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Book Distribution Project—Sierra Leone A WBFN Book Project Donation to Sierra Leone (A forty Foot (40’) Shipping Container – 30, 000 Books) Facilitated by Partnership in Education(PIE) – Sierra Leone based. A two-part presentation by Sahr Kolachi Pombor – President of PIE a) Intro-Sierra Leone b) Distribution


Sierra Leone Located on the western coast of Africa is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi), divided into a land area of 71,620 km2 (27,653 sq mi) and water of 120 km2 (46 sq mi).


Partnership in Education (PIE)—History •On behalf of a dedicated team of volunteers of Partnership in Education (PIE), a local none profit organization registered in Sierra Leone working to Facilitate Quality Education in Sierra Leone, I am humbled and delighted to be privileged to address you all on a subject truly dear to me and my family-Education. •In September 2013, during my visit to Sierra Leone to bury my father, I was shocked to note that the pristine educational system that Sierra Leoneans enjoyed up to the mid 1980’s had crumbled and was falling apart. Sierra Leone was the incubator of British Education in Sub Sahara Africa. It all started in 1827, when the British deicide to begin to formerly educate the freed slaves to help with administration of the colony. “The prestigious Fourah Bay College”( FBC) (founded in 1827) became the first Western-style university in the region and gave the city Freetown its nickname “Athens of West Africa”. By the 1840s, approximately one-fifth of the Freetown population was enrolled in a Christian mission school, which was the highest school enrolment level in sub-Saharan Africa at the time. Schools that once were powerhouses of educational pride in Sierra Leone were almost in ruins-POW School age children were broking stones, others becoming bike riders just to make ends meet. Teachers who were once champions of education had abandoned the classroom because their salaries can barely meet their monthly cost of living. It was a site that my stomach was not able to digest and I asked myself why and what can I do to help?

•On my return to the USA early October 2013, I consulted with my wife and we decided to help return our schools to a place where the young must spend their youth developing their minds for a better tomorrow. To do that we decided to focus on “making the classroom a conducive place for students and teachers to meet and engage in the art and magic of education”. That is how Partnership In Education was born, developed and registered and operating in Sierra Leone by volunteers who share our dream and passion. As we began to discuss our vision with education stakeholders, Ebola creeped in our midst, wrapped its ugly and deadly force in n our very close family culture and by the time we were better educated on dos and don’ts 4000 of our loved ones were gone and life halted in Sierra Leone


Powerhouse schools in ruins-Prince of Wales Secondary School, Freetown, September 2013


University of Sierra Leone Foura Bay college (FBC) 2/3/16


FBC Today 2/3/16


Education In Sierra Leone The prestigious Fourah Bay College modern building above (founded in 1827) became the first British educational institution in Sub Sahara Africa and later was developed to the first Western-style university in the region and gave the city Freetown its nickname “Athens of West Africa�. By the 1840s, approximately one-fifth of the Freetown population was enrolled in a Christian mission school, which was the highest school enrolment level in sub-Saharan Africa at the time. Kilson M. L. Political Change in a West African State: A Study of the Modernization Process in Sierra Leone. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1966.


The arrival of the first missionaries in Sierra Leone (1787–1792) pre-dated the first Christian mission in Uganda (1877) by almost a full century. The provincial distribution of mission schools in Sierra Leone and Uganda in 1938 (no. of schools per 100,000 inhabitants). Sources: maps by author; data from Blue book of Sierra Leone 1938 and Blue book of the Uganda Protectorate 1938. FBC 1827.


School age children selling on street instead of being in classroom September 2013


School going children breaking stones to help family meet cost of living, including school fees, 2015


WBFN Book Project—Visit of Sierra Leoneans to the Book Project Office October 2015


Book Project

A WBN Book Project Volunteer welcomes us with a smile. October 2015


Visit to the WBFN Book Project by Sierra Leoneans living in the Washington DC area.


Book Project volunteers welcome Sierra Leoneans October 2015


Book distribution—an experience, challenges and lessons learned • The books arrived in Freetown December 6th, 2016 as promised by Laura Byerlee co President of the WBFNW Book Project. A team of volunteers in Sierra Leone worked hard to clear the books from customs, transported them to a safe storage in Freetown, awaiting my arrival. • I arrived in Freetown January 30, 2016 and we began the distribution. • The following pictures were taken by me and my team during the distribution.


Sierra Leone Book Distribution MAP. Starting from Freetown the capital city, to Kambia,Bo, Kono, Tonkolili, Portoloko districts. Our distribution covered five districts out of twelve and Freetown: Red lines indicates distribution route


Kolenten Secondary School January 23, 2016


Freetown distribution – Cotton Tree Center of Freetown September 2013


Crash History Of Freetown—Sierra Leone There is the period before now, which is passed on orally. But In 1492, a Portuguese sailor named Pedro De Sintra and his company were drifted to the same coastal region of Freetown by same rains and were awaken by loud roars of Alfa male Lions on the mountain range over present day Freetown, and he called the area “Serra Lyoa” meaning Lion Mountains in Portuguese . Since then, the British, French, Dutch, and Danish trading companies used harbor as trading warehouse. Well, we are told in colonial documents that the Portuguese emperor had to pong the warehouse to the British and when they could not repay the British this beautiful natural harbor became English colony. It gets better, because shortly after, the French cried foul and after a small war, we were stocked with the British. About same time, Columbus had stumbled on natives in present day USA, and this land also ended in the hands of the British. The quest to fulfil growing British settlers needs in the new colonies of USA, rouge British traders began the greatest inhumane trafficking of vulnerable Africans from West Africa and sold them as property to the new colonists who held and used them as slaves. The slave traders used our natural West Africa harbor, once a goods warehouse as a human trafficking transit warehouse until 1787, when the very harbor was selected to house newly freed slaves from Nova Scotia, and that same harbor was named Freetown-Other runaway slaves from Jamaica the Maroons were also brought there. These new settlers spoke Creole-a version of English. In 1808, the British declared the settlement its colony. As the British took on more territory in Africa, this harbor became British education center for West and East Africa. That lead to the establishment of Foura Bay College (FBC) February 18, 1827. Since then FBC has been the academic center for British West and East Africa until During the second world War, that same harbor became a very important British Naval Base because of its deep harbor to safely anchor large ships and subs. In 1961, we gained independence.


Freetown Peninsula This natural and calm sea on the coastline of inland Freetown was where the Portuguese sailor landed and was awaken by roar of Alfa Lions on hill to right. Same place where indigenous Africans lived before his arrival in 1492


Freetown—Atlantic Ocean


College of Medicine and Allied Sciences-Freetown. Liberian Mr. Saidu Sesay displaying some of the high quality anatomy books he pulled from one of the boxes as the boxes were being loaded into college van. February 3rd 2016


College of Medicine; Boxes of books being carried to college administrative building 2/3/16


College of Medicine; Left-Acting Provost in black pant accepting books from distributor on behalf of college. Right Provost and librarian expressing joy and appreciation for the books 2/3/16


Next stop in Freetown was-Teachers College (FTC)—Freetown February 3 rd, 2016


FTC Staff Room: during our visit for the drop off of their books 2/3/16


FTC Books Hand Over to Librarian 2/3/16


Next stop was in Bo District – Southern region February 4th, 2016


Bo – Distribution QRS and Njala University Bo Campus • Bo is in the southern region of Sierra Leone and the regional headquarters of the south. We will be visiting Queen of Rosary School (QRS), an all girls and a catholic based secondary school, and Njala University College – Bo campus. • Please meet QRS first then Njala.


BO Distribution – Queen of Rosary School (QRS) BO. We carried some of the boxes on bikes to lighten the weight on the car car so we can safely navigate the unpaved section of the road leading to the school 2/4/16


QRS Secondary School – BO

Students going home from school. In Sierra Leone all students walk to and from school every day, rain or shine. Despite the difficult conditions in educations, students are required to be in neatly pressed and clean uniforms during school period (to school and going home from school. It is a national pride for all students to be in good uniform.) 2/4/16


Delivering the books to QRS, staff of QRS and PIE volunteers, dig through the boxes, pose and shook hands 2/4/16


Mrs. Gbomo (center), QRS Principal Junior Secondary Level (middle school) and staff scanning a pages of donated books 2/4/16


Senior staff at QRS proudly show copies of donated books


QRS Library


QRS Compound 2/4/16


QRS students solving organic Chemistry problem


QRS Chemistry Lab: old equipment and expired chemicals that cannot be used


Next stop in Bo is Njala University – Bo campus 2/4/16


Njala University – Bo Campus 2/4/16


Handing over books to Mr. Turad Senesie Director—Institute of Social Science, Administration and Management – Njala Bo Campus 2/4/16


NJALA University Bo Campus: lecture room and notice board 2/4/16


No guns campaign in Bo


Next distribution stop is in kono dictrict-home of the world’s finest diamonds and source of the true story behind “Blood Diamonds” (book and movie) – February 6-10, 2016

Diamonds and mining site in Kono District


Kono District Distribution. Home of the distributor Sahr Kolachi Pombor and his Non-Profit group Partnership In Education (PIE) Kono district is in the eastern region of Sierra Leone and home to the nations Diamonds. Half of Sierra Leones GDP comes from Diamond sales and that comes from Kono. Most of the diamonds are extracted from Kimberlite mining, which is displacing large sections of people and leaving large cradles in the landscape. The current mining company is called Octae/Koidu Limited mining. Before that we had National Diamond Mining Company-1977-1993 and Sierra Leone Selection Trust (SLST) 1955-1977. Kono is the only district named after its predominant tribe-Kono. The British had a strong military regiment based in Kono where some of their generals are buried during their war with the France in the early 1900’s for the diamond rich Kono that bordered French Guinea on the east. Kono is the second most populated district after Freetown and is home to all the 18 tribes in the country and many foreign nationals from middle east (Lebanese, Syrians), West Africa, Russia, USA, Britain, Canada, Australia, China and India. Before 1992 when the rebel war engulfed the region, Koidu was a bustling international melting point with all kinds of people from all over the world looking for Diamonds. That international mix and the favorable spring like weather from October to April attracted Europeans and gave our schools the advantage of receiving quality education from some foreign trained teachers who visited, loved the place and opted to stay.


Ebola prevention Hand Washing station at Kono District Entry Point. After washing hands, you are fully registered to make potential tracking before you embark on rest of your journey 2/6/16


Kono District Distribution – Eastern Province of Sierra Leone Kono is where majority of the books were donated A total of 26 schools benefited


Storage in Koidu City – Kono District – sorted by school for easy distribution


Mr. Abdul Sesay Assistant to the Deputy Director of Education Kono District examines books before distribution. Government does ask that books donated be current 3-5 years old and in good condition. These books met criteria.


Kono distribution storage Distributor hanging out with visitors at the Kono distribution storage eve of the distribution. We discussed the state of education in the district and country as a whole. Distributor encouraged all to give back to the school they attended by joining the alumni association and begin to address the schools' issues one at a time.

Below-displaying Chemistry books

Bottom center is volunteer Fofannah welcoming visitors


Kono Distribution meeting hall. Serving breakfast to the invited guests before the book distribution meeting. We brought a box of books from each receiving school for display at the meeting hall 2/10/16


Dignitaries at the high table during the Kono Distribution meeting February 10, 2016. Left to right: Solomon Gbondo-Deputy Chairman Kono District Council, Barnadet Tyray-Principal KGSS, Paramount Chief Kontanday Mbriwa IIIof Fiama Chiefdom, Henry Vag-Head of Community Development Office Koidu Limited Mining, Kono District and Alpha Sesay-Assistant Deputy Director of Education Kono District. PC. Mbriwa chaired the meeting


Distributor, Sahr Pombor addressing audience during the Kono book distribution. After informing the aduence of the donor-Worldbank Family Network (WBFN) and the intent of the donation-” to encourage and improve reading and education in developing countries”, he introduced “Sierra Leone Youth Academic Conference”(SLYAC) a new concept for motivating students, teachers, community and government to invest in education. He added that as a prelude to SLYAC his group, Partnership In Education will be organizing a spelling contest for secondary and elementary level student in Kono at the end of current school year. 2/10/16


Stake holders in Education in Kono District gather to receive books donated by the World Bank Family Network Book Project and to discuss education in the district. Present were Paramount Chiefs, principals, head masters, teachers, district council and city council representatives, women leaders, students, parents, business people, Octae mining representatives and journalists. Meeting was productive because stakeholders recognized and publicly declared that education is the key to development and that they are ready to implement any project that will facilitate delivery of quality education 2/10/16


Cross sections of audience at the Kono District distribution meeting February 10, 2016


Cross sections of audience at the Kono District distribution meeting February 10, 2016


Key persons responding to the donation and proposal: Left KGSS Principal Bernadet Tyray, Right Rev. Christian Fayia – Assemblies of God and bottom, Jespa Komba – Director Civil Society Education Kono District 2/10/16


Response (continued): Right, Principal Tamba D. Lansana God is Our Light School; right, IT start up entrepreneur Mr. Kanawa and a PIE volunteer; below left, Kathrine Mbayo a business student and also a PIE volunteer and bottom right PIE volunteers 2/10/16


Kono Distribution – stakeholders respond positively to the donation and gathered around the distributor asking more questions about education 2/10/16


Socializing after meeting


Reverend Fayia and Principal Nanoh offer prayers for the success of our proposed projects and blessed the books before they were handed over o the community.


Kono: handing over of books to the Kono Community, February 10, 2016. After the official handing over, all schools went to the storage to pick up their boxes of books.


Kono – Handing over to the Assistant to Deputy Director of Education Mr. Alpha Sesay and Chiefs-represented by Chief Mbriwa of Fiyama Chiefdom Kono District.


Shaking hands left: Henry Vag, Community Development Officer for Koidu Limited Mining in Kono; center: with Aiah Abu Pombor, PIE country Director and far right: with James Bangai PIE member Freetown 2/10/16


Kindergarten School in Koidu City. This is a single building private school run by a teacher and one helper. Yes the children learn something, but what is the quality of that education? Parents pay hefty tuition and bring their own chairs.


Kono District distribution; students carrying boxes of their school’s consignment on their head


Students carrying books from storage to their respective schools 2/11/16


Roman Catholic Elementary school Koidu, Kono District students prepare to transport their donated books


Distributor carrying box of books to his Alma Mater, Yengema Secondary School (YSS) – Kono District


YSS Principal Mr. Sahr Nannoh receives set of chemistry practical books from distributor Sahr Pombor February 10, 2016


Beautiful YSS lab, rebuilt by Alumni from UK, sadly not in use because of lack of equipment and chemicals


YSS – Some students present on campus during the books delivery February 10, 2016


Yengema Secondary School compound and Volleyball court. Distributor in yellow shirt diving for a ball.


Staff and volunteers of Partnership In Education gather for a debriefing after the Kono Distribution. We discussed successes, challenges and the missed opportunities of the process. We celebrated our strengths and discussed how best to strengthen our weak links.


PIE office and staff planning meeting before the Kono District distribution. Katherine Mbayo (left) only female volunteer was working on the breakfast menu while the boys were busy putting together final touches to the distribution.


Distributor meeting with some Principals before the distribution. Principal I.S Foday of Koidu Islamic Secondary School, one of the highly populated schools in the district. School is in dire need of lots of help, including principals office.


Meeting with principal of Koidu Secondary School (KSS)


Meeting with principal Barnedet Turay of Koidu Girls Secondary Secondary School(KGSS) – Koidu City


KDEC Elementary school Koeyor Kono District with donated books


Assemblies of God Secondary School Kono District students with donated books


Local publication of the books donation in Koidu Holdings Limited Diamond Mining Company in Kono District


Next stop was in Makeni City – Tonkolili District February 12, 2016


First stop – St. Francis Secondary School they received. Smiling and happy students carrying boxes of books to assembly space for the handing over presentation ceremony 2/12/16


St. Francis students, happily moving boxes of Book Project donated books to assembly space 2/12/16


St. Francis Secondary School Makeni I addressed the students during the distribution, informing them of the effort and reasons behind the donation. Students and staff present later expressed gratitude and thanked the donor and volunteers who made the donation possible. I told then that they were the future of Sierra Leone and that they should work hard to attain solid education to lead 2/12/16


St. Francis Makeni: Handing over the books to the school. Principal accepting donation 2/12/16


St. Fransis Secondary School Makeni-Northern Province. Principal Mr. Sesay addressing students during our presentation of the books 2/12/16


Our second and final stop in Makeni Feb 12, 2016


On our way to second stop in Makeni-Northern Polytechnic University-formerly Makeni Teachers College. Here, four students of St. Francis Secondary School with permission from their Principal volunteered to help transport 8 boxes of books to the university. Each student carried two boxes on their lap on bikes for four mile run. Principal Sesay paid for the two way bike ride.


Sahr Pombor, book distributor riding to Northern Polytechnic University from St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni


Second stop in Makeni, administration building


Northern Polytechnic Campus-Makeni. Students in front of Azollini Auditorium after a meeting February 12, 2016


Northern Polytechnic campus


Handing over books for Northern Polytechnic to the Bursar, Mr. Henry Kargbo February 12, 2016


Final stop was Muraildo Secondary School In Lunsar Porto Loko District, February 15, 2016


Lunsar Town, Portoloko District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone, Morando Secondary School. Lunsar is famous for its Iron Ore and Bauxite mining in Sierra Leone. It is the home of one of the best secondary schools Muraldo in the country. The school is a catholic institution with a sister school known as Guadalupe Secondary School. Muraldo has produced students that have gone to become engineers and some living in the UK and United States.


Morando Secondary School, Lunsar, Porto Loko District, Northern Province Sierra Leone. The school is a catholic institution and one of the best secondary schools in Sierra Leone. The school has produced students that have gone to become engineers and some living in the UK and United States. Murialdo has a sister school known as Guadalupe Secondary School.


Standing at the school’s entrance gates on left and on right is the building entrance with two buckets of solution used for hand washing before entering school for Ebola prevention.


Boxes of books on display at assembly for handing over ceremony. James Bangai on left, one of our volunteers organizing the boxes prior to the handing over.


Left: Distributor addressing students and staff at Muraildo. Right: Principal and Administrator Fr. Mario Zarantonelo receives books on behalf of school. He expressed his gratitude and hopes that more aid may come to the school in future.


Right: Principal remarking about the donation, expressing profound appreciation for the school receiving the books. Left: a long time senior teacher addressing students on the significance of the donation. He is joined by another senior teacher Mr. Stephen Moifungba with cap on head.


Muraildo student President (left) thanks WBFN Book Project for donation and promises that they will use books and produce best result in public exams in Sierra Leone. He asked that we continue to support students and promised to do better at school. Right – only female student among science students in 9 grade


Standing with my Nephew Sahr Mbayo, a graduate from MuraIldo Secondary School and a recently graduated as mechanical engineer from the University of Sierra Leone Fourabay College (FBC)


Notable features at Muraildo Secondary School


Star Radio Interview session on Education and Book Project – Freetown


Radio Interview on Education and Book Project – Freetown, February 5, 2016


After School in Freetown – Students going home


Visit with the Minister of Education February 15, 2016 before leaving for Washington DC


PIE Future Projects – Challenges • Spelling Contest in Kono District – June 2016 • Sierra Leone Youth Academic Conference – 2016/2017 academic year • Mobile content delivery to schools • Classroom Ready – grades 1-5 • Challenges – make classrooms ready for quality exchange of education. Provide materials such as lab equipment, prototypes, etc. to aid staff demonstrate scientific concepts and theories.


Presentation of Book Distribution at the World Bank, J-building (J8-044)


Distribution account presentation at the World Bank, J building (J8-044) 3/14/16


Thank you WBFN Book Project • We express our gratitude to the leadership of the WBFN Book Project and all the volunteers for your commitment in facilitating the delivery of thirty thousand (30,000) valuable books which are vital instruments of education in Sierra Leone. Hope you will continue to help us re-establish solid and quality educational standards in Sierra Leone help when ever you can. • Please check our Facebook page and like us. From all of us in Sierra Leone God Bless you all Sahr Kolachi Pombor-Sierra Leone Distributor


Sample letters of appreciation from recepient schools


Sierra leone book distribution report  

A very special thank you – the story of Sierra Leone as well as a report on the distribution process to the various recipients Schools– from...

Sierra leone book distribution report  

A very special thank you – the story of Sierra Leone as well as a report on the distribution process to the various recipients Schools– from...

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