To Move Ahead, Reach Further Back
April 2021
We can hardly believe we will soon have our first four young women on Sherbro Foundation scholarships graduating from college! We’re proud to have helped these women move ahead from high school to college, and soon be ready to start new careers.

It’s a big milestone for Bumpeh Chiefdom. They'll not only have college grads, but grads who went through local chiefdom high schools; not those who first transferred to city high schools.

For more kids to move ahead into higher education, it's clear we have to reach further back.

We need to start earlier with education programs preparing children for success in school. CCET-SL will expand its successful tutorial program to include primary schools in September.
But for now, three of our first college scholarship awardees are completing their 3-year community health nursing program. Left, they’re in their final internal exams, and then on to the national nursing certification exam.

We had a strong response to our March request for scholarships to support these nursing students in their final year. Thank you for making that happen!
Our first 4-year college scholarship student will soon follow them. Aminata Kamara, left, is in her final year of a Bachelor’s degree in Banking & Finance. Universities are catching up after a five-month Covid closure, with tentative class schedules. Aminata hopes to complete her degree by the end of 2021.

Aminata is a real success story. But too few students have the kind of secondary school results she had for admission to 4-year universities.

To improve students' results, we need to make earlier interventions. If kids can’t read and do basic math at grade level in primary school, few will catch up.

To tackle this, our partner CCET-SL will extend their successful Tutorial program approach to primary school classes 5 and 6 in the new school year.

Rosaline Kaimbay, CCET-SL managing director, worked with local schools to again maximize use of teachers and resources they already have for the benefit of all students. Rotifunk-area primary schools now teach as I was taught. One teacher covers all subjects for one class. But many teachers aren’t strong in all subjects.
The tutorial program will take 2 teachers with the best subject matter training from each of six primary schools. They'll be assigned to teach their subject in more than one school.

Students will now be taught by teachers trained in most or all of their subjects. 
Left, With too few classrooms, two primary school teachers often teach 2 classes back-to-back in one room.

The program will renew and motivate the teachers with added attention and support we'll supply. Sherbro Foundation will buy complete sets of all textbooks for each school. Most schools don't have the books needed to teach all subjects! We’ll also give $30 monthly stipends for the teachers.
With these simple changes, nearly 400 Class 5 and 6 students will get a much-improved learning experience. Teachers and their schools appreciate the added support. And, it’s a godsend for parents to improve their local school at no cost to them.

The cost for us? Only $19 per year per student. The cost per child will go down if enrollment grows in September.

Most important, this is an investment that will keep paying back over a child’s academic and adult life.

It will help keep kids in school longer. More will pass the national primary school exam and continue into junior secondary school. When kids are ready for secondary school and do well in junior high, parents are encouraged to keep them in school, even into senior high.

It’s a program we’re excited to start. Every year of schooling means improved earning potential as adults and more job options. It means greater likelihood of continuing into higher education for specific job skills.

For girls, staying in school means avoiding early marriage and the health problems of early pregnancy.
Sherbro Foundation just worked out the details of all education programs for the 2021-22 school year with our partner CCET-SL. You’ll continue to see:
  • After-school tutoring classes for 9th graders, now at over 80 students.
  • The all-day 12th grade school, combining teachers and all 12th grade students from Rotifunk schools, grown to 110 students and moved to a school with more space.
  • Ten vocational school students advancing to the 2nd year of 2-year diploma course.
  • Six local teachers continuing in their 3-year Higher Teacher’s Certificate course, run with classes on holidays and weekends for on-the-job teachers.

We'll also announce a new college scholarship program for 4-year bachelor’s degree students.

With your support, Bumpeh Chiefdom will now have community education programs from primary through secondary school to supplement and complement what the government offers. They'll be able to offer graduates help with several levels of higher education from vocational school through 4-year degrees.
These are major accomplishments for a rural subsistence community. We never would have thought this all possible a few years ago. We've only been able to do this because of you!

So, that's an overview of what's planned as Sierra Leone and Bumpeh Chiefdom return to a more normal 2021-22 school year. We’ll come back with our annual education program fundraising soon.

We’re happy to report Bumpeh Chiefdom continues with no Covid cases. Sierra Leone remains one of the lowest Covid countries in the world and began a vaccination program with vaccine donated from China. Health teams even came to rural Rotifunk offering shots to local adults. Not enough for everyone, but it will take multiple visits to educate people on taking the vaccine. CCET-SL staff were among the first to get vaccinated and will help convince others.
Thank you!
  -- Arlene Golembiewski, Executive Director
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3723 Sachem, Cincinnati OH 45226