[From David Sandi via email]
Greetings once more to everyone. Wish to share the latest Ahkom updates with you. On the whole it’s been positive with only two snags.
1. THE BRIGHT SIDE
a. WE LOVE OUR SUPPORTERS
Continued love and kisses to our few but committed supporters who, by now, any time they hear of David’s Ahkom updates probably sigh “Oh here he goes again. He needs more money!”
A big hand to Nick and Vicky for the determined assistance they’ve given Ami and Esther. Ami’s been bullying, academically, all her elders in the engineering department at Milton Margai University. To the point they made her their year rep. Esther’s Public Health results just came out – straight A’s and although she’s currently on the Higher National Diploma programme, she also topped all those on the degree programme doing the same modules. She’s now been invited to transfer, asap, to complete her course on the degree programme.
b. NO FRENCH, MONSIEUR, BUT ENGLISH
We’ve reviewed our RTR training brochure, to good effect, to reflect our wider community remit. Mr Sessie, our technical man, was in Freetown training the new English language teachers at El-Bethal. A new crop of schools in Freetown is anticipated. Jaiama, CKC, SLMB, Iamtech will be retrained before the close of school for Christmas on 17th December. Ahkom, as is to be expected, is up to date.
c. EDUCATION IS THE KEY
In the national exams Ahkom achieved 100% passes in the primary NPSE examinations; 100% passes in the Junior secondary school BECE examinations and 99% in the senior secondary WASSCE examinations. The five who failed the wassce did so because they failed to turn
up to sit.
d. THE STOMACH NEVER LIES
We took a Government surveyor from the Ministry of lands to survey the extension of the school farm at Lei chiefdom. It came to 76 acres. Around 30 hectares. We were charged a discounted amount of £2,000 for the exercise which includes charting on the national GPS data base, drawing up of the plan, signatory by the relevant chiefs and director of lands. We’re still on our knees begging for more discount.
Of the 1,000 cashew trees planted around 800 are doing well. We’d already factored in potential losses. An additional 1000 will be planted next year. Doing well too are the initial crop of Avocado, Coconut, mango, guava, orange, yams, cassava and sweet potato. The bole land (semi swamp) is about 15 acres. We’ve commissioned it to be brushed to meet up the rice planting season.
We’ve also nursed pepper. The English beans started with a flourish, as did the cabbage, carrot and lettuce. But the climate has changed and the unseasonably relentless rainfall caused them to rot. But all was not lost: my seasoned agriculturist in Nimikoro chiefdom, David had, from the word go, been sceptical of the climate and decided to hang on to his seeds. Now with the overly wet weather behind us, his nursed seeds are showing a great potential for growth and survival.
We’ve demarcated the areas for the farmstead, animal husbandry and wildlife.
e. NEW CONNECTIONS
It was a real pleasure to establish contact with a fairly new orphanage in Koidu – CARE for Children. I was bowled over by the commitment of the proprietress.
f. ON A GAME FRONT
We’ve started our giant killing again in the schools football league. Ahkom trounced SDA 3 – 0 in the opening game that took place two days ago. You may recall that not long ago we won the teachers football league.
2. THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
a. Once again the primary, Junior and senior secondary were all overlooked for teacher recruitment onto the government voucher. All my school heads and most of the senior staff are either pastors or lay preachers. The chap heading the teachers service Commission in Kono (who is known for selling of the employment forms and bears an uncanny resemblance to offsprings of belzebub) has been quoted as saying the Ahkom proprietor and his heads are refusing to play ball. Namely, refusing to pay a bribe for what is rightfully theirs. But if bribery is the only way we’re going to get teachers on voucher, then they’ll stay as volunteers. Anyway, I’ve made up my mind its in our best interest to revert back to private school status. At least then we can charge fees and pay our teachers.
b. Despite the hard work by Richard to secure us funding from Frempoma’s organisation, our fingers remain crossed that something will come out of all that admirable effort.
- Orphans at CARE for Children orphanage in Koidu
- Me reviewing RTR booklet. El-Bethal, Freetown – RTR Jss1
- Making heaps to plant cassava and sweet potatoes in Lei chiefdom
- Ami. Unfortunately Esther lost her phone and her pictures.