Richard Bayfield’s Christmas letter December 2015

It’s the time of the year for Christmas cards, for parties, for presents and for reflection.

For 14 years I have been working with some modest education projects in Sierra Leone, initially through my local church and more recently as a Trustee of an independent charity ( Over the years we have established a junior school in Koidu (the setting of the film blood diamond which portrayed the inhuman behaviour of the “so called” child soldiers during the civil war). We have also supported some churches, a senior school and have received excellent feedback from the local community about the value of this support. More recently the community has been hard hit by the ebola crisis. It hardly seems fair that ebola should arise as the rebuilding after the civil war was beginning to gain traction.

We are now piloting a “right to read” project in Sierra Leone which has had significant success in India amongst a population with similar demographics (i.e. the poorest in the world, typically living on a dollar a day with over 90% illiteracy and unemployment).

We are targeting the crowded classrooms with up to 60 children per class, no teaching aids apart from a blackboard, under-trained teachers, and lack of textbooks so the whole class shares just a few copies. We are partnering with English Helper to introduce a technology-enabled solution to help 100 students with English proficiency (the national school curriculum is in English). Our programme will run from January to August 2016 at Ahkom School and Vocational Centre. We need £8,000 by January to fund the initial tranche of work.

If you can make a donation click here: Whatever the size it will be hugely appreciated. I have put my Christmas card fund into supporting this initiative and so you will have to have my Christmas wishes via this message!

Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2016!


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