A New School Year has Begun!
Monday, September 9th, 2019 was an exciting day as EduNations schools reopened for the 2019-2020 academic year! Students returned feeling refreshed from their summer breaks, many of them using this time to rest, help their parents with farm work, and visit extended family in other towns and villages.
The first day back was busy and full of joy. In preparation for the beginning of school, the heads of schools had worked with contracted tailors to prepare school uniforms and on the first day of school, they had the opportunity to pass them out to their students.
More excitement came on this day as all EduNations students received new school supplies! Each student received a packet of 80 page exercise books, four pens, three pencils, sharpeners, a ruler, a geometry set, and a packet of crayons. Teachers also received new teaching materials.
Smiles could be seen on everyone’s faces as school supplies were passed out. In many communities, people joyfully paraded around the school campuses singing and dancing. In their songs they praised God, EduNations donors, the President and the administrative staff. One parent even shed tears of joy because she was not expecting such a big blessing at the time.
The day ended with broad smiles and hearts filled with love and thankfulness. As the day drew to a close, one of the student’s parents exclaimed,
We’ve reached a milestone in my child’s education as she has got all her 2019-2020 school materials.
We are so excited to see what this school year will bring!
EduNations Students Receive New School Supplies
School materials are the supporting gears and equipment that aid learning. Thanks to all of our generous donors, EduNations has been able to provide free school supplies and teaching materials to all students and teachers in our schools each year. This year was no exception, and we were able to provide free school supplies and uniforms to our students on the first day of school.
In order to effectively provide what is needed at each school, the heads of schools were asked at the end of last year to create a list of supplies needed for the following school year. The lists were then given to a supplier who purchased all needed materials and delivered them to EduNations’ head office in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. EduNations’ Education Officer, Hassan Koroma, then met with all of the Heads of Schools to distribute the teaching and learning materials so that they could transport the materials to their villages in the remote parts of the country.
This year, the teaching and learning materials were comprised of four different categories:
- School uniforms and supplies for students
- Uniforms for newly employed teachers
- Teaching materials
- Administrative materials
On the first day of school on September 9th, all students and their parents gathered in front of EduNations schools as students waited to receive their uniforms and supplies. All of the students were able to receive a new uniform, pens, pencils, a packet of 80-page exercise books, a geometry set, a ruler, and a packet of crayons. The day was filled with joy and many smiles as students and parents thanked EduNations and all of its supporters for blessing them in this way.
We are grateful to be able to provide free school supplies and uniforms to our students because we know they make a huge difference in their learning. Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us so that we can provide these materials free of cost.
Benefit Concert and Conference with Michael Card
Join beloved musician and author, Michael Card, for a Benefit Concert and Biblical Imagination Conference on December 6-7, 2019 at Memorial Park Church. The concert on Friday, December 6 is free admission with a goodwill offering benefiting EduNations, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the underprivileged children of Sierra Leone. Get your free tickets for early access at 6:00 p.m. Doors will open for general admission at 6:45 p.m.
In the conference on Saturday, December 7 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Michael will be teaching on the subject of “Hesed”, the untranslatable Hebrew word found numerous times in the scriptures, describing the inexpressible lovingkindness of God. Tickets for the conference cost $35. Discounts available. More details can be found at EduNations.org/Benefit-Concert.
Junior Secondary Students Using New School Building
The roof of the Rokassa Junior and Senior Secondary School is officially raised and we are so excited! When completed in full, the two-story building will provide space for 600-800 junior and senior secondary students to learn. This year, the first floor of the building is being utilized by the junior secondary students in Rokassa. Until now, these students had been sharing a school building with the primary students, causing extra complications in their learning.
The excitement and eagerness to learn was almost tangible on the first day of school thanks to this new school building. Many of the students had never been in a two-story building before and were blown away by the size of it. In addition to Rokassa students, several newly enrolled students from neighbouring villages also showed up on the first day of school determined to learn.
The new building has spacious classrooms, comfortably holding up to 50 students in each. The desks are positioned in rows to allow each student to see properly. These classrooms are also using white boards for the first time ever instead of chalk boards. Our teachers and students are very excited about this change, making them even more motivated to teach and learn. The classrooms are stocked with the proper teaching and learning materials, and are well ventilated and lit. All of these decisions were carefully thought through in order to make this space most conducive for learning.
We cannot help but agree with one of our student’s parents as she exclaimed, “a dream has come true, a blessing has befallen upon us”. Our dream at EduNations has been to see students graduate from high school with confidence and hope for their future. Thanks to all of you, this building is the step that will make that dream become a reality. We are so grateful!
A Time of Rest and Rejuvenation
At EduNations, we believe in taking great care of our employees. This includes not only paying them a good and timely salary but providing them a much needed break from work through allocated leave time for rest and family bonding.
Since the start of the year, we have been monitoring our personnel’s workload. We are aware that since we complete our work with a very small administrative staff to ensure that we utilize the greater percentage of our resources on the children we serve, each staff member carries a very heavy workload. To compensate for their hard work and to show our appreciation for them, we allocate a few weeks during each year for each staff member to rest.
Samuel Sesay’s leave time was spent in England where he spent a lot of quality time with his two daughters Samuella and Samrine. Samuel says his time in England was devoted to being with his children without other commitments and distractions. He returned to work feeling refreshed after this time away. Isaac spent his leave time preparing for and taking his MSC in Accounting classes. Back from his leave, he says he feels ready to reengage with his work. The experiences of Rev Hassan Koroma, Fatu Koroma and Sarah Pietryga during their leave time were similar in the sense that they were able to rest, spend time with family, and catch up on other responsibilities they had left undone while busy with work.
With everyone back from their annual leave just in time for the start of the school year, we are all feeling the benefits of having had a much needed break and are excited to continue igniting hope and bringing transformation through education.