra Leone have the same opportunities that I had, to have access to high-quality education and build a good future for themselves”.
19 July 2022
It is time to talk about the beating heart of EducAid Sierra Leone. On each of our “Behind the Scenes Tuesday” we will introduce someone who is working behind the scenes to make EducAid’s work possible. This week we start with our Finance and Operation Manager, Ninie.
Ninie has been with the EducAid team for almost three years. She is fully committed to EducAid’s work because “we motivate and support people who would not have an opportunity otherwise”.
Originally from Sierra Leone, Ninie has spent many years in the UK. After the Ebola outbreak, she decided to come back to Freetown to help in those difficult times. She left her job at an international microfinance and investment firm to work with a foundation that provided access to education to young people through training and mentoring. She joined EducAid because she believes that education can truly change lives. Ninie enjoys her job and its challenges. She takes pride into making things possible. She enjoys bringing people together to create budgets for project that will make a real impact on many lives.
About Education in Sierra Leone, she says “there is a lot of hope, but it needs big investments. I have seen education truly changing six communities in the past years. Without it, there is no change. When I say education, I mean more than academic education, it is about learning how to take ownership and become responsible citizens, it is about learning values and how to live according to them”.