After a long break, partly due to Covid-19, we are delighted to bring you some news of our latest activities. The 16th of June, Day of the African Child, is always celebrated by the Lottie Betts-Priddy Education Trust, and this year was no different. By coincidence, 16th June is also Lottie’s birthday, so the date has real resonance for us.
Our marking of the event this year was very special. Our Chair, Isa Davies, was privileged to be at the school we have chosen to support: Rural Education Committee Primary School, Adonkia, on the outskirts of Freetown. She was fortunate enough to be accompanied by two members of Lottie’s family—her daughter, Ayodele, and her niece, Samantha who was kind enough to take photographs and record short video clips.
As a goodwill gesture and in commemoration of the day, TLBPET purchased fabrics that a local tailor had made up into skirts and headbands for the girls and shorts for the boys. The minister attached to the school, Reverend Pratt, kindly handed out the garments to the youngest children, from the nursery class and those in Class 1.
Dressed in their best outfits, the children along with their teachers welcomed the TLBPET delegation. Initially, the children were a little shy but eventually encouraged by the relaxed and informal atmosphere, they lost their reticence and started talking to Isa about what changes and improvements they wanted to see in their school. Young as they were, they had very clear and practical ideas about their challenges.
Fatmata Sankoh from Nursery 1 wanted better seating: “(my) bench is not good.” David Ngaujah, Class 6, said that he wanted to stay at this school; however, unless the school is expanded to Junior and Senior Secondary levels, he won’t be able to finish his schooling in the village.
Ibrahim Koroma, age 10 in Class 3, wanted us to build an upper floor for their school so that his class could move into the main building from the aluminium sheet extension or ‘pan bodi’ they now use. There are 58 pupils in this class!
The next day, Samantha and Isa returned to the school and, joined by the Deputy Head Teacher, distributed stationery items to the pupils and supplementary texts for Maths and English to their teachers.
The children together with their teachers were very appreciative of the donations by TLBPET. They are looking forward with great anticipation to see what tangible improvements our collaboration can make in the school environment – teaching, learning and physical.
All in all, we were delighted to have had this opportunity to share the Day of the African Child 2021, with the pupils and staff at the school which we are going to support. We will be keeping you up to date with our plans as they evolve.