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Recently arrived to Wara Wara, Sierra Leona, and stayed with a local family that live in this city of 20.000 people. Hospitality and friendship are constantly showing to me on this beautiful country.
Arrived here 2 weeks ago, to this beautiful, green, dark and rainy place.While in the plane I was thinking how lucky I am, and what an incredible challenge is in front of us, for Cristina and me. This flight closes 3 month of really intensive job, working into developing the project, knocking on a thousand and one doors, seeking for help to make it real.
I want to share with all of you, that this initial part of the project, has been an absolute success, we have been greeted a million times, and that has been shown in amazing different ways.
Cristina and me, are honestly, exhausted, but our hearts are filled with happiness.
As soon as we finished developing the project, we traveled to Logroño (Spain) to talk to COOPERA, our support from Europe. Talked to David Jimeno, it’s president, and all his team. Once again we got congratulated and their help was offered to us whenever this one could be needed.
Have been 3 months of hard work, where tons of people has been giving us their support on different ways: Got tons of help to elaborate the “fund’s meeting party” that we had on Madrid and Las Palmas, both of them a super success. We got hundreds of gifts for the lotery that we prepared, we got helped with free signs that were hang all around these cities, our blog is under construction at the moment, and will be soon open to all of you.
We have got full support from our families and friends, and from people absolutely unknown for us, everybody have fall in love with the project.
There has been beautifull stories during this procces. Like this girl, wich we didnt know. She woks on a Educational NGO. After reading our project she liked it so much, that on her son’s b-day party (Mateo, 6 years old) she decided to explain it to all the kids that came to the party, and…
each one of them ended up giving some money for our purpose!!! :)))
Other friends from Gran Canaria, developed what they called “the gold campaign”. They got hundreds of broken chains, bracelets, earings….pieces that were never used anymore and were made of gold…
After a long recollection, they sold all of it, and gave to us the money to help us with the project.
Many people has been involved on one way or another…It’s been amazing to experience it!!
I am absolutely sure that this project is gonna be an awesome success…Thanks to our work, thanks to the incredible generosity of so many people…because this people do need it.
Our families and friends have offered us help to pay for food and accomodation while there. and “BY GOD POWER”, (as they say here) the project is getting funding to ‘start’ working hardly on it. Hopefully some more will come soon.
ON SIERRA LEONA
After landing with 2 hours delay, (already dark here), Dady was waiting for me on the terminal. Dady is a good local friend that has been working with me on my previous visits here. We got 2 “scootertaxis” and while riding on this “chinese” bike, over the messy roads, under the sticky hot air…I felt happiness.
I thought to myself -“Back in Africa. Back in Sierra Leona, with this beautiful project in front of us”. These ones are strange moments of fullfillness, where I feel complete freedom…where I feel in peace.
Spent the night under my cuban’s friends roof -Clara, Miguel and Boris-.
Since then I have share home with many other different friends…with “Sister” Elisa and the Clarisa’s sisters, in Lunsar, with Jose Luis Garaoya’s house and the Recoleto’s Agustinos, with Wara Wara Bafodea’s king, and here in Kabala, with Mr. Candeh, a casual friend that I have met during the trip and has invited me to stay with him for a couple of days…
Amazingly and thanks to the generosity of this people I have only paid for 2 nights of guesthouses since I am here (7 eur/night).
Here in Kabala are “medicos del mundo” (“Doctors on the world”, and NGO that give medical support to the needed, where is needed). Here I met Pino again, after seeing her on Las Palmas fund meeting party, and this is her first time here…life has it’s ways! 😉
Here are Jose, Mireia, NIco, Vanesa, etc… There are some canadians, danish, and americans from different associations.
Friendship and support wherever we go.
This 2 weeks, I have been solving some issues. Been working in continuing the “sponsorship” from Spain of 5 people that I have been following during the last 4 years. Moses wants to be a tailor in Freetown, Mariam Koroma is studying secondary in Lunsar, John Kamara studies agricultural engineering in Makeni and Abu Bakar and Issa Kabba are on secondary school too, this time in Makeni.
I am trying to find a place to stay in Kabala, not easy task, but I have already some places in mind before Cristina comes and joins me on Nov. 26.
Slowly, but surely, the project is starting to walk.
Had already some meetings with all the parts involved on it. KK Mara, from “remote learning” in Kabala, Mr. Abu Bakar Kuyateh, education manager at ministry of Education of the Koinadugu’s district (where we are at the moment), Serah and MIchael Kamara, education counsellors at Wara Wara Bafodea.(Serah takes care of the north of the kingdom, Michael takes the south). Had another meeting with Sheku Kamara, probably the next chairman of Koinadugu district (tomorrow is Election Day for Sierra Leona 😉
Yesterday was an interesting day.
We had a “full crowd” meeting in Bafodea with the King, Alhaji Almamy Hamidu I, with the speakers, the section managers, town’s chiefs, etc… We were around 150 people and after the King’s speech, I was allowed to explain the bases of the project.
I explained that we will be working under two lines:
1) Training and Monitoring of the new teachers.
2) Working on the 8 comunitary schools through social help and the use of local resources.
I had the chance to express myself freely during the meeting and ask the locals for their support.
On that meeting, we agreed to meet again on Wednesday, Nov. 21, with the 55 comunitary teachers, that could be involved on the program. On that meeting we will explain them the following:
-A) They will have the chance to study through the remote education of Kabala, that offers them this chance. WWCSP (Wara Wara Community Schoos Project), that will offer them:
– Full payment of one academic year – 100.000 Le (19 euros)
– Taxes during the year – 650.000 Le (121 euros)
– Other expenses (paper, fotocopies..) – 100.000 Le (19 euros)
– Transport money (W.W.Bafodea/Kabala) – 240.000 Le (45 euros)
– Accomodation – 45.000 Le (8 euros)
– Food Bag
TOTAL : 240 EUR/ YEAR per teacher.
720 EUR/ 3 YEARS
B) Those ones willing to join the project will have the chance to work during 6 years on the community school that will be assigned to them. For that reason, they will sign an agreement. If they decide to leave the school or the studies, they will loose the chance of being part of the program and will have to give the money back.
This rules are given by the Education MInistry related to those funds coming from NGO’s.
Those ones who agreed to these conditions will have the chance to join the Kabala’s Educational Project.
On Nov.22 we will have another meeting and KK Mara will come to Bafodea to help to fullfill the applications.
This is a great opportunity for the comunity teachers becuase some months ago this kind of help was absolutely imposible to get. On the inner areas, locals have little chances to get some money and afford to study.
Tomorrow. Election Day, 😉 it’s better to be on Kabala that on Freetown.
Cristina will be here on 10 days. I am waiting for her with arms fully open…can’t wait for her to be here…
We are still seeking for economic support…Don’t forget it.
Big hug to all of you from this beautifull and difficult part of the world.