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Boost to Girl-Child Education in Sierra Leone

Boost to Girl-Child Education in Sierra Leone


Kankaylay Girls School, among the first to offer Islamic education to girls in Sierra Leone, has benefitted from a scholarship, learning materials, and the reactivation of its library, by Mohamed Lamin Sesay, a 26-year-old Sierra Leonean student living in the United Kingdom.  (Photo:  Dr Sesay making a speech at Kankaylay School)

Mohamed Sesay’s father, Dr Idriss Sesay, who made the donation on 9 October 2013 in the school hall in eastern Freetown on behalf of his son who is in the UK, said they are only trying as a family to help.

“This donation is given to you by my son who has set up a charity – Keep it Fax – through which he has given out scholarships to 10 pupils: five for Kankaylay Islamic Girls, and the other five for Approved Boys School. The five scholarships to this school are made in his mother’s name, Adama Sesay, who is a past pupil of this school; and the other five scholarships to Approved School are in my name.”

Dr Sesay said his son while he was in Sierra Leone the last time saw the need to help the school following the donation of computers his mother made to her alma mater – and when he returned started working with others to see how they can help the school.

“Mohamed helped in the soliciting of the books for the library – the only thing we did is to ship them. Now, here in this country, we lack a maintenance culture, so please work hard to use and maintain these books. And for the recipients of the scholarships, you must work hard for it not to go in vain.”

The principal of the school, Agnes H Torkpoh, agreed to this and emphasized the need for students to work hard, especially girls.

“I mean, we fully appreciate these donations, and it is but fitting that the recipients work hard to reciprocate the good effort of the Keep it Fax Charity. Remember, this scholarship is only for bright students.”

Kankalay library – principal Agnes at the background standing

Kankalay library – principal Agnes at the background standing

She admonished the girls to take themselves seriously and work hard on their education which is the only thing they can truly call their own, citing that Mohamed Sesay’s mother who was an old pupil of the school a few years ago came up with an idea to help the only Muslim girls secondary school in Freetown with computers and other things.

“Now, here, we also have her son coming in to help. He has reopened our library, and donated tables and chairs for it, plus other things. I’m wondering what they will do again next year. I think they deserve a round of applause. And to you parents, please help in monitoring the education of your children – doing so will help them greatly.”

A Board Member of the school, Alhaji Rashid Saccoh, said Kankaylay is a Madingo word that means ‘one word’, ‘unity.’

“This school, Kankaylay Girls School, was founded for those who cannot help themselves – it is why this school is among the cheapest, and the staffs are dedicated and have a motherly heart. We all know there are a lot of kids here who cannot afford to pay their tuition but they are never driven away because we all believe in the education of the girl-child.

“We thank Dr. Sesay, and his wife who attended this school, and of course his son Mohamed Sesay for the interest and help they continue to show to this school. It is not that they money but they just want to help. Look, if you have millions and don’t care for others, it means nothing. Our library now is great, and very soon we are going to have more computers and a generator to run them.

“Dr. Sesay, we will continue to pray for you, and for your son who is just a student. We are wondering what he will do for this school when he starts work – won’t he think in providing motor bikes for our teachers, allowances, medical, and the like. We also appreciate the work of the former principal of this school, Salimatu N Koroma, who is today in another position as head of all the principals of secondary schools.

“Finally, to you parents, ensure your kids study and monitor them – don’t go to bed and leave them out. Play your part and ensure they are in school instead of being out on the streets selling.”

Chief Kapen, left, Fatmata Kamara, and a board member

Chief Kapen, left, Fatmata Kamara, and a board member

Head of the community, Chief Kapen, said he appreciates the good gesture and hopes it will continue.

“We are praying for the good Lord to keep them well in the UK. We are sure the beneficiaries of these scholarships will do well. As a parent who has children in this school, I will ensure I monitor them. All parents present here should do likewise.

The beneficiaries – Safinatu Akim Kamara, Menta Barrie, Fatmata Korgbaka, Kadiatu F. Kamara, and Mariatu Kamara – each had a year’s scholarship, school uniforms, shoes, exercise and text books, school bag and colours, and their school development fund contribution.

Kadiatu F Kamara, who made the vote of thanks, said they fully appreciate the donation and will work hard and ensure they do more, and more.

By Elias Bangura

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