We started working with EU in April 2016, this relationship has enabled us to significantly scale up our teacher training outreach programme as well as getting support for some construction. The EU has created a big impact in supporting EducAid and in educating vulnerable Sierra Leoneans.
The opening of the QEP buildings commenced on Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 11am in Maronka Village. There were many people that attended the opening in both Maronka and Rolal, including: the EU ambassador, Peter Versteeg and his team; the Port Loko Paramount Chief, Adikali Mallah; Brima Koroma, Deputy Director of Education in Port Loko District; Christo Forster, EducAid Governor; Reverend Fathers from the Catholic Diocese lecturers from Port Loko Teachers College; the EducAid team; and, Pa Santigie Mansaray, Maronka chief, and other members of the community.
All the invited guests arrived in Maronka, the QEP4E primary school of excellence, at around 10:30am. Student ambassadors took them around to see the day to day school activities, and allowed them to observe the EducAid learning system. From their observations they were very moved by the students’ boldness and more specifically in the area of independent learning wherein students learn on their own.
After observing the class activities Miriam Mason-Sesay, EducAid Country Director, warmly welcomed all the visitors for their effort and commitment to the event and she was very delighted about their presence. Miriam explained the purpose of the event and introduced the esteemed guests present.
The EU ambassador spoke about the significant impact EducAid has for young vulnerable Sierra Leoneans in the area of giving free quality and holistic education which he believes will make Sierra Leone and the world a better place. Peter attested that he is very excited about what Miriam and the EducAid team are doing in this part of the country, and with that he is always proud and happy to work with EducAid. Peter was also moved by the classes he observed and the ability of the students to speak loud and clear English which has been a problem in Sierra Leone. In his speech he also congratulated Miriam and her team about their relentless effort in working assiduously to make sure that their set goals are achieved.
Mr Brima Koroma, Deputy Director of Education for Port Loko District emphasised the good work of EducAid in promoting real education to young people of this country. He was also moved by the Quality Enhancement Programme for Education which has been funded by the European Union and run by EducAid. Mr Brima said he is very grateful to EducAid which have the knowledge about how education can be improved in our country. Miriam and her team established the Quality Enhancement Programme for Education (QEP4E) in Maforkie Chiefdom which aims to train teachers from partner schools in order to acquire new teaching skills and improve their teaching standards. He also commended the staff of EducAid for the services they are rendering which he believes are the key factors in the success of the programme, and responsible for the quality results in public exams in EducAid schools.
After all the activities and the declaration of speeches, the EU ambassador Peter Versteeg officially opened the buildings by cutting the ribbon which demonstrated that they have finally given the buildings to EducAid. The European Union has funded the extension of the Girls’ Safe House, and a new Teacher Training Building in Maronka. It was very interesting and lots of fun to be a part of and, after cutting the ribbon, Peter commended Miriam and her team for the great work done.
The extension of the Girls’ Safe House in Maronka will help us to improve our accommodation of girls in the home. The new constructed building will accommodate approximately 100 female students.
The new QEP training centre is very helpful to achieve our training programme. The centre will hold more than one hundred and twenty participants per training and this helps us to have many schools involve.
The Rolal new building will be used for classes and as well as a dwelling place for EducAid’s home students. This is a very necessary building since Rolal is our most populated site with more than eight hundred students, and six hundred of them live in the home. It was a very difficult to accommodate, but the new additional building has created a big impact in improving home situation.
On behalf of EducAid, I would like to thank the European Union for the great support they have been giving us, and also a big thank you goes to Peter the EU Ambassador in Sierra Leone and his entourage for their effort and belief they took to make the opening successful.
As the hosts of the event, the EducAid students and staff made a fantastic job in welcoming and showing the EU members and other visitors around, and explaining to them the EducAid system. I know it is very difficult but your hard work and effort has shown the EU Ambassador and other visitors that EducAid has values that can be injected to their pupils to make Sierra Leone a better place in the world. With that regard I would like to say big thanks to all those that participated to make the occasion successful and enjoyable.
Abass Kamara is an EducAidian through and through. He has taken up many new roles and responsibilities this year which include taking responsibility for the data collection in EducAid’s new M&E data collection programme, as well as reporting back stories and events from the EducAid community in Sierra Leone.
Abass is based in Maronka Village and works closely with Miriam as well as the team in London. He hopes one day to be EducAid Country Director.