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Tuesday, 01 November 2011 08:40

By Martin Forsyth 

One of the country’s leading child protection organizations Help a Needy Child in Sierra Leone {HANCI} has over the weekend distributed educational materials worth million of leones to one thousand eight hundred and eighty- nine children in Tambakha who are benefiting from the NGO’s efforts to dramatically increase access to education in the country’s poorest chiefdom. The educational materials distributed include, one thousand one hundred school begs, cartons of text and note books and host of other teaching and learning material that will enhance effective learning.

The distribution was made under its Every Child in School {ECiS} programme launched just over one year ago; the essence of the distribution is for children in the region to acquire a governmentally-recognised standard of education – something that is desperately lacking in Tambakha.  

“Education is a right that every child in this country should benefit from,” said Kelfa Kargbo, HANCI’s Executive Director, at the ceremony in Simaya town in the Siminbuyee Section.  

“Tambakha is one of the largest chiefdoms in the country,” he continued. ”But it has long been neglected in terms of educational development; HANCi hopes to ensure that we can offer these children the opportunity to thrive and become valuable contributors to the nation as a whole.” 

With funding and consultation from HANCi’s UK partner, Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL), in just three years from now, it is hoped that the government will begin working alongside HANCi to achieve the Every Child in School initiative’s ultimate goal: to create comprehensive educational opportunities for every child in Tambakha. 

And in just one year of operations in an area where there were formerly virtually no Government-supported schools, HANCi has constructed 12 fully-equipped school structures offering a full national curriculum to a total of more than one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine children. Last week’s ceremony to distribute school materials was the organisation’s next step down the road to creating sustainable educational opportunities for the chiefdom.

“Before we had the HANCi project here in Tambakha, there were no completed schools in this area to teach our children,” said Chief Alimamy Sorie Kamara during the ceremony. “So we are so glad for what HANCi has done. Nobody in the world wants to be poor and to get this kind of foundation is very important for our development as a community. For someone to support your people like this is a big gift.”

In addition to the hundreds of books, bags and pens handed out, HANCi is sponsoring forty members of the community through distance teacher-training courses to attain teaching qualifications of a national standard, as well as paying each of the teachers on a monthly basis. All of which is aimed at offering children from the deprived chiefdom a chance to truly realise their potential.

“Education is very important for our future here in Tambakha,” said Fumi, a 14 year-old pupil at a HANCi-sponsored school in Tambakha. “We are part of the children of this country and for long time now we have been deprived from all the facilities enjoy by children in major towns. But with the good work of HANCI, we can be medical doctors, journalists, accountants, president etc and one day we hope that we can go on to help this chiefdom and the country.”   

Speaking to this medium, HANCI’s ED Kelfa Kargbo revealed “The Every Child in School initiative forms part of our national effort to improve quality of life for the country’s most vulnerable children. Education and a secure environment for a child’s development sit at the very heart of all of the work that HANCi undertakes, so we are delighted that this project has been such a big success in such a short space of time. 

“We would like to thank Street Child for their invaluable assistance. It is our hope that, as our joint efforts in Tambakha continues, the government will agree to work with us to help sustain what has proved to be a very successful initiative.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 08:58

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