Recent News

BBC Focus On Africa Highlights The Supporting Role of The Centre

The ladies received a visit in March from Umaru Fofana, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Journalist in Sierra Leone.  He was delighted to see how we are supporting the girls during this transition season in their lives.  He interviewed some of the girls and Abu, who oversees the program.   Bendu tells us in the interview: When I became pregnant it was really difficult for me at that time because there was nobody by my side until I gave birth and I had no support to go back to school. Somebody with vision to learn not allowing her to go to school, it was not a easy thing. They really made us to feel very bad and left out – stigmatised while fellow students, my friends, my classmates are far ahead of me now. By being part of the center, I know that they are bringing back my future to me. They are telling me that I am somebody. They have given me life again. Please listen to the March 28th BBC audio recording on Youtube.  You can also read a full transcript of audio broadcast (PDF). This highlight by the BBC emphasizes the important role that you are playing through your support.  Because of you - these young women are able to have hope in the future. The young ladies in the Centre are doing well and working hard.  In the Computer lab sessions, the girls have learned how to create a Table of Contents in MS Word.  This included a demonstration and practical sessions on the following: Create different levels of headings inside the document. Insert a table of content at the beginning of the document. How to Update Table of Contents - headings and page numbers   The JSS classes are also learning about: multiplication in Mathematics, prepositions in Language Art, and types of energy in Integrated Science   The SSS classes are also working on: double entry in Financial Accounting, simplification in Mathematics, Reading including newspapers and magazines in English Language and prepositions in Language Art History   As you can see, it's a busy time or learning and progress at the Centre.  We are super excited at what the future has in store for these special ladies.   Thank you again for your support and helping us create pathways to success for them!
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The Search For a New Home Has Started

Thank YOU for your support and interest in making the home a true "Dream Home". We have excitedly started the process of looking for a new home. This process involved a review of the current housing situation. 1. Current property is not fenced / secure. 2. Does not have internal bathrooms. 3. Does not have a large dining area that can seat all the kids. 4. Transportation: Currently most of the kids are walking to a nearby school. 5. Does not have internal plumbing / running water.    We have included in this report some external photos of the home - so you can see what the area looks like.   With this in mind, here are a few items on our wish list 1. 5+ bedrooms 2. Fenced 3. Housing for Matron + 1 or 2 4. Location - Goderich to Wellington (readily accessible to public transportation / schools) 5. Ideally located within walking distance of a school.  Otherwise, we will need to purchase a bus. We welcome your suggestions of things we should keep in mind as we plan this transition.   The management team has determined that we might need to transition in 2 phases: Phase 1:  Lease a temporary, more ideal home.  We could use this home for 1-3 years.  Given the funding, this is an option that we would prefer to implement this year.  With this in mind, we have started the process of locating a house we could lease for this purpose.  This would help to address the most urgent need for security / safety.  We appreciate your support to make this a reality. Phase 2: Purchase a long term home.  This could involve buying an existing house or building a new house.  We have started looking for grant opportunities that will help make this a reality Thanks for your support and partnership.
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A Case Study and Progress Report About Isata

In July 2015, we introduced you to one of our projects' beneficiaries, Isata. In this report, we provide you with her case study and progress. Isata was born in August 1999. She is sixteen and a half years old. She comes from a very poor home. Isata’s father abandoned them when Isata was very young. Her mother is a single parent and they live in a slum dwelling and hawk charcoal for a living. Janet said, "One day Isata and her mother went to sell charcoal in my compound. At age eleven years Isata had not started schooling. Upon enquiry I found out that she was not going to school, because her mother could not afford her school charges. I asked the mother to enroll Isata in school with assurance of sponsorship. I enrolled Isata in the Develop Africa sponsorship project." Isata started school in class one at the Saint Thomas Municipal School in 2009. She was always among the top ten pupils in class. After six years of primary schooling, Isata has graduated into Junior Secondary School (JSS) at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls. All things being equal, she will spend three years in the JSS and will sit to the Basic Education Certificate Examination which will qualify her to enter the senior Secondary School. Isata and her mother are very grateful to Develop Africa and its donors whose sponsorship has made it possible for her to go to school. Isata is working hard in her new school to achieve her goal. YOUR support made this happen! Thanks so much.
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Our Computer Training Helps Trainee Progress With Her Career

We have together been providing computer training for several years now. As part of our review process, we contacted some of our previous trainees to find out if and how the training that we provided has helped them.  

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The kids now spend a longer time than before in the computer lab

Two months ago, a teacher of FAWE school started handling the computer training.  We have done a lot of work to ensure the kids receive adequate lessons in computer.   At present classes four and five are receiving computer training.  Class six has been exempted, due to their pending external examination that will take place on the 7th of May 2016. Their computer classes will commence two weeks after their examination. The kids have learnt how insert tables, format text, change font sizes, font colors and also to fill up tables with numbers.  They have also learned how to save and retrieve documents.   Because we now have a local teacher, the kids are now spending a longer time in the computer lab. Every lunch time is been seen as an opportunity to learn something new on the computer. They sometimes spend well over four hours in the computer lab. Computer training is now offered every day after school, as long as there is power. The kids are very eager to learn and thanks to YOUR support, we are able to continue to provide this training to them.   The computers in the lab were purchased as used computers in 2011 and are overdue for replacement. We appreciate your support today - which would enable us to replace them with newer computers with updated programs.  Thanks for your support.  
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Microfinance Loan Brings A New Start For Memunatu

Microfinance continues to be in high demand in Sierra Leone.  This is due to the fact that this is a proven way of helping people get out of poverty and develop a new sustainable income.  Thanks to your support, we offered this lifeline of support in February to Memunatu. Memunatu comes from a very poor family who lives in a slum dwelling. She has 4 brothers and 4 sisters. Both parents are alive but very poor and unable to take care of their children. Memunatu struggled through her primary and secondary education with meagre support from the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). Due to her challenging family background (e.g. difficulty in getting a meal a day, no conducive place to study, little or no learning materials, etc.) Memunatu did not do well in the final Senior Secondary School examination (West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination-WASSCE). However, because of her due determination and quest for advancement in life, she was supported by an individual to pursue a two-year catering course. She graduated with a good result, but has not been fortunate to secure a job. We have supported Memunatu with a micro-finance grant to embark on micro- enterprise. Based on the nature and volume of her business, Memunatu has requested to utilize the funds in phases as she improves on her business skills as well as minimize risks of losing the seed money due to poor management. She is using the knowledge and skills acquired in the catering school to prepare and sell by snacks such as fish ball, fish-in-batter, fried sausage, meat pie and kebbe (local food). She makes a return of between Le15, 000 and Le20, 000 ($2.54 -$3.39) a day. She is using part of the profit to take care of herself and her family (i.e. parents and siblings). Memunatu is very grateful to YOU for this support. She promises to work hard and advance herself and improve the standard of living of her parents and siblings. Together we are truly changing the world, one life at a time.
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Bitame Lucia Students Celebrate National Youth Day

During the second term of the 2015/2016 academic year, students at Bitame Lucia International School participated in and enjoyed many activities and celebrations. In Cameroon, the entire nation annually celebrates National Youth Day mobilizing the next generation of leaders. This celebration instills them with pride and the knowledge that their uniqueness plays an important role for their future advancement. During the week of National Youth Day, the theme in Cameroon was: YOUTH, CITIZENSHIP TO FIGHT AGAINST BOKO HARAM. Due to the instability of security around the country from terrorism, the government passed a decree suspending inter-school competitions for fear of gathering large crowds and thereby inviting insurgency of the Boko Haram terrorist group. Thus, Bitame Lucia students only participated in inter-class competitions at the school – from the nursery section to the primary section. Quizzes were organized for Classes 3-6. For the pre-nursery to nursery and Classes 1-2, little interaction games such as “Pick and Drop” were organized. After the competitions, the best pupils were awarded prizes. On February 11, 2016, Bitame Lucia International School went out to the stadium to commemorate National Youth Day with their counterparts from other institutions in the country. They participated in match pass alongside other schools that were selected to represent particular areas of every sub-division. Bitame Lucia was selected again this year because of their great performance last year. See the photos of the students proudly marching in their unique school colors. Participation in inter-school competitions such as football (Soccer) games, handball for both the boys and girls, and school excursions is dependent upon each school’s financial ability to support extra-curricular activities. This academic year, Bitame Lucia was able to provide their students with excursions that enriched them culturally. The children were afforded the experience of visiting the National Museum and the National Radio House. See the photos of the children on these excursions. After a very busy period, from February 1st to the 11th, Bitame Lucia students are studiously preparing for their end-of-term examinations. Thank YOU so much for helping our kids get the education they need. We are so grateful for YOUR continued support.
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Great Progress Towards Running Water System Implementation - Solar Power

We are so very thankful for you and your support.  We have been very busy preparing and getting ready to install the solar system the well. In the course of the past month, we have made tremendous progress as follows.  These steps were taken to ensure we make the best use of funds and arrive at optimal results. 1. Further Depended The Well.  The water well was manually dug (by hand - using hand tools such as a chisel, sledge hammer etc.) In order to optimize water supply, we decided to further deepen the well. This was done in the past week to the depth of 52 feet.  At this depth we ran into a layer of rock spreading across the entire width.  See photos of the well digger in See photos of the well digger in action, his support staff and sample rock from the bottom of the well. 2. Consulted on Water Pump / Tank Logistics: We have consulted on and researched on best practices with regard to water wells. We needed to confirm the water well depth - and ensure that the system we acquired would provide the needed lift to supply water to the tank. This process is ensuring we start off with a great foundation and minimize pitfalls / stumbling blocks that may arise.   3. Made Progress With Acquiring The Water Pump and Solar Panels: Our initial plan was to purchase the water pump and solar panels. Fortunately, just before we concluded the purchase, a member of the DA team, working with another nonprofit organization, was able to obtain a verbal promise from the pump supplier to provide the pump and panels to us at zero cost. This has involved an extensive review process to optimize end results / ensure success. We anticipate that this will ship out in the next 2-3 weeks. This is great news! We are excited about the progress we have made - thanks to YOUR support. This project raised part of the needed funds and we would deeply appreciate your support over the next 30 days.  This will enable us to purchase all the needed supplies and complete this project.  With this in mind, we have started a new project here – please help us make this a reality.  When we are done, running water will no longer be a luxury! Thanks for your support.
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Bye Bye Malaria! - Provide Mosquito Nets

Your support provided a net for an old woman called Ena Marie.  She tells us in this video in Limba (one of the local languages in Sierra Leone) how the net has helped her.  Watch the video Ena Marie says in the video: I want to thank God for the bed net. It has taken a long time that I have not been affected by malaria. I have not gone to the hospital for malaria because of the bed net you provided. Thank you very much. Ebola has come and gone I have not been to the hospital because of sickness. Your partnership and donations made the difference!  Together we are truly changing the world, one life at a time. The other day we ran into an article that gripped us. Here is an excerpt from the article: Why is malaria the most important cause of economic distress? ANSWER: While malaria is clearly a huge burden on many aspects of society, including economies, in many parts of the world, I’m not sure it’s fair to say that it’s the leading cause of economic distress. However, it certainly contributes to slow economic progress, through mechanisms related to the “poverty trap” hypothesis developed by Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Colombia University in New York City. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2012 there were more than 200 million cases of malaria and nearly 630,000 people, mostly children, died of the disease. Our challenge to fight them is a public health issue and treatments such as air conditioning, filters on cisterns, effective water sourcing, and minimizing standing water are essential mosquito management tools. Even simple mosquito nets have been effective. And while these techniques have all contributed to the decline of disease overall, in some parts of the world, more effort is needed. This is why - all the more - we need to continue to provide this life-saving resource. Thanks so much for your kind support!
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