Our project entails the building of a three-classroom school and the renovation of the present dilapidated two-room building the children of Petifu use as a school. The new building has been constructed up to zinc-roofing level. Resources are now required to complete it and run it as a fully functional primary school.READ MORE
Problem We Are Trying to Solve
The civil war in Sierra Leone cost ten thousands of lives, displaced millions of people and destroyed most of the country’s economy and social infrastructure. Many villages have been attacked by rebels, among them the proud village of Petifu, whose old school building has been demolished and looted. As a result of these war crimes, the children of Petifu have been facing dangerous conditions for two decades now: that is, either being taught in a building whose roof could fall on their heads anytime, or taking on a walk of roughly 8 miles every day to the nearest school. A reality you would not want your own children to experience.
Therefore, I Abby Fofanah-Harrison, my husband David Harrison, my sister Hadiyatu Fofanah, and our close friend Martina Alig have decided to start the Petifu School Project with the aim of providing viable educational facilities with good sanitation for the children in Petifu and neighbouring villages. One of our main goals is to reduce anxiety and stress for both the children and their parents.
How We Are Going To Do It
Our intent is to construct a new building with three larger classrooms and equip it with all necessities, like tables, chairs, cupboards, blackboards etc. In addition, we aim to incorporate a school library where the children that can’t afford books will have access to them while at school.
At a later stage of the project, that is when the new school building has been properly built, equipped, and is already in use, we will start with the renovation of the old building in order to create sufficient space for all.
As a matter of fact, we have already managed to do 80% of the intended project work (i.e. the new construction; see image gallery) with the help of a small number of organisations, namely our church, and a couple of schools. My sister Hadiyatu manages the project on-site, making sure everything is properly done and safety instructions are met. From the beginning we have also involved the Paramount Chief and the people of Petifu village in both the planning and construction works to get them involved and make the cost manageable. At all times, they will be involved in the on-going work as they have been throughout.
The current and future students of Petifu village and surrounding areas, a group of approximately 150 - 200 children. In addition, the villages will benefit from having a safe and sound educational facility.
Long Term Impact
The school is designed to provide solid educational facilities that will last for many generations. Having a school in the village will improve family life as children will necessarily spend more time within the family. Most importantly, having quality sanitation in the school will lead to better health for the children over their schooling years.
Eventually, better education will equip the children with key skills to enter the employment market, whether in the immediate surroundings to the village or farther afield, thereby improving not only the children’s job opportunities, but also the future economy and development of the village.
In order to provide a more sustainable funding for the school once we completed the construction project, we will establish an agricultural project for the women in the village, operating as a cooperative. This will generate employment and income for families. But above all, it will provide food for the children during the school day, ensuring good nutrition and relieving parents of feeding duties. Finally, this in turn will motivate parents to enroll their kids.
What We Need To Do
With your financial help we will be able to fulfill the following pending requirements: roof sealing, plastering the wall (in and out), painting, paving the floor, fixing the doors and windows, the procurement of tables, chairs, blackboards and further equipment, sanitation and electrification.
With your donation and our collaboration with the local people, we will put the school back to full function and return it to its former glory.
Every amount will contribute to making a difference in children’s lives.
With deep gratitude,
Abby, David, Hadiyatu, Martina and the children of Petifu