Exam Preparations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are happy to report that classes resumed in July for a limited period, but only for IMG_8103 - Hassan KoromaEduNations students preparing for the annual basic, primary, and secondary school certification exams. Following guidance from the Sierra Leone government and the West African Examinations Council as well as best safety practices, the EduNations Coronavirus Task Force teams worked with local and school authorities and parents to prepare the schools in each of the six communities to receive teachers and students on July 1st with facial masks on, ready to teach and learn.

Sierra Leone is a member of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) with three sister countries. Each of the WAEC member countries consulted with each other before developing a school reopening plan with examination dates for West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) announced that schools would only be reopened for external examinations candidates. With this decision MBSSE gave the schedule as follows: Basic Education Certificate (BECE) – Schools to open for eight weeks; National Primary School Examination (NPSE) – for four (4) weeks with exams on the 3rd August IMG_8098 - Hassan Koroma2020 and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) – for a total period of six weeks with all schools resuming the 1st of July 2020. The announcement of the remission of schools affected all EduNations communities as they are remote, poor areas.

Each EduNations school reactivated the coronavirus safety protocols in which they had trained in March 2020 with an additional provision of an isolation room (where if a student gets sick in school, he/she is held and monitored before being sent home). Schools strictly enforced wearing masks, social distancing measures, frequent hand washing, and suspension of extracurricular activities. Although teachers and students found wearing facial masks difficult at first, after two weeks they are accustomed to them. We look forward to reporting on test results in an upcoming newsletter.

Clients’ Stories of Hope

Two years ago, EduNations had the exciting opportunity to begin a Microfinance organization in order to support local Sierra Leoneans in their business ventures. Over the past two years, EduNations has been able to support hundreds of individuals through providing small loans. Below are a few stories of some of our clients who have benefitted from the loans they have received.

kadiatuKadiatu Kamara is a local dealer of building materials. Until recently, she had very few items to sell. With the loan that EduNations Microfinance was able to give her, she has been able to build her inventory of materials and increase her variety of items that were not part of her business before. She has also been able to create an extension of another shop thereby creating an employment for her husband who was out of a job for over ten years.

2Mary is one of our clients who received a loan to grow her business. Her husband was the employee of a motorcycle rider and transported people on motorbikes to earn money. Mary is very hardworking in her business and she was able to save enough of her profit to purchase her husband a second-hand motorbike so that he no longer had to ride for a master. Not only that, but she used her profits to purchase another motorbike that was brand new. Now, both Mary and her husband are working together and using their capital to earn money and repay the loans that were given to Mary. They have also earned enough profit to support their three children’s’ education.

ramatuRamatu Kanu – a widow who continues to amaze us – is one of our clients who was among the first group that applied for loans. With such a remarkable boost in her business, she is thankful to EduNations Microfinance for such assistance, especially now that she is capable of paying her daughter’s University fee in UNIMAK (University of Makeni). Within the last six months she came to us and expressed her thanks and appreciation that she has been able to acquire a piece of land which she intends to develop in the near future.

Grieving with my friend Abraham over the loss of his beloved wife

By: Samuel Sesay, EduNations President

“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. You shall call, and I will answer You; You will long for the creature your hands have made.” (Job 14:14-15)

3cfdbbd0-4ea7-4a8e-93cd-af2776313249My friend Abraham Kargbo’s wife Kadiatu, whom he called ‘Beloved’, passed from this life to the next on June 28th after succumbing to tuberculosis. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies in the Lord to Abraham and his family as they mourn.

On the morning of June 27, Abraham sent me this text message: “Please brother, I need your prayers more than ever because as I’m reading along the lines, it was this same period Barnabas fell sick and passed away on September 5. Humanly speaking, I’m down and discouraged.” Pray I did. For Abraham. For Kadiatu. For Abraham’s sake and for the kids, I pleaded with the Lord to spare Kadiatu. I prayed hopefully until Abraham texted. “As it pleased the Lord, he has called her to rest at 12:20am.”

Abraham and Kadiatu were married for 15 years and served the Lord together in Makeni, Kabala, Gbenekoro and Fintonia. He called Kadiatu “Beloved” referring to the Song of Solomon’s “My beloved is mine and I am (hers).…” {Song of Solomon 2:16). They had 4 children; one dying early in their marriage and another, their son Barnabas, dying only last September. As you might imagine, my friend Abraham is grieving profoundly.

ff9fe3b3-6d04-4ada-9f40-70bdd9de2213To lose a woman with whom you have spent 15 years of your life, without whom you have not made a single decision, is hard. To lose Kadiatu, known by all as such a loving, supportive, hospitable woman seems too much to endure. No wonder even after two weeks her passing, Abraham grieves hard.

We are assured by Scripture that for those who have put their confidence in Jesus Christ, earth’s loss is Heaven’s gain. For such a faithful servant, we believe that Kadiatu heard the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23) Yes, if a person dies, they shall live again and if they die in the Lord, they would surely spend eternity with the Lord. Please join me as I pray daily that Abraham would be comforted by this truth which I know he believes and by the God who promises that He will never leave nor forsake us (Joshua 1:5).