Dec 5, 2017

Going Back To School Fully Equipped in Freetown

Ready To Study!
Ready To Study!

When A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa last reported to all of you – our generous donors – we spoke of the horrible mudslides which left more than 400 people dead and an estimated 6,000 people severely impacted in Freetown, the capital.

I had just returned from Sierra Leone where I’d spent a week visiting with families in Displaced Persons Centers.  The funds we raised were used to purchase rice, onions, seasoning with meat protein (maggi), oil, blankets, sleeping mats (people in the camps were sleeping on a dirt floor) and critical medical supplies to treat malaria, typhoid and diarrhea.   

The aid we provided was totally direct from here to the markets to the camps and it has made such a difference in the lives of so, so many who lost everything.

But we did even more to help!!!!

In addition to all of the aforementioned aid, we raised additional funds and were able to develop and implement an education intervention program for over 100 children throughout these camps.  We were able to purchase backpacks, uniforms and shoes as well as notebooks, pens, and pencils! 

This means these children returned to school (which opened weeks after the mudslides) fully set and ready to study! 

Having these supplies and the proper clothing increases self-esteem tremendously but of course it also allows these children to pick back up where they left off – even though they’d lost all of items they would need to get back to their education.

From the people in-country: Special thanks to all donors who have stood by and have been there for Sierra Leone at this time.  Thank you all.

We Have Our Supplies!  Thank You!
We Have Our Supplies! Thank You!
Sep 5, 2017

Mudslides in Freetown - Yet Another Tragedy

Woman & Her Infant: Only Surviving Family Members
Woman & Her Infant: Only Surviving Family Members

As you know, BTA works in Sierra Leone, West Africa and for thirteen years, we have been dedicated to helping the beautiful people there, particularly children and women.

 This country has experienced brutal war and the Ebola crisis and more tragedy struck just two weeks ago.  Very heavy rains poured down for days resulting in horrible mudslides which left more than 400 people dead and an estimated 6,000 people severely impacted in Freetown, the capital.

When I heard this – I had to do something.  So I began to raise funds and went to Sierra Leone to help the survivors of floods and mudslides.  I just returned.

What I saw was devastating.  People lost entire families in minutes.  I interviewed a lot of people to get their stories and what I heard was frightening.  A young mother, for example left her home early in the morning to go to market.  She took her infant child.  Her other five children and her husband were at home. When she returned from the market – her entire village was under mud.  All of her family (who were asleep I the village) died instantly.  This was a story I heard over and over again.

Children described hearing a very loud bang noise.  It sounded like thunder.  But it was followed by heavy, heavy mud coming down at a rapid pace from the mountain.  It looked like a piece of the mountain just fell off.

The mud and the water engulfed homes very quickly so hundreds were unable to get out.  Those that did are in Displacement Persons Centers where I spent my time.

I took the funds we raised to purchase rice, onions, seasoning with meat protein (maggi), oil, blankets, sleeping mats (people in the camps were sleeping on a dirt floor) and critical medical supplies to treat malaria, typhoid and diarrhea.   

The aid we provided was totally direct to the people. 

  • First, I changed dollars to Leones. 
  • Second, I went to stores and bought what we needed. 
  • Third, we loaded it into a big truck and took everything directly to the camps. 

When we delivered these items, I saw smiles all around. 

We can certainly use more funding for this effort but so too, as always, for our school feeding programs.  Thank you in advance for your generous, ongoing support to A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa and our life saving work.

Loading Food Into Truck - Going Directly to Camps
Loading Food Into Truck - Going Directly to Camps
The Aftermath of the Mudslide
The Aftermath of the Mudslide
Jun 12, 2017

The Children So Badly Need Nourishment

Warm and heartfelt greetings come your way from the over one thousand children whose lives you continue to impact and who appreciate you so much for your unwavering partnership and support over the years.

In times like this, when even the average Sierra Leonean struggles with the harsh economic conditions and bad weather conditions that have adversely affected the planting season and agricultural outputs, our children continue to come and work hard at school.  They want to be in a position to affect positive and lasting change in their communities and know that an education can help to do this. Our children consider themselves very fortunate, thanks to BTA.

Recent test scores both within our school and for national exams have proven that our school outperforms much older schools within the Moyamba district  because the BTA feeding program has further improved on the cognitive abilities of the children, improved health conditions, improved school attendance and increased academic performance.  

We currently have thirty children in various universities in Sierra Leone all of whom were either in primary school or junior high school when the BTA started our school feeding program.  The degrees range from Law, Engineering, Education, Development, Business Administration, Christian Ministry, Nursing and the like. One can say the future looks bright!

We thank and appreciate you for your patronage over the years to keep our children nourished and to have the resulting school statistics the way they are today.

Children’s Stories

11 year old girl:  She has five siblings and they live with their single mother in Ngolala Village, one of the remote villages in Upper Banta community, in the Southern province of Sierra Leone. They are a very cheerful family full of love and warmth. The mother as the bread winner in to subsistence farming whose income is barely enough to sustain the family despite her hard work (which is very typical of many rural women.)

Despite all of their effort, their income earned is too low to provide the family with all the basic necessities of life. So our 11 year old girl and two of her siblings depend on the BTA feeding program. This will continue into next year as it is very likely that early rains this year will adversely affect the planting season. When you ask this girl “How will you cope without farming this year?” She smiles and responds, “We have BTA which provides two meal for us every day.”

10 year old boy:  He is blind. “I was ok and woke up one morning with my eyes itching and then ended up blind. The cause is still not known.” His father says to us: “I thank God for the feeding program as the children I have that are in school that are part of the BTA feeding program are staying healthy, focused in school, and educated. Without the food, life would have been unbearably difficult.”

 
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