Engaging Communities to Promote Sustainable Progress
EduNations operates in remote rural communities in the country where most families live at the “subsistence level”, working hard to just barely feed themselves. While EduNations’ schools provide hope for rising generations through child education, EduNations also promotes health and prosperity by participation in regular community meetings which educate parents in sustainable development practices.
What kind of community meetings? Sierra Leone’s 2004 Education Act requires School Management Committees (SMC) and Community Teachers Associations (CTA) as ways of community interaction with school administrators and teachers. All community members are welcomed and encouraged to participate. In addition to meetings, SMC and CTA leaders reach out by visiting each family homes or farms.
What kind of sustainable community practices? SMC and CTA leaders teach communities how to manage their human, natural, and financial resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations. In addition to thinking beyond just the next harvest, discussions cover a broad spectrum of topics from formation of cooperative groups; building a shared vision of sustainable community prosperity; and identifying unbiased and factual information and engaging with trusted advisors to help them plan for the future.
One participant said, “Today I learned how to foster community spirit by creating a source of belonging, a sense of place and a sense of self-worth, a reliable food supply that optimizes local food production, adequate health services; safe and high quality education for all communities. Thank you, EduNations, for your concern for us, our children’s education, and their future.”
EduNations Benefit Concert featuring Michael Card and Jeremy Casella is next week! Join us for this annual evening of music that makes a difference on December 4, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).
In an effort to keep everyone safe, this year’s concert will be offered as a hybrid version, with both in-person seating at Memorial Park Church and online attendance available. Seating is limited, so in-person tickets will be sold this year for $50/person or $75/couple. Online attendance is free of charge. Ticket sales will open soon – stay tuned!
From Accountant to Social Worker – Josephine’s Story
By: Josephine Kenah
Numbers and math were easy for me, so it was natural to enter and complete a 4-year program in Accounting. And while my dream had been to develop my career in a traditional business setting, learning about EduNations’ mission to improve the lives of children through education captured my heart, inspiring me to change my dream to serving these children and, hopefully, my country.
When I signed on with EduNations in August 2020 as a Social Worker, I was excited to be part of an organization which fights for social justice, the rights and welfare of all of Sierra Leone’s people. My duties as a Social Worker are to ensure that my communities have access to information relating to child rights and safety, health and education according to the Child Rights Acts 2007 and guidelines from the government of Sierra Leone and the World Health Organization. Being a Social Worker is the best way to promote those rights and help the children maximize their full potentials and make our nation a better place to live in.
My first experiences in my communities have been very challenging but I have been encouraged by other EduNations staff and their energy and commitment for all other activities.
I have also been encouraged to believe we are making a real impact in the lives of the children. We see reductions in child abuse, child labor, and child neglect.
The positive results of our work allow me to conclude that my choice to become a Social Worker for EduNations was a good one because I’m helping EduNations transform Sierra Leone.
EduNations Kindergarten Teacher Training
You may know that every one of EduNations’ five primary schools has a Kindergarten as required by Sierra Leone’s education authorities. But you may not know that it was just last year when the government approved the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Curriculum for use across Sierra Leone.
Since teacher training is a key to the students’ learning, EduNations conducted a week-long workshop for all the Kindergarten teachers to acquaint them with the new curriculum. We were also grateful for the input from a team of expert teachers from North Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA who visited in summer of 2019.
The workshop included five training modules covering everything from curriculum, teaching techniques, and standards with a lot of interaction and demonstrations to reinforce the material taught.
Although the workshop concluded just a few weeks ago on October 17th, EduNations supervisors are pleased that all teachers are using the new curriculum and also employing the best practice teaching techniques which they just learned.
A Time of to be Grateful
Every year EduNations sets aside a week to focus on the spiritual aspect of our lives and work. This year from October 30th to November 6th, the pupils and staff of EduNations were encouraged to focus on improving their moral and spiritual lives. Opportunities were given for a time to do personal meditations, prayer, group Bible study and congregational prayers. Many administrators, teachers, and students fasted and recommitted their work and studies to God, thankful for the many blessings received throughout the year.
In a year like 2020, we were especially grateful to God and our contributors for continual provision in a year full of special challenges and tragedy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many organizations have suffered acute lack or been forced to close, EduNations is very grateful that God and EduNations sponsors have continued to provide for us.
Our attitude during the week was summarized as, “God’s blessings we cannot fully tell! He whose hand has guided us deserves our praise.” Seeing how our needs have been supplied in the midst of such uncertain times has been so encouraging to us. Thankful for the many donors whose giving has allowed us to continue to educate the children of Sierra Leone, we pray God’s blessing on you and your families this Thanksgiving season.