For the past two years, we’ve been supplying books which support our partners’ work in Sierra Leone rebuilding the country following over a decade of war and the Ebola crisis. The education system is still recovering from the civil war which destroyed over 1,000 primary schools and forced 67% of school age children out of school. The Ebola outbreak further weakened the system and schools closed for an academic year.
One of our partners, Practical Tools Initiative (PTI), supports the rehabilitation of deprived post-war communities in Africa with tools, materials for schools and mobility aids for disabled people. PTI’s Western Area Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Mamson Musa, gave us an update on the difference that the books you have helped to send are making.
One of the major challenges in post-war Sierra Leone is reviving the education system and improving literacy and numeracy. The effect of the ten-year civil war is vivid on the country’s education standards – public signs and advertisements are key indicators. Before the war, it was impossible to see poorly written adverts. Today they are very common.
Since the start of our partnership with Book Aid International, we have become a leading independent provider of educational support services in Sierra Leone.
Thanks to the new books supplied by Book Aid International, we have been able to intervene in critical cases where educational institutions have been threatened with closure due to lack of resources.
Nixon Memorial Hospital’s nursing school was desperate. Only two years ago, it was going to be closed for lack of resources. Book Aid International supplied 1,000 brand new text books. We also delivered computers and medical equipment. Today, it is a key performer in the provision of education for nurses and community healthcare workers in Sierra Leone! Last year, the nursing school had a 100% pass rate. This has not happened since 1990.
In 2017, the secondary school books we received from Book Aid International enabled us to supply much needed reading resources to 20 underperforming community schools in the west of Sierra Leone, like Akibo Betts Municipal School in Freetown. The school was established in the early 1960s and before the civil war was one of the leading community schools in Freetown. It fell into disrepair after the war and now caters for some of the most impoverished communities in the city. This and each of the other 19 schools received 1,000 books.
Nixon Memorial Hospital and these 20 community schools are just some of the places in Sierra Leone where readers now have the resources they need to read, learn and reach their full potential thanks to the books you help to send.
Check back for more updates from our partners in Sierra Leone. In the meantime, take a look at the links below to find out more about our work to support readers in Sierra Leone.