Our aims are to
Support and educate deprived children of Sierra Leone, particularly girls, who are confronting the legacy of conflict and poverty.
Work with schools, educational care organisations and projects to facilitate the improvement of educational provision.
Promote linkages between schools and educational institutions in the UK and those in Sierra Leone to promote understanding and cultural exchange.
Provide a series of educational activities for Sierra Leonean children and young people, in order to cultivate a positive cultural identity and a sense of belonging.
Over the ten years that Sierra Leone was at war,1991-2002 thousands of children were murdered, tortured and left destitute, mentally and physically abused, deprived of education, care and basic human rights. Tens of thousands died and more than 2 million people were displaced, many of whom were children. Many schools were destroyed or vandalised.
The far reaching implications of this, is that Sierra Leone is faced with a whole generation of children and young people who have lost out socially, educationally, morally and emotionally.
Research carried out early 2002, by the Trustees, uncovered a number of concerns relating to hygiene, health and safety issues such as over-crowded classrooms and lack of toilet facilities, especially in government primary schools. The need to address these issues is driven by the plight of generations of children and young people in Sierra Leone who continue to find it difficult to gain an education because of the devastation wreaked on all aspects of society during the decade-long Civil War.
The need to raise as much money as possible to repair damaged school buildings and provide facilities fundamental to a happy learning environment for children, including providing appropriate recreational and sporting facilities to support physical education, health and sports activities. There is also an overwhelming need for IT equipment, reading and writing materials and the construction of classrooms and teaching areas in these primary schools.
Lottie Betts-Priddy (1949 - 1999)
The late Lottie Betts-Priddy was a gifted educator, in both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. She was passionately committed to the education, training and well being of children and young people ensuring equal opportunities for all.
She felt that education could make a difference on so many levels to the lives of young people:
• Teach children about peace
• Give them skills that would provide opportunities for personal development
• Give them hope
• Help heal the psychological effects of the brutality that so many children witnessed or were forced to participate in during the Civil War, and finally,
• Help build a new society in Sierra Leone
In 1994 she successfully re-established the RonSab School in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Throughout the civil war she was a tireless campaigner for peace and will be best remembered for her eloquent and impassioned presentation at the June 1999 Lomé Peace Conference, at which she addressed the vital role of education and training in rebuilding Sierra Leone.
The Lottie Betts-Priddy Education Trust was founded in 2000 and is run by a small group of Lottie’s friends and relatives, who share her vision and are willing to work to make it a reality.