EduNations Charitable Golf Tourament

We’re back! Please join us for our 2021 EduNations Charitable Golf Tournament at Avalon Golf and Country Club (1030 Forker Blvd., Hermitage, PA 16148) on September 20, 2021.

Golf Instagram Post (1)The event will include a 4-person scramble with skill prizes and a delicious lunch. We will also host a banquet dinner at the club following the completion of the round of golf. 

Leading up to our day of golf, we will be kicking off a week-long online silent auction! Join in the fun to win items such as a getaway, signed sports memorabilia, gift baskets, and more. If you are interested in donating an item to our silent auction, click here to fill out our donation form. All auction items are due to Debbie Stauffer by September 1, 2021. If you have any questions, please email or call 412-522-4756. 

Thanks to all of those who attended the 2020 EduNations Charitable Golf Tournament, we were able to Send Them to School for their first year at the Senior Secondary School in Rokassa, Sierra Leone! Now, we need to Send More to School, as this year will be the first year with two classes of students! Since the Senior Secondary School in Rokassa will function as a boarding school, our students from all 6 villages will come to Rokassa for their high school education where we will provide housing in the dormitories and a meal plan covering three meals a day for each student. Will you help us make this a reality for the second class of students? 

Our goal is to raise $50,000 to Send More to School! This fundraising goal will provide room and board to the second class of students enrolled at EduNations Senior Secondary School in January 2022.

To register, click here.

Helping Students with Disabilities

Many people in Sierra Leone hold negative attitudes towards children with disabilities, including children’s own parents! Since unhelpful cultural beliefs and lack of knowledge about people with disabilities are the biggest causes of such attitudes, EduNations conducted training for parents and teachers inDisability3 communities where children live with a variety of different disabilities.

The training was facilitated by EduNations Psychosocial Coordinator, Fatu Koroma, and a specialist from the United States with expertise in teaching children with disabilities. Training included information about different kinds of disabilities and that children with disabilities born all over the world can still lead lives of dignity and meaning. Many parents had considered their child’s disability their fault and were reassured that in many cases, this is not so.

Parents were also informed about provisions within Sierra Leone’s “Disability Act” regarding rights and privileges of persons with disabilities. Many parents had no knowledge of this law, nor that their children benefited from its provisions.

Parents were given practical guidance about how to best assess their child’s capabilities, advocate for their child, and work together with EduNations’ teachers to build the best future for their child.

Because EduNations believes that all children are created with inherent dignity as children of God, our staff is happy to frequently “go the extra mile” to help these children with disabilities.

Reflections from EduNations’ Summer Intern

By: Paige Snyder

People have been asking me all summer, “how is your internship going?”, and I always struggle to find the correct words to convey how meaningful my experience with EduNations has been. From the moment I began working here, I was welcomed with open arms and treated like part of a family. On one of my first days on the job, Sarah (my internship coordinator) set up a zoom meeting so that I could meet the rest of the staff. What really stuck out to me during that 15-minute encounter was the joy and love for one another that each and every staff member radiated.

Picture1For those of you who don’t know much about me, I am highly motivated by serving others. I’ve been on multiple mission trips, lead Bible Studies, and served as a counselor for various middle/high school camps. Working at EduNations has been an incredible way for me to pursue that passion, as I am able to use my skills and abilities to serve the “least of these.”

Tangibly, as the marketing and communications intern, I’ve mainly utilized my digital skills. If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen firsthand some of the projects I’ve been working on. I do most of the posting on Instagram and Facebook and have created a few event promotion materials. I’ve worked on graphics and content for the Sierra Leone Appreciation Dinner, the Golf Tournament, and in a few weeks, the Christmas Concert. One challenge that I’ve been faced with recently is how we can grow our platforms and get younger people from my generation involved in EduNations (I’m still brainstorming on this one so let me know if you have any ideas haha!).

While all of these experiences with EduNations have been amazing, the most impactful part of my internship has been seeing how the faithful people of EduNations have inspired so much growth in the communities of Sierra Leone. I remember listening to Samuel speak at the Sierra Leone Appreciation Dinner in June and thinking, “Wow, what an inspiring example of a faithful servant. The Lord truly has blessed and multiplied the efforts of this organization.” For those of you who have been with EduNations for a while or know much about their efforts, I’m sure you can supply a resounding “amen!”

Working at EduNations has completely changed the way I view nonprofits and sustainable growth. While I don’t know what the next chapter of my life holds, I do know that visiting Sierra Leone and meeting all of the people I’ve heard so much about is at the top of my to-do list. I am excited to see what the rest of my time at EduNations holds, and how the Lord will continue to grow and bless this incredible organization.

EduNations Vision Stays Active and Focused in Difficult Times

By: Samuel Sesay – President

EduNations was founded following the devastation of the ten year ‘blood diamond’ civil war to try to help the uneducated children of Sierra Leone. Born out of such a dire situation, EduNations has had to remain focused in the pursuit of its vision and mission to provide a free education for children in the remote villages of Sierra Leone ever since it began working in 2004.

“Motivated by compassion for the least of these[1] ” EduNations gives poor children tangible reasons to hope. More than just teaching the ABCs, our schools serve as beacons of growth and learning in Sierra Leone. And since educating children enriches a community, which then strengthens a nation, we believe that helping to educate these children today, we are creating a brighter future for this nation tomorrow.

16186FA1-EA07-4786-B64C-1FB2F88C6021 - Samuel SesayIn practical terms, one could say that Sierra Leone was barely emerging from the effects of the civil war when it was again slammed by the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2015, then by the mudslides and floods of 2016 -2017, and now the Covid-19 pandemic. While national politicians use these events to explain why the country has yet to make more progress, EduNations has, with your support and God’s help, made significant gains despite these severe challenges.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious economic and social impacts around the world, the impact is far deeper in developing countries such as Sierra Leone. Before the outbreak of covid-19 in March 2021, Sierra Leone’s economic prospects for the medium term were very promising. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected economic growth of approximately 4.5 percent over the medium-term period of 2020-2022 and that inflation would moderate to single digit levels. However, within one year of the pandemic, the negative effects of ~3 percent economic contraction were felt virtually in all sectors including households, businesses, educational institutions and in both the public and private sectors.

Despite these challenges, and pandemic related lockdowns, social distancing and face masks, and restrictions on inter-district movement, we remain committed to our mission to operate schools and provide a completely free education to thousands of Sierra Leonean children in rural communities.

In December 2020, I credited the faithful generosity of our donors with keeping us afloat. Thank you! And while donors’ support remains crucial, I also want to thank our dedicated staff and Board for helping us to help us remain faithful and focused on continuing to ignite hope through education in Sierra Leone.

[1] See Matthew 25:40

Harnessing the Synergy in Partnerships

EduNations has developed a range of networks within Sierra Leone over the years to cooperate with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the benefit of our students. These networks have ranged from informal assistance in cooperating with government institutions, to formal application in partnership with other NGOs for projects grants, to collaborations in community resources and development, or even subsidiary organizations such as the EduNations MicroFinance arm.

Over time, we have seen that synergies of these partnerships have produced greater results than either organization could have achieved alone. These relationships have consistently enlarged our networks, complemented our activities, and expanded our operations but this year we received two elements of assistance that were especially timely. World Hope International loaned EduNations a vehicle to help us move school materials to the village, and the installation of a $12,000 solar power system in Rokassa with funds from EduNations MicroFinance has literally provided light in the darkness at facilities including the school, the computer lab, the science lab and the library, the church, and the student boarding facilities.

But since EduNations’ founding, our oldest institutional relations have been with a group of NGOs called the Sierra Leone Alliance. This group of NGOs have continually provided support to our operation which ranges from the running of a clinic in the community of Rokassa to the provision of wells in our communities though the Sierra Leone Alliance organizations.

So thank you for your continued support of our mission in education. It is thanks to you and our cooperation with others who are committed to the development of Sierra Leone’s people that we can ignite hope in Sierra Leone.