EduNations 2018 Annual Newsletter

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Thank you for your continued prayers and contributions to EduNations. Please know that your prayers and contributions bring hope to countless individuals in Sierra Leone. Many have come to a new hope and to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through your support.



Anniversary! Field Report




Sponsorship Benefit


Concert Benjamin




Needs EduNations


Microfinance Year-End Giving


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15th Anniversary Thanksgiving!

It is common in EduNations Schools to hear students sing “Tenki”, which simply means “Thank you” in the Sierra Leonean Krio dialect.

As EduNations approaches our 15-year anniversary in 2019 with 15 schools today and over 2,700 students enrolled in six different communities, there are many good reasons to join the chorus of “Tenki.” In 2004 five men from Buffalo, New York whose families had adopted Sierra Leonean children to rescue them from the horrific and devastating “Blood Diamond” war, prayed about how they could continue to help. Believing that they had been led to “Inspire Hope Through Education” they formed Edunations to provide a path out of poverty for the “least

of these” in the most underresourced country on the planet. EduNations’ work started by coming along side of a few indigenous or “incountry” partners and helping fund a few community schools in the most remote, rural areas of northern Sierra Leone, a place where the Sierra Leonian government had no capacity or resources to rebuild infrastructure or invest in education. Those early years were filled with joys, sadness, victories and hard lessons learned.


Under the direction of our President, Samuel Sesay, and the support of our US Board members and contributors like you, we praise God that EduNations continues to grow, flourish and “Inspire Hope Through Education.” Looking back, our hearts are filled with gratitude, as we join our students, their families, staff and board by saying “Tenki!”

Today, EduNations is thriving as a highly regarded nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Sierra Leone supported by a 501(c)(3) non -profit organization in the United States. Today, not only is our staff fully Sierra Leonean, but so is our

Field Report By: Samuel Sesay

Greetings and peace to you all in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! After one year since my appointment as President of EduNations Inc, I can say I love my new role. I am especially grateful to God for his daily mercies, to all of you for the prayer and financial supporters without which our work would be impossible, and to our US Board of Directors for their consistent support and guidance.

It is with a heart full of gratitude that I write to bring you this year’s annual field report. Schools: EduNations’ schools increased by four with the addition of nursery schools in Fintonia, Makump, and Mapainda as well as a Junior Secondary School in Rokassa. The new schools were accompanied by increased enrollment with the total number of pupils equaling over 2,700 in our 1

Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools in Mapainda, Rokassa, Mayatta, Fintonia, Makump and Gbenekoro. To support the additional schools and enrollment, the number of teachers and administrative staff has increased to 108. With God’s blessing and your support, EduNations has been given the resources to provide quality education for free to help ‘ignite hope in the least of these’. Continued Page 2

Field Report Continued from Page 1

Performance: During the past year, we have been able to enhance academic performance, continue to build teachers’ and students’ motivation, reduce teenage pregnancy, and increase the enrollment of female children. EduNations is very proud of the academic performance of our students, especially in the 2018 National Primary School Examination and Basic Education Certificate Examination where our students performed remarkably well. Fintonia Bakery: In the past, the people of Fintonia had been travelling for 14 miles to Kamakwei, crossing the Kabba river to purchase bread, so it was natural that having a bakery had been a dream for community members. Thanks to the generous giving of a long-time supporter, a bakery was built. Now that the dream has become a reality, the people of Fintonia, including EduNations staff and students, can eat bread that has been baked in their own village. Orfonthy Community Health Center: Thanks to our close partnership with the Sierra Leone Alliance, another dream has been fulfilled with the opening of the Orfonthy Community Health Center (OCHC) in Rokassa. The Health Center has become a beacon of hope for the people of Rokassa and surrounding areas. Curable diseases can now be

successfully treated; before they had been effectively incurable since the people had no access to medical care. Since opening, OCHC has provided medical services to more than 2,000 people including EduNations’ students and teachers. Mudslide Victims Donor Support: The August 2017 mudslide in Sierra Leone was a tragic incident that claimed the lives of over 1,000 Sierra Leoneans, leaving many widows and orphans. The families’ grief from the loss of loved ones’ lives was compounded because most were left with nowhere to live and no financial support. Thanks to generous support through DonorSee, a platform that directly connects donors to various needs around the world, EduNations was able to provide support for orphans and widows of the victims. “Days for Girls” Kits: Simply having a menstrual period has been a common reason for absence from school for female students in Sierra Leone. With the help of EduNations’ Development Coordinator, we raised funds through DonorSee to purchase locally made “Days for Girls” sanitary kits for our students among five different schools. This simple measure has reduced absenteeism and has also reduced feelings of shame and isolation for these young women.

Conquering the Rough Roads to the Unreached: The rough and sometimes nearly impassable roads to communities with EduNations schools are challenging to all except the most rugged vehicles. Since these roads are the only way to travel to the schools, EduNations trusted the Lord to provide a new vehicle to help us in reaching our communities. Blessings and thanks to all of you who gave to allow us to purchase a used, but very durable Toyota 4Runner which has greatly improved our ability to reach our communities.

Student Sponsorship EduNations’ Student Sponsorship program continued to grow steadily in the past year, especially during the visits that Edunations’ President, Samuel Sesay, made in the United States this past summer. To all of you who made the decision to support a student, we say, ”Tenki and may God bless you for providing a child with an education - the gateway to hope!” EduNations currently has approximately 250 active sponsors and we pray that God will bless us

with 100 more over the next year. With a total of over 2,700 students registered across all of EduNations’ schools for the 2018-2019 academic year, there is much room for growth! Please prayerfully consider making a life-changing difference for a girl or boy through sponsorship this school year. For less than a dollar a day ($28/month or $336/year), sponsorship provides a boy or girl all they need for school – including uniforms, school supplies, 2

professionally trained teachers, as well as clean water and latrines. Whether sponsorship is new to you, you wish to re-engage, or you’d like to sponsor more children, please contact Beth Weaver at or visit the Student Sponsorship page on our website at Thank you for partnering with EduNations by sponsoring a student’s life-changing education!

EduNations’ 5th Annual Benefit Concert Please join us at Memorial Park Church at 7 PM on Friday, December 14th as we welcome Dove award winning artist Fernando Ortega for a Christmas concert! The concert is free of charge and a goodwill offering will be taken to benefit EduNations’ work in Sierra Leone. Doors open at 6 PM for our Festive Hour where we will have free appetizers, a gift basket raffle, a student sponsorship Christmas tree, and live music provided by Matthew Montgomery! Fernando Ortega is a deeply gifted singer-songwriter whose music encompasses elements of folk, bluegrass, Celtic, classical and

Latin American. Also known for penning the original radio hits This Good Day and Jesus, King of Angels, Ortega is most notably known for his famous renditions of classic hymns such as Jesus Lover of My Soul, Be Thou My Vision, and Give Me Jesus, a song that is beloved worldwide. Ortega will play songs from his 2017 album, The Crucifixion of Jesus, as well as old favorites during this evening of music. EduNations thanks our generous sponsors who are making this evening possible – Tom Henry Chevrolet, Leadership League LLC, Alpine Pools, Moran & Moran Attorneys at Law, and Grove City College.

Becoming Benjamin In early 2002, EduNations was informed of a need to build a Primary School in the village of Maikonko, located in Northern Sierra Leone. Compelled by love “for the least of these”, EduNations accepted the invitation and built a Primary and Junior Secondary School. When the school opened in September 2002, excited students from Maikonko and nearby villages began flooding in. Alie Kamara, then nine years old, was one of the boys who came to enroll in the new EduNations school. Neither Alie’s parents nor his older siblings had ever attended school and since farming was the only occupation their family had ever known, it was assumed that it was only a matter of time before Alie would have to pursue that occupation. But God had other plans.

finished his Junior and Secondary School education in six years and graduated with a passion to one day become the President of Sierra Leone. Born into a Muslim family, Alie first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ from the staff of EduNations and gave his heart to Christ, becoming the first and only member of his family to embrace Christ. After he was baptized in 2013 by Reverend Betsy Rumer, he chose the new name of Benjamin Alie Kamara after the Old Testament tribe of Benjamin in the nation of Israel. When he graduated from college with a degree in education, Benjamin was employed by EduNations to teach in the Hope

Academy in Rokassa. Benjamin continues to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and was recently called to serve as a Ruling Elder in the Rokassa Evangelical Presbyterian Church. While he still hopes that he may become President someday, he is content with his present call through which he is impacting the lives of many young people. “With both of my younger siblings now going to school through my support, I thank my ‘father in the Lord’ Reverend Dean Weaver and EduNations who brought education and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to my community, completely changing the course of our lives.”

Biggest Need for the Coming Year EduNations’ financial supporters frequently ask, “How can I give to help the most?” Since EduNations schools have expanded student enrollment by 200 to 2,700 students, the biggest need for 2019 is to cover salaries for 11 new teachers. Each EduNations teacher is paid about $145 per month on average, a competitive salary in Sierra Leone, so in order to cover our new teachers’ salaries, we need about $1,600 per month, equaling about $19,000 in total. If you’re interested in helping to make a difference in teachers’ and students’ lives, please make a gift towards teacher salaries. Thank you!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) Alie walked four miles to and from school daily from his village of Mamuna-Lol. Through the free, quality education provided by EduNations, Alie completed Primary School in five years, 3

EduNations Microfinance We are very pleased that EduNations Microfinance (EMF) received approval from the Bank of Sierra Leone to open for business in June of 2018. This approval came after more than a year of market surveys, fund raising, filing legal documents, and numerous other start-up activities.

With an office in Makeni, EMF started with just $30,000 as the required minimum start-up capital. As of November, EMF has made over $40,000 in loans to 94 individuals and 27 small businesses, approximately 1/3 of which are women. The majority of individual loans, typically in the $300 to $500 range, have been for education, home construction, or agricultural projects. The demand for loans currently vastly exceeds available capital and repayment rate has been 100% to date.

EMF meets a critical need since the majority of Sierra Leonians have no credit-record, nor access to bank loans. EMF’s mission is to provide access to capital for individuals and small groups in the rural Sierra Leone to improve their standard of living and increase hopes of a brighter future. A portion of EMF’s profits will go to subsidize the ongoing operational costs of EduNations Inc.

If you have any specific questions or interest in supporting this effort, please contact Jeff Gingrich by email at

Year-End Giving Season Thanks to generous supporters like you, 2018 has been a good year for EduNations: our enrollment of students we serve increased by 200, we added new classrooms, and hired 11 new teachers. Our students successfully completed their exams and did very well compared to the national average. We are encouraged by the success of this year and believe the Lord has many good things planned for EduNations in 2019, our 15-year anniversary! As a result of our growth over the past year, our budget has seen an increase as well, totaling about $382,000. It is our hope that you might give your year-end donations towards our December Benefit Concert featuring Fernando Ortega. This year, your dollar can go twice as far as a generous donor has offered a challenge to match your donation dollarfor-dollar up to $25,000! It is our prayer that your year-end donations will enable us to finish the year strong and faithfully serve “the least of these”, glorifying God on your behalf in the year to come!

EduNations Inc. P.O. Box 233 Ingomar, PA 15127 Phone: 412-522-4756 Email: Motivated by compassion for “the least of these,” EduNations gives forgotten children tangible reasons to hope. More than teaching the ABCs, we create schools in Sierra Leone, Western Africa, that become self-supporting 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.


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