CEF Projects in Sierra Leone - Part 2

by Barbara Veres, Social Media Coordinator Continuing on with our Sierra Leone updates, we are pleased to report on the progress of our Peer Literacy Program (PLF).

The Peer Literacy Program & Kathombo School

CEF’s Peer Literacy Program gives 20 Peer Literacy Facilitators (PLFs) an opportunity to become role models in their community by becoming tutors to nearly 326 students who are registered in after-school reading and phonetics sessions.  We are excited to report that we are now seeing more girls (193) than boys (133) attending these sessions.

Since the beginning of this project one year ago, seven female PLFs have successfully written their national exams, qualifying them to attend any post-secondary institution of their choice that befits their exam results.  This school year, seven more PLFs will write their national exams in June 2012.

Without the undivided support of Augusta Numova, CAUSE Canada’s Peer Literacy Coordinator in Koinadugu, these programs would not have been as efficacious as they have been.  Augusta supervises all of the PLF tutors and students.  Her responsibilities not only include managing the PLF program, but also overseeing the class groups at their Integrated Learning Centre to develop phonetic skills and promote reading.

Due the PLF program's exceptional results, we are pleased to announce that the program will be expanding to include two additional schools – Koromasilia and Affia.  Both of these schools are villages outside of Kabala (the capital of the Koinadugu District) and have recently established high schools from where eight girls will participate in the PFL program.

Although these girls are going to be a bit younger than the female participants in Kabala, it is important to develop female role models from a young age in such rural communities.  To ensure that the young PFLs are adequately supported, CAUSE Kids will work to provide more training to tutors and develop more effective ways to monitor each student’s progress by getting a teacher in each village to assist in the daily monitoring.  Augusta will continue the training and monitoring scheme for the girls.

Finally, CEF is proud to announce that the construction of the beautiful school in Kathombo II was completed on June 1, 2011.  Currently there are nearly 340 students in the school attending grades one to six.  The new building will serve grades four to six and will be used by 165 students when school resumes in September 2011.  Seven teachers will staff the new building.

During a grand celebration filled with dancing that lasted until the afternoon, CAUSE Kids staff handed over the keys to the school’s management team in an official ceremony on June 14, 2011; with the building complete, each grade will now have its own classroom that will accommodate up to 55 students per class.

Overall, CEF’s engagement in Sierra Leone is starting to achieve some very positive results that are making a big difference in the lives of many children living in Sierra Leone.  Today, the students in Koinadugu, Kathombo, Koromasilia and Affia have the opportunity to further their schooling in ways that were once impossible.

CEF would also like to take this opportunity to thank the various organizations and individuals who have worked with us and supported these projects.  Without the tireless efforts of CAUSE Kids staff, the Peer Literacy Facilitators and Augusta Numova, we wouldn’t have been able to effect such positive changes in the lives of so many children living in Sierra Leone.

Thank you to all of our photographers, board of directors, volunteers, supporters who have made the dream possible for so many!