November 2019

It is over a year since we have visited Sierra Leone and because of communication problems it is difficult to appreciate the progress and difficulties experienced over the past year. We are visiting all the projects in February 2020 and will be much better placed to make comment and observation.

Fund Raising has been one of our major concerns in 2019. Projects have grown quite quickly and expectations greater than funds. With Scotland being high on the ‘countries to visit’ list and living in a particularly scenic part of Scotland it made sense to enter the tourist market. This proved to be a good move and, although hard work, proved very worthwhile. Bed and Breakfast will be our major fundraising activity for the foreseeable future.

A very welcome request came from Julia who offered to raise some money in her Shetland Community. Through a variety of initiatives sufficient money was raised to complete and furnish four classroom at Shieldra School. Julia is also sponsoring a young volountary teacher in Shieldra to gain her Teaching Certificate. More information can be read in Shieldra School Update.

As a result of Julia’s initiative Unite Gas Shetland also made a handsome donation to the school.

Ron and Maggie have also been very generous and their donation helped to put a substantial roof on Shieldra School. In addition they collaborate on the design and completion of hand knitted puppets and toys. Already some of their creations have been given to the children in Shieldra.

Maggie's toys find a home in Shieldra School

This little girl was spotted in a subsequent visit with one of her puppets. When we approached her to ask if we could take a photograph she became very upset and she thought we wanted to take the puppet away from her.

Maggie and Ron are organising a lot more knitted toys which will find their way to Rogbonko Village. I have no doubt that children in Rogbonko will equally treasure their knitted toys.

Abdulai with children at Rogbonko Village.

Maggie, Ron and Julia have been invited by Shieldra School to name two classrooms. Hopefully we will be able to see this in February 2020.