The Victoria-Taiama School Project In Taiama, Sierra Leone
Taiama The Bo-Freetown Road is the main artery of Sierra Leone.
The Ahmadiyya School Project • The *Ahmadiyya School Project* story began in 1974 when an 11 year old Sierra Leonean student, *Eric Sama*, met *Maureen Mark*, a 21 year old volunteer with Canadian Crossroads International. Eric and Maureen became friends. Maureen provided support so that Eric could complete high school and teacher training! In 1990, Eric Sama became a teacher at the Ahmadiyya Primary School (Grades 1-7) in Taiama, Sierra Leone.
Maureen Mark and Eric Sama, co-founders of the Ahmadiyya School Projectfriends since 1974
Phase 1February 2005 • With funds raised by the groups associated with the Ahmadiyya School Project, Eric Sama returned to Taiama to build a five-room addition to the badly damaged and overcrowded Ahmadiyya Primary School.
The water pumps Five water pumps were installed by L’Action contre la faim.
Dedication of pump – passing the responsibility of the pump from L’action contre la faim to the school community
Eric returned to Canada after 3 months. With the financial support of the Ahmadiyya School Project, Eric and the community had built the five-room addition. The community also had 5 new water pumps. There had not been sufficient funds to complete the interior or build furniture.
PHASE 2 January, 2007 Eric Sama and his nephew, John Sama (age 12) returned to Taiama with the funds to complete the first five rooms, build the next five rooms and a block of toilets for the Ahmadiyya School.
Celebration of welcome in Eric and John’s honour
The people of Sierra Leone are very poor. Most have only one meal a day, consisting of rice and some stew. In Taiama they say, “You are lucky if you have 1-1-1, which means three meals a day.”
Children attend Ahmadiyya School 4 days a week. The younger children come in the morning and the older children come in the afternoon. There are 50 students in a room much smaller than a Canadian classroom. Three students share a desk and there are no books. All the work is copied from the black board. They study Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and English.
The first task was to complete Phase 1. The building needed windows, doors and paint.
One day each week, the students collected buckets of sand for the project. They went down to the river and carried buckets of sand on their heads to a drying place. Most kids carried 40 buckets.
Eric commissioned the building of benches for desks and stools for sitting on
When Eric and John returned to Canada, Ahmadiyya School had another five-room addition and a toilet block. For the first time in many years, the community has sanitation and a source of clean water. The Ahmadiyya School Project wishes to thank - the First Unitarian Church of Victoria and its members - staff and students at Campus View School, Marigold School, North Saanich Middle School, Lansdowne Middle School and - many families in the Victoria community for their financial support.
Phase 2b Spring 2008: $5000 was sent to restore and plant the school garden to grow food to support a lunch program. Most families cannot afford food for lunches. Because children are hungry, they prefer to sit and conserve energy rather than play actively at lunchtime. We provided seeds and locally made tools to help the students and parents plant, supervise and harvest an organic garden. Surpluses will be sold to raise funds for the school.
Ongoing commitments Provision of medical kits through health Partners International
$500 per kit. Eric took two kits in 2005. He and John took two more kits in 2007. …opening the medi-kits from Canada
2) Finish the outside and provide ceiling tiles of the second block of classrooms (2009) $15,000
3) Construct a workshop for teaching and marketing batik and weaving to support the medical clinic (2009) $7,000
4) Construct and staff a medical clinic (2009-10)
5) Remodel one of the original three classrooms as a library (2009)
6) Ship a container of school and medical supplies (2009) $12,000-$18,000
With your support, Eric Sama will be able to return in 2009 to oversee the completion of our future plans.
Thank you for helping to make a difference in these children’s lives. The Victoria -Taiama School Project In Taiama, Sierra Leone