ActionAid visit Sierra Leone school sites

Posted on Nov 2, 2010

In October, Rakesh Patel led a group of his colleagues from ActionAid to Sierra Leone for a series of meetings with local representatives and committees involved in the Millione schools project. The logistics and planning involved in getting the schools built is a complex business and involves plenty of co-ordination between the UK and Sierra Leone.

Reading Rakesh’s feedback report, it was apparent how the smaller issues in a project like this can sometimes be the greatest challenges to overcome. Simple communication that we take for granted, is difficult, as there is a serious lack of basic infrastructure in the rural areas. Telephones, emails, cars; luxuries here and rarities there. Such challenges just go to show the importance of investment and development, and the schools will form a key building block for these communities.

One of the things that we are very aware of is the need to understand the different requirements and situations of each of the schools that have been earmarked for development. I visited a number of the existing very basic schools on my trip to Sierra Leone earlier this year, and Rakesh and his team returned on their recent trip to take the next steps with the school representatives and community leaders. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the spirit and commitment of the local people is incredible and Rakesh’s visit enabled more details and issues to be worked through.

It is an exciting time, as Millione is now very widely available and the plans are coming together. We will be following the project through the eyes of the teachers and pupils and I look forward to hearing their thoughts as the building gets under way in the new year.

Shortly after Rakesh returned, sales of Million passed the mark that will allow us to begin work on the first school. But more on that later!

Photo: Headmaster Francis Bernard Turay
© ActionAid

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