Update from David Sandi at Ahkom

Sierra Leone 

As we draw towards the close of 2020 Sierra Leone is looking up in its fight against covid-19. The country was recently designated by the UN as one of only four in Africa considered low risk for covid-19 infection. Various africa centric government and health agencies are visiting to study the country’s strategy. Nonetheless baseline convid-19 requirements of handwashing, social distancing, face masks remain in place.

AHKOM School

West African Senior Secondary Schools Examinations- WASSCE

Like last year, the country’s wassce results this year were very bad. Due in large part to continued stricter invigilation and marking. Only around 4.5% of candidates country wide received university requirement ie 5 credits including English and maths. No candidate in kono received the requirement though significant numbers received 5 credits and more with only with passes in either English or math or fail in both subjects. Ahkom did relatively well, far better than over 70% of schools nationwide, but no where near last year. Additional factors were disruptions caused by corona and constraints imposed by transition to government assisted status which banned fees, yet left us still without  a single teacher on government payroll voucher. How do they expect us to pay our teachers, carry out rehabilitation work etc? Our finances are tight but, as always, God willsee us through. One commentator remarked Ahkom must’ve been living by magic! New intake of teachers on government pay roll voucher, we hear, will happen only in February 2021.

RightToRead (RTR)

Progress in this sector is encouraging. The planned expansion to six schools is ongoing. Teachers of Junior secondary English in these new schools had this to say during their recent RTR induction training at Ahkom: ” [ We see RTR as] the best thing for rapid improvement in English language in schools”

Scholarships

Thanks to your continued assistance our scholarship pupils continue to thrive. Five years ago Rita (seen above with her daughter) was on the verge of despair when her sole helper (an expat charity worker) relocated to his country in the wake of the ebola outbreak. She had 3 wassce credits and passes in other subjects. Impressed by her determination the expat had promised to pay for her resit which is successful,  could gain her entry to university. Unfortunately this never happened. 

Rita came to our attention 2 years ago and you, our friends,  sponsored her child. I involved Rita herself in the computer department to learn computing then sit to the National Technical Certificate NCTVA exams. This certificate is equivalent to the academic HTC –  higher teachers certificate. Although I can waive her ahkom tuition fees; I cannot waive the fees of the national awarding body – NCTVA, coming to around £500 for the three year  NTC course. Which is why we have not yet been able to register her for the NCTVA program.

What’s most important for us at Ahkom, however is that,  like many other sponsored students and their significant others, we’ve got Rita and her daughter – Francess, smiling again.

Xmas school Feeding 

It’s a yearly tradition to provide a meal for the children each Christmas. But this Christmas is unlike others. We hope God will make it possible to continue the tradition. 

AHKOM TEC VOC

The tec voc administrator at Ahkom has been appointed by the national technical vocational education and training body, TVET, as the district coordinator for all tec vocs in the Kono district. This, in recognition of the cardinal role Ahkom has played developing tec voc training in the Kono district.

SCHOOL FARM

If my estimate for the roof work was a wassce subject taken solely by myself and marked by Richard Bayfield, I’d not only have come with a big “F”, but been horse whipped out of Sierra Leone by Norm and Diana. 

I totally left out the cost of gables, beams, lintels, pillars. And the iron rods/cement/sand etc used for same. I even left out the cost of the required 200 boards for the 6 class rooms because all I had on my mind was zinc. I’m sure I’d have got it right if our builder hadn’t gone to his village in response to an emergency call. On his return I proudly told him the estimate I’d provided to you. His expression? He may well have seen a ghost. 

It transpires we require 19 bundles of zinc for the 6 classes, costing around £1100. I’ve already  paid for 10 bundles.The carpenter estimated 200  2″ x 7″ full length boards coming to around £750. I’ve secured 100 for now.

Happy to say that work is ongoing-  we’ve even started on the remaining 3 classrooms. I know all will be well.

On a final note: Merry Christmas all and a happy New Year: 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits……………..who heals all your diseases….” 

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

Yatta’s Ministry Update Oct 2016

“Those who walk with God will always reach their destination”
“No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, it is never too late to turn around and start a new journey on the right road”

May the good Lord be with us on our journey.
Sierra Leone….. Things are getting more difficult by the clock. Interestingly looking at Sierra Leone today You will find out that the figures are swinging down.
Educational standard are going down. Chances of getting daily bread is going down, Health standard are also going down, checks and balances are literally breaking down.
Meanwhile here in Sierra Leone despite the fact that the IMF/World Bank claim to be here fighting to eradicate poverty in partnership with our leaders- things continue to go from bad to worse. After the Ebola Epidemic this country has not been able to return to normalcy. Most businesses closed down, many people pulled out and have still not returned. Cost of living has gone way up to the point that even a bag of rice has gone to about $35 a bag when the basic salary is about $50. People live in this country by miracle to be able to go through the month with that money with their families that why many children could not go to school.

CHURCH… The church mission celebrated it 18 years of existence. We where not able to celebrate but we where able to meet as a council and we came out with the decision to embark on training. We have therefore started a training School. CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH -TRAINING SCHOOL.
We put together 3 Level of Training….
1. CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION -2 Months
2.CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP -3Months
3.CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP -6 Months

I have started the level 1 with 30 students in Freetown. We will finish end of October.. graduation will be first week in November.
Next year February and March will be for Kono Training we would expect over 100+.

SPORTS LIFE…. We have started a program with schools and Community called “SPOT THEM YOUNG” To help meet need in this country to be able to identify talent at early age. To give the Children opportunity to play. To shape them for future vocation. We have started training in three communities in the country but we planned to go length and wide of the country. I will send you pictures .

We would appreciate any kind of help. We are attracting hundred Children and more in each location ages.6-14. This will be of serious benefit to the nation. This is a time of sowing, investing in the lived of the young Stars.

MEAMI……..
I am happy to report that the national primary school exams result are out. Almost all the children we sent where able to make it secondary school. We are happy that the school is been handed over to the government. They are happy to take it over. They are working out their modalities.They sent a high power delegation the last time to inspect the school. We still want to have some amount of influence in the school as a mission.

PRAYER REQUESTS….
1.Please pray for the Training School for for smooth running.a and financial support
2. For the  project on SPOT THEM YOUNG
For coaches to be more committed. To coach not only the Sports but the lives of the children
3. The Church as we embark on Evangelism that more people will come to faith in the Lord Jesus
4. Pray for Sierra Leone as things are very difficult. Cost of living is going way up.
5.For the peace of this country ad the Election Drew’s closer.
6. Pray for Pastor Marcarthy ad he provides leadership for the team in Kono. For God to provide him a new bike to smooth his movement around as the old one is broken down.

Stay Blessed
Yatta Samura

‘Spot them young’ sports programme

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We recently received these photos from Yatta, showing a new sports programme that has just started called ‘spot them young’. At present they are working with over 100 kids in an are called Angola Town, Goderich in Freetown. They hope to expand, particularly to work with girls when the schools go back. It’s great to see how our donations of sports kit, shoes, equipment etc had led to so many smiles!

More donations for Sierra Leone

We sent out a carload of freight at the end of June which has just arrived. There was quite a bit of medical equipment, school books, pens, pencils, calculators, and quite a bit of sports kit. Plus a lot of clothes, all donated from local people. Thanks so much to all who donated. 

 

Sierra Leone win ICC Africa Div 2 league

The Sierra Leone national men’s cricket team known as the Patriots of Sierra Leone have broken the gold championship droit in African Cricket by registering a massive win against Mozambique in the ongoing ICC-Africa World Cricket League Division 2 tournament hosted in Benoni Johannesburg Republic of South, the third consecutive win in two days having defeated Rwanda in the morning and Mozambique on Saturday 16 April 2016.

The Mozambiquecans made a huge mistake by winning the toss this afternoon and elected to bowl first. Sierra Leone led by her all rounder and well determined captain Lansana Lamin, scored 177 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 20 Overs. Lansana Lamin scored 43 runs, followed by Mohamed Shamshad Khan 40 runs, Ibrahim Orpoach Mansaray the Wicket keeper of the Patriots was called on by the technical team to stand in at No. Batsman due to the team’s struggling at that position and scored 37 runs, Jacob Mansaray also added to the total which gave the the Mozambiquecans an up hill task to and target of 178 runs from 120 balls. The Mozambiquecans were bowled out for 97 runs in 14.3 Overs. Mohamed Shamshad Khan picked up 3 wickets followed by Captain Lansana Lamin’s 2 wickets. Sierra Leone won by 80 runs, the biggest win and total score by any Sierra Leonean men’s side in an ICC Africa Cricket organised tournament.

Sierra Leone are Champions of the ICC World Cricket League Africa Division 2 tournament Johannesburg Republic of South Africa 16-20 April 2016 with a game to spear. The first and only gold championship for the Sierra Leone’s men’s team in ICC-Africa cricket and the first gold championship for any Sierra Leone national men’s cricket team since 2005. There are jubilation and celebrations here in South Africa by the Patriots. What an historic and remarkable achievements for the Patriots of Sierra Leone? The Patriots are singing the Sierra Leone national anthem and national pledge, some in tears of joy having struggling and preparing for this remarkable win and achievement since October 2015. What a win and achievements for the people of Sierra Leone?

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Jog 4 Jesus

I am very excited to let you know that the Jog 4 Jesus program you were praying for was very successful.
15 years ago in 2001 we started Jog 4 Jesus. I tell you this is the biggest one ever. The turn out was fantastic, many churches, denomination, Sports clubs, organization communities turn out in their numbers.
It attracted many dignitaries pastors, lawyers, bishops, Government ministers and members of parliament it was shown on the national TV and the radio programs are still talking.
We printed 750 T-shirt and share it, we still encourage people to put on their church T-shirt because they where not enough. I have friends who contributed to the painting of the T-Shirt, publicity, PA System for the closing ceremony at the end point. 15 years ago the president now came to that first Jogging. It is gaining momentum every year it is growing.
This Jog is for all classes of people in regardless of age, color or Religion every body is invited. Many Muslims came to the jogging.
The purpose of this Jogging are three fold
1. To give people an opportunity to exercise. Because physical exercise profit little. So go for it.
2. To publicly proclaim the name of Jesus. The disciples went with Jesus  in to Jerusalem singing hosanna in the highest. We should not be ashamed.
3.  To celebrate the death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because He lives we can face tomorrow.IMG_20160326_080129

The start

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Running through Freetown

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Yatta taking a breather

Ministry Update from Yatta

I Write to update you of what God is using us to do in our Beloved country Sierra Leone.
1. EBOLA…. I am happy to let you know that what you have been joining us to pray About is now thing of the past..  The three countries SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA and LIBERIA has finally be declare Ebola Free.
We are free, people have started coming again, business are starting again. We say thank you LORD.  2. Our Theme for this year….  STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD. What you confuse you posses. Claiming and receiving what God has for you.  The promises of God are Yes in
In Christ.
3.  Church…… In December 21st.-23rd 2015 we had a pastors Repeat which give us opportunity to do a lot of reflection and planning for the mission. We also came up with 5 years VISION for the mission. We are hopping to concentrate in Freetown and the provincial headquarter Town.
* we have finally got a land for the freetown Church which we are all happy About. Very good place for church and school. This will indeed push us forward as a mission. It is two and half town lots. We need to complete the payment and do the papers. Five thousand pounds par town lots. We have paid the one and half.
* The 3 pastors in Freetown have been offercially license. We organise a big service and brought in pastors from the Evangelical Fellowship and the Pentecostal Fellowship to be part of it. We also brought in some pastors from kono.  In April we would be going to Kono to License the others.
*Koidu Town Church…….. The church is growing,  we had an Evangelistic Out reach which has brought in many new people in the church.  The problem we have now is  sitting.   We need more benches.
* The next problem is  toilet… The church does not have its own toilet. The church was using the toilet in the neighbourhood. After the EBOLA it will be risky to continue that way. We have to do it.
4. SCHOOL….. school reopen in January. Many of the children left the towns because of the EBOLA. Some have started returning. We had 10 children who took the NPSE.  National Primary School Examination. Nine pass with a clean marks for their schools of choice. We have been able to get a school for the one.
* many of the teachers have left the school because of salary. Government rate is 500 and we are paying 200. The only thing is for Government to take the school.
* It was so nice this Christmas to put smile in the faces of about 36 children in my neighbourhood. Children whose families cannot afford them. I brought some clothes for them, cook and took them to the Lakka beach. They are still thinking about that experience.
5. Sports Life…..  In December we did Jog 4
Jesus. This is the first time we did it in December. For the past two years all our Sport program came to a stand still. We are doing it again in march for Easter.
* we have started our school coaching again.  Sending coaches to the schools and communities
* we did leadership training for Sports Ministry workers and coaches.
* we had meetings with the Football Association. They are asking us to take the Champlain of Sports people higher. They want us to start travelling with the National Teams.
They saw what we are doing with the under age in the schools and Communities on the TV. They have provided us some new equipment for our programs. GOD is opening doors.
* The Football Association gave us some equipment for the school and Community programs.
*we are still working in bringing some other Sport ministry Angencies in our country. To come be part of what God is doing in Sierra Leone..
*We say a big thank you to Ian for His effort of collecting and sending those boxes for us. Many people have been bless. Most of them goes to Kono where they are most needed. I join every body to say thank you.

PRAYERS……..
1. For the school to be taken over by the govt. Long over due
2.For the land space in freetown to be a reality.  Complete payment and paper work.
3. The benches and toilets for the Koidu town Church.
4. For God to open more doors for Sports Life.
5. For more COMMITMENT and spiritual growth for our pastors.
6. For God to bring more supporters “into Love Sierra Leone UK
7. For the school to be taken over by the govt.

Faithfully Submitted
Yatta Samura