ANNUAL REPORT 2021
Hope is being ignited daily in Sierra Leone because of your compassion.”
Dear Reader, Thank you for your generosity.
It is that time of the year again when I pause to reflect on the many blessings God has given me in my service as President of EduNations. As I write this message of profound gratitude, I can picture the hands of many people, many people with a mission to help the needy in the ends of the earth. I feel those hands on my shoulders comfortably, I feel them in my palms graciously, and I feel them on my face soothingly. They are the hands of our gracious God in human form. They are the hands of love, of support, and of companionship. They remind me how much God cares about the brokenness in our world and how he is committed to fixing our world in view of the amazing world to come.
As we come to the close of this year, I invite you to take a look at what we have accomplished together with you. Some of you took long trips to rural Sierra Leone. Many of you donated your hard-earned resources. Many others wrote emails, sent messages, and made phone calls. Together, we accomplished this.
Our 2021 annual report will provide you with information that shows our accomplishments over this past year, and I am filled with joy to share this with you.
I invite you to read this report and reflect on at least one moment in time when you obeyed the call of God that beckoned you to come to EduNations and help us ignite hope. This is real. Hope is being ignited daily in Sierra Leone because of your compassion.
On behalf of all the sons and daughters of Sierra Leone, tenki.
Samuel Sesay President of EduNations
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Our mission is to connect resources from affluent societies with the needs of the poorest in the world to provide education, opportunity, and hope. More than teaching the ABCs, we create schools in Sierra Leone, Western Africa, that become beacons of growth and learning. Rescuing one child enriches a community, which strengthens a nation. By helping to educate forgotten children today, we help create a brighter future for this nation tomorrow.
lived in dorms at EduNations’ Senior Secondary School
EduNations.org Mission and Impact 3
Because of You... 2,589 students were educated last school year 69,342 meals were distributed to Senior Secondary students 395 students were sponsored 31,068 school books were supplied to EduNations students for free 1,248/1,341 female to male student ratio 104 teachers were employed Motivated by compassion for the “least of these”, EduNations gives children tangible reasons to hope. 127 students
7 new dorms built 15 schools are in session
Government Officials, Media and More Celebrate Rokassa Boarding School Grand Opening
On April 23, 2021, EduNations president Samuel Sesay roused the crowd with an inspiring speech, signaling the official opening of the Senior Secondary Boarding School in Rokassa. Since being founded in 2004, EduNations board members and staff have been dreaming of this moment. In 2021, it became a reality.
For 17 years, EduNations has been providing free, quality education to students in preschool through ninth grade. While this was a great step in
educating the children in impoverished, rural communities of Sierra Leone, many students had nowhere else to go upon completing their schooling with us. Students would travel back to their family farms or rural homes and begin working as farm laborers or as part of the family business. For those who did have an opportunity to further their education, they had to move to larger towns or cities, many living with distant relatives and paying large fees to receive a high school education. Some students found themselves influenced
Learning Outside of the Classroom
Learning outside the classroom is a fundamental pillar of EduNations’ childcentered teaching technique. Each year, we take our Senior Secondary School students out for community-centered learning experiences during our muchloved mid-term field trips. On October 22, 23, and 25, three groups of students traveled to neighboring villages to explore various assignments: native plants, animals, and insects and their relationship to the local people. Each
group was assigned to draw and study five specimens and explore their roles in the local environment.
Student Zoe Kaithombor enjoyed the time outside of the classroom: “in our assigned communities I saw a lot of plants, animals and insects that I have never seen before, and we were
heavily by the culture and making poor choices that ended their educational career. EduNations longed to provide a safe learning environment for our high school students, where they could not only receive a quality education, but also be impacted in a nurturing and positive environment.
Thanks to a generous donor, this EduNations dream became a reality. We officially broke ground on the construction of the Senior Secondary Boarding School in January 2019. Over
welcomed by the friendly people who offered us fruits as we studied.” The class’s head boy also agreed the field trip was both informative and timely.
These field trips serve as just one way EduNations teachers help prepare students by teaching them about the culture and world outside of the classroom.
4 SSS Grand Opening
EduNations longed to provide a safe learning environment for our high school students, where they could not only receive a quality education, but also be impacted in a nurturing and positive environment.
Thanks to a generous donor, this EduNations dream became a reality.”
the next two years, this two-story building was constructed in Rokassa and prepared for the eventual arrival of hundreds of high school students.
In January 2021, our first class of Senior Secondary students began their education at the boarding school. With exception of a small fee that assists with transportation and feeding costs, our high school students receive an entirely free high school education. In addition to core classes, each student chooses an area of focus: Science, Commercial Business, or Liberal Arts. All their classes are scheduled with the group of students who have chosen the same area of focus, which encourages friendships and study groups.
The dormitory houses all our high school students under the leadership of a house parent. Each dormitory apartment has four rooms: three for students that house up to 6 students each, and one for the house parent, with a communal bathroom in each dormitory. A common area also provides students a place where they can spend time with their housemates and study together. Meals are also provided to our students, prepared by a wonderful kitchen staff who spends the entirety of their day cooking food in the outdoor kitchen.
Camaraderie and unity are also
promoted by housing students with others from different home villages, and providing extracurricular opportunities like sports, youth groups, discipleship, and mentorship programs. Our goal at the Rokassa Senior Secondary School is providing opportunities for whole-person growth—intellectual, developmental, spiritual, and communal—so students can continue encouraging one another in every aspect of their lives.
The grand opening in April was a long-awaited celebration of dreams becoming a reality. Even though our school had already been in operation for a few months, the grand opening ceremony recognized the completion of the project formally. A team of U.S. representatives—comprising of EduNations’ Board Chairman Scott Graham, EduNations’ Development Coordinator Sarah Pietryga, and two significant donors of our feeding program—came to Sierra Leone for the occasion. Many government officials were also in attendance to celebrate with us, including Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Madam Emily Gorgra. She gave a memorable speech at the grand opening ceremony, affirming the government’s full support and commitment to EduNations’ Senior Secondary School. EduNations’
President, Samuel Sesay, and Board Chairman, Scott Graham, also gave speeches inspiring hope and excitement of all in attendance. Many representatives from major media companies across Sierra Leone were also in attendance, and stories of EduNations’ grand opening ceremony were in the headlines throughout the country over the next few days, also giving fellow Sierra Leoneans a chance to see EduNations at work!
EduNations fosters a community of integrity, excellence and commitment and we are raising up the next generation of leaders in Sierra Leone. Now these students have the opportunity to graduate high school and its all thanks to you who believe in our mission to ignite hope through education and empowerment.
Senior Secondary Student
Profile – Muctar Kamara
Home Village: Fintonia
School: EduNations Hope Academy Senior Secondary School Rokassa
Favorite subject? English Language
What do you want to be when you grow up? I would like to become a lawyer so I can defend my people and settle disputes among people.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Are you in any extra-curricular activities at school? Yes. I am in Music Group.
What is your favorite part of being in the Senior Secondary School? My favorite parts are the quality education, the commitment of the teachers, and the love and concern for the poor to have quality education.
EduNations.org SSS Grand Opening 5
EduNations is devoted to building schools to make education free and accessible to children who otherwise would not receive one. We currently operate 15 schools from Pre-K to High School in the rural districts of Sierra Leone. In addition to free tuition, all of our students are provided with free school supplies and uniform materials at the beginning of every school year.”
Child Welfare Committees Established to Promote Child Rights Act
In 2007, the Sierra Leone government sanctioned the Child Rights Act that outlines the parental responsibilities and child welfare defenses that protect children from abuse, neglect, and other situations that negatively impact a child’s life. Although this has been a law for 14 years, many of the rural communities are unaware of the legislature and responsibilities of families and community.
This year, EduNations has initiated a campaign that not only educated staff on this law, but also the community elders, leaders, and families so all are involved in protecting the rights of our students. EduNations’ resourceful Psychosocial Coordinator, Fatu Koroma, has conducted trainings for these
new Child Welfare Committees in the EduNations villages: Mapainda, Mayatta, Mabum, Fintonia, Rokassa, and Gbenekoro. Our communities are now equipped with the resources and knowledge to promote child rights awareness, monitor the advancement of these rights within the community, and empower one another to bring hope in these small, but important ways to our students.
The EduNations Student Sponsorship program is a vital part of supporting our schools. Fatu Koroma, EduNations’ Psychosocial Coordinator on the ground in Sierra Leone, reports that the student sponsorship program has had a profound, positive impact in the lives of the students who are sponsored. Oftentimes a student will decide not to return to school due to the pressures of the culture of illiteracy, prospects of an early marriage, or being needed for work on the family farm or through the family business. In these cases, the prospect of sponsorship often convinces the students to return to school because they feel blessed that a sponsor is invested in their education.
Because our sponsorship program allows more students to stay in school, the occurrences of early teenage
Teacher Profile – Hassanatu Mansaray-Sidibay
Where did you live before coming to teach at EduNations?
Freetown, The Capital City of Sierra Leone
School: EduNations Hope Academy Primary School Rokassa
What grade and subject do you teach? I am the Head Teacher meaning I supervise all the teachers at my school. I teach all subjects and grades.
Why did you want to become a teacher? I became a teacher because I believe it’s God’s will for my life and I have a passion for teaching.
What do you like about working at EduNations? EduNations has helped to transform my life physically and spiritually. Before working for EduNations, my life was very hard. EduNations has changed my life by giving me a healthy salary each month.
6 Education Program
pregnancy and early marriage have been drastically reduced within the communities. Sponsorship is an eye-opening tool: with the education they receive, the students themselves become educators, teaching their parents and family members the benefits of education. They encourage their siblings and others in the community to come to school and benefit from the free quality education.
On the U.S. side of the program, Beth Weaver coordinates the relationship between the student and their sponsor. The sponsorship program isn’t only having a positive impact on our students but also our sponsors here as well. Recently we received this encouragement from Kelly Laird, Children’s Ministry Director. “North Park Church in Wexford, PA has sponsored two children through EduNations, both named Kadiatu! It has been a positive experience for our children and families. Each week in our Kids’ Worship and in our Sunday School classes, teachers and leaders talk to the children and teach them a little about Kadiatu, her country, her surroundings and a little about her life. We also pray for her each week. This has caused the children to know Kadiatu. The children bring in offerings to go directly to sponsoring Kadiatu. The
families at our church also know that we are sponsoring this child and have offered prayers and financial support on her behalf. It has been an excellent opportunity to teach our families about tithing, giving, and serving the Lord through our treasures. We are grateful for this chance to learn about Sierra Leone and the people that live there and to impact a girl and her family through the academic and Christian education that EduNations provides.”
We are so thankful to our student sponsors for beginning and continuing these relationships with our students. We have a record number of new sponsors this year! 370 sponsors supported students from Nursery level all the way up to our new Senior Secondary School.
Sponsoring a Senior Secondary School (SSS) student is a valued commitment, as the expense for our SSS students is significantly higher than those of the lower grades. We are so thankful for our sponsors who continue to support their student through the Senior Secondary Level! If you are interested in supporting an SSS student, you can contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected. On our new sponsorship platform, which is coming soon, you will have the opportunity to pick an SSS
student and choose a giving level to support them in their education, as well as their feeding and boarding costs. You can visit our website for students of all levels who are available to sponsor.
We leave you with this personal message from Fatu,
I want to personally say TENKI on behalf of our students here in Sierra Leone for supporting their education. And please don’t forget to tell your family members and friends to please visit our website and sponsor a child for a brighter future in MaMa SALONE. TENKI TO UNA ALL.”
Junior Secondary Student
Profile – Fatim Kanu
Age: 12 Home Village: Mabankara School: EduNations Hope Academy Junior Secondary School Rokassa
Favorite subject? Science and English Language
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a nurse because I feel like there is so much to be done when it comes to children and their health.
What do you like to do in your free time? I usually visit the clinic in Rokassa to learn more about how children are cared for.
What is your favorite part about being sponsored? The fact that my parents don’t have to worry about buying my learning materials, and that my friends and other family members can benefit from the free education EduNations is giving through the support from my sponsor.
EduNations.org Student Sponsorship 7
While education remains the core operation of EduNations, we believe providing economic empowerment for the people we serve is just as important. That is why EduNations began various initiatives to leverage the education we provide into sustainable employment and income for the communities. These sustainability projects give parents a chance to support their families while teaching them valuable life-skills for the future. EduNations currently has four sustainability projects: microfinance, a community garden, a poultry project, and a bakery project.
The EduNations Microfinance project provides financial support through loans for low-income families. These loans serve families by providing start-up capital for businesses and employment opportunities. The microfinance program currently has over 1,000 beneficiaries in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone.
In Rokassa, the Pa Santigie Garden has increased food production for our operations in this village. The garden focuses on producing palm oil, pineapples, and cashews. While some of the produce is used to feed village families, the remaining crops are sold for profit, which in turn provides income for the villagers.
The Poultry Project in Makump produces eggs and poultry meat for the people of Makump, surrounding villages, and the children of EduNations Hope Academy Senior Secondary School in Rokassa. Just this past year, the project saw its first batch of eggs, which provide a new food source for many in the
EduNations Staff Profile – Foday Thoronka
Job Title: EduNations Field Officer
Job Description: I head up our sustainable development projects such as the Pa Santigie Garden, the community bakeries, and the Makump poultry project.
What does a typical day look like in your job? I am always working in the field at one of our projects and am constantly learning about how to best care for our projects.
community, as well as the village of Magbum and Rokassa.
The EduNations Bakery Project builds and operates bakeries in three communities Gbenekoro, Rokassa, and Fintonia. These bakeries are owned and operated by the community, and they accumulate the income to fund their own operations, as well as construct other bakeries.
Each of these initiatives has been successful in giving families active ways to sustain the well-being and future profitability of their communities. Through the support of EduNations, these projects are now maintained by the community share-holders and ignite ideas for future projects in others throughout the EduNations communities and beyond.
My favorite part of my job is traveling to the field and meeting up with my workers so that I can supervise them and help them address challenges and find solutions.”
What is your favorite part about your job? My favorite part of my job is traveling to the field and meeting up with my workers so that I can supervise them and help them address challenges and find solutions to improve the project sustainability.
How did you become the Field Officer? I became the Field Officer because I studied Agricultural Science in school. Up until last year, I worked as a teacher for EduNations. Samuel Sesay asked me to serve as the Field Officer of EduNations and lead our sustainable development projects. After 13 years of working in the classrooms daily, that’s how I found myself as the first Field Officer of EduNations Inc.
What do you like about working for EduNations? There are so many reasons why I like my job but I would like to highlight a few. I like working for EduNations because the organization always seeks my welfare, caring about me and encouraging me to grow in areas where I have challenges. In EduNations’ President, I have found the best leadership ever in my life. The organization is free of corruption, strong in their policies, and always trying to build a better nation by caring for the less privileged. To top it all, through the President I have come to know Christ and he is always helping me to improve my faith in Christ through his word and deeds.
8 Sustainable Development
Almost a year later, the first shipment of chicks arrived from Holland and were brought to the community of Makump. Under Foday’s supervision and care, the chicks matured and on September 11, 2021 the first egg was laid! What a momentous occasion for the community of Makump! Egg production continues and nearly 500 eggs are laid each day.
First Egg is Laid in Makump
The village of Makump has been an EduNations supported village since 2011. Initially, Makump residents had built a mud-block school and were educating their children through volunteers. EduNations saw the spark of hope in Makump and decided to come alongside the village to repair the school, eventually building a new concrete primary and nursery school, plus supporting the drilling of a well, building of a church, installation of solar lights, and adding latrines to the community. Yet the hope of Makump residents didn’t stop there.
In 2017, the people of Makump hatched an idea and asked for help in starting a poultry project. The hope was the project would contribute to food sufficiency in the community while also providing business opportunities for the women in the community. EduNations was excited to see the initiative villagers
Our hope is that we will be able to generate enough profit from the poultry project to purchase another 1,000 chicks in April 2022.”
were taking in continuing to build upon the foundation of development. The poultry project would entail an initial purchase of 1,000 chicks who would be raised to adult chickens for egg-laying. Once the hens stopped producing eggs, they would then be sold and the profit would be used to purchase additional chicks, starting the cycle over again.
Thanks to a generous donor who saw the vision of the poultry project, construction of the chicken coop began in early 2020 and plans were in place to purchase the chicks from Holland. Unfortunately, in March 2020, COVID hit and like many other things, the poultry project was put on hold as flights from Holland to Sierra Leone were halted. However, the work continued throughout the year as EduNations completed the chicken coop for the chicks and hired a Field Officer, Foday Thoronka, who would oversee the care of the chicks and the egg production.
Since the egg production has started, Makump has enjoyed many benefits from their hard work: eggs are sold to the EduNations Senior Secondary School in Rokassa and used as food for the boarding students there. A true farm-to-table experience supporting two EduNations villages and the students! Eggs are also sold to residents of Makump providing a nutritious source of food for the families. The population has actually grown in size since September due to many families wanting to be closer to the egg production!
One of the biggest benefits of the successful poultry project has been the creation of new jobs, particularly for the women in the community. Many of the women purchase the eggs directly from the poultry project and then go to surrounding villages to sell them for a profit. The creation of these jobs has drastically improved the lives of many women and their families. These women are now helping to provide for their family and invest in their future.
Our hope is that we will be able to generate enough profit from the poultry project to purchase another 1,000 chicks in April 2022. We are so excited to see the benefits that have come from this project and the lives that have dramatically improved. We are hopeful that this trend will only continue as we ignite hope in the village of Makump!
EduNations.org Poultry Project 9
When you give to EduNations, you are providing education, opportunity, and hope. Give today at EduNations.org/Donate or checks can be made out to EduNations. Mailing address details are listed on the back cover.
Sponsor a Student
When you sponsor a student, you offset the costs of their education including tuition, school supplies, curriculum, and more. To sponsor a student, go to EduNations.org/Sponsor-a-Child.
Attend an Event
Hear inspiring stories of transformation and learn more about EduNations’ mission. Find an event near you at EduNations.org/ Attend-an-Event
Take a Trip
There’s no better way to join EduNations’ mission than by seeing firsthand how lives are changed. If interested, contact Sarah@ EduNations.org
New Donor Portal Coming Soon!
Stay tuned! Launching in 2022, we have some exciting updates in store for our donors. We will be launching a brand-new donor portal, which will give you more capabilities in managing your information, communicating with sponsored students, and reviewing your giving information. More details coming soon!
Nursery Student Profile –Sento S. Kargbo
Age: 8 Home Village: Mayatta School: EduNations Hope Academy Nursery School Mayatta
Favorite subject? Reading Class
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a Special Needs Teacher because I am a student struggling with learning disabilities. I want to be a special needs teacher to help other students with disabilities and to show my community that students with disabilities can be successful.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to learn new things and in my free time I ask people to help me learn my alphabet and numbers.
10 Get Involved
A Message from our Board Chairman
Dear Friends of EduNations,
2021 has been a watershed year for our organization. In the midst of the facts, figures, and pictures of our yearend report, it is our desire that you will be able to receive some of the hope that is being ignited not only in the lives of our students, but in our teachers, our villages, our staff members, and yes, even in the hearts and lives of our board members.
The opening of the Senior Secondary School this year demonstrated to us that while the opportunity to receive a quality education in rural Sierra Leone was a blessing to each student and their families, it is also being received as a blessing to the entire nation! GK Chesterton says ‘education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.’ Through your generosity, we are able to pass on knowledge of literacy and math and science to hundreds of children who never would have had access to it before.
We’re also able to share this gift in the name of the One who holds all creation together, and who loves these children with an everlasting covenant commitment. A Senior Secondary School education is the capstone to what we have been working toward in our first 16 years, and the financial challenges to meet this goal are great. Yet through your many prayers, gifts, and efforts, this dream is becoming a reality. During these challenging days, we welcome your support more than ever! It is my belief that as we give generously to this work, we will find that we are receiving an even greater gift in return, both now and for many generations to come!
Rev. Scott Graham
EduNations Board Chair
2021 Board of Directors
Scott Graham Chairman Rick Kennedy Vice Chair
Treasurer Betsy Rumer
Secretary Board Members
EduNations.org Financials 11
86% 5% 9% PROGRAMS FUNDRAISING ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCIALS
Correspondence and Contributions EduNations P.O. Box 233 Ingomar, PA 15127 412.522.4756 Info@EduNations.org EduNations.org