It was inevitable that Covid 19 would eventually hit Sierra Leone. Lockdown, health and safety measures, social distancing, emergency food supplies, housing and income support that were available to us in UK were either not practical or simply not available in Sierra Leone.learn more
We, Chris, Rachel and myself, planned this trip in November 2019 not knowing that a global pandemic would be declared by mid-March 2020. Before we left Scotland, travelling via France, we were asked by our hosts about the virus. There was, at that time, nothing to report. The focus was not on Europe. Sierra Leone was the country most badly hit by the Ebola crisis in 2016 and had learned from the experience and knew how to respond. As we stepped from the plane the precautions and screening in place were visible. Temperatures taken, details registered, hand washing, hand washing, handwashing.learn more
Arriving we were delighted to recognise faces from our previous visit. Abdulai and his team certainly went out of their way to entertain us. After the introductory speech we were very touched to receive a plaque from the Adonkia Adult Community Education Trust thanking ARET for the support and the opportunity to develop not only in basic skills but also as a supportive community.learn more
Rogbonko, the place in the forest. This was my third visit, Rachel’s second and Chris’s first. We knew it would be a long drive and we had planned to make a stop at Amputee Village in the Western Area Rural District to drop off two large bags of supplies. Amputee is a village some 20 miles out of Freetown and from previous experience I did not expect a comfortable drivelearn more
Not every story from Sierra Leone and ARET is happy. Sometimes it is hard not to sit down and put your head in your hands and cry. There are examples of human suffering and tragedy in both the Adult Education Class in Adonkia and also in Shieldra. Sometimes we can help; sometimes help is a little too late; and sometimes help is not at all.learn more
Not the easiest project to embark on.
Given that ARET is a new charity, a small charity with a very modest income deciding to go ahead with this project was a great leap of faith. The obstacles of inflation, transferring money, difficulties in communication, misunderstanding created many a sleepless night.learn more