Update from David Sandi

When I left for the uk on 5th September 2020 covid 19 cases in Sierra Leone had considerably decreased. In truth with 74 deaths and 2100 or so infections, many recovered, Sierra leone had not felt the impact of the pandemic as in Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

Despite this the government had taken a very proactive stance in fighting the pandemic from day one: learning institutions,  places of worship, clubs etc were closed. Commercial  vehicles had to reduce passenger numbers; contact tracing was introduced, quarantine and isolation were implemented. As best as it could, government tried to implement assistance for the vulnerable and for affected businesses. However people still went to market and could access social services albeit within the remits of covid 19 regulations. 

Great effort was made over mainstream and social media to educate the masses on the significance of facial masks, hand washing, social distancing , nutrition etc. When fear was at its peak country 10pm to 6am curfew as introduced,  later revised to 10pm to 5am. Currently,  the curfew has been lifted for 4 weeks.

Pupils at Ahkom schools and tec voc stayed at home during the closure. The ministry of Education put into place radio and TV learning programmes. Down the line national and international examinations classes only  were permitted to return to school inoder to sit to their respective exams.

The right to read language program in schools was also put on hold but thanks to the hard work of Richard and Norm, a private small grant was received which enabled extension of the program to six additional schools.

During this same period a just giving appeal was devised by LSL to raise foods for the school farm project. The target is 5,000 and 915 has already been raised. An additional contribution of 1,200 was donated toward roofing of the initial 6 class structure. Unfortunately, lacking the construction know how of  Richard Bayfield,  I forgot, in my estimate, to account for the cost of gables, and frontal pillars that will link with the entire roof structure.  But all will be well.

Schools reopened on the 5th October. Christmas is round the corner. We have a tradition of doing something for the children at Christmas and Easter. It is our hope we can do likewise this year.

On my return to Sierra Leone on the 23rd October you’d never believe there was a worldwide pandemic.  Although masks were still mandatory for entry into most institutions there was little sign of them on the streets. Indeed, questions are rife among the laity as to whether covid 19 ever  existed.

Today the quarantine homes are closed, the isolation units remain isolated. Schools and places of worship are open as are places of entertainment. However covid 19 core requirements stay in place.

1. PROGRESS ON 6 CLASSROOMS