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.”

Feb 7, 2017

School Feeding Programs Make Such A Difference

Auntie Sarah with Beautiful Healthy Children
Auntie Sarah with Beautiful Healthy Children

A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa Foundation (BTA) would like to begin by thanking the many generous donors who contributed at the end of the calendar year.  Your funding is helping so very much to support our critical work in Sierra Leone which – as a result of the Ebola crisis – has become one of the poorest countries in the world.  The children need you more than ever.

 BTA is now focusing almost exclusively on making a difference through the establishment of school feeding programs.  There is ample evidence that school feeding programs make a truly positive difference in children’s lives as they provide—

  • Nourishment through meals they would otherwise not get.  This translates to weight gain and improved overall health leading to higher capacity to focus and concentrate in school;
  • The incentive for children to attend and stay in school every day;
  • The promise that children will succeed in school and thus advance to higher levels of education.

This period in a child’s life is vital; their minds are at the most absorbent stage of development. Educating the brain as young as possible is key to creating a path to success later in life

 “Auntie” Sarah Armstrong (Director and Chairman of BTA) began her first BTA school feeding program  in 2004 with 100 students in the Upper Banta Chiefdom/Moyamba Province.  It has grown to more than 1,200.  Students receive breakfast and lunch, and they call the meals “My BTA.” Being nourished has led to great success: this past year, 90% of students passed their national exams to advance to the next level of school.

Here is a great success story from the Upper Banta School that we want to share:

 THE IMPACT OF A BRIGHTER TOMORROW FOR AFRICA (BTA) IN MY LIFE

I was born in Sierra Leone to a single parent family and I live with my mother, two sisters and a brother.

I came to know the Children of the Nations school (with the feeding program funded by BTA) in 2005 when I was a school drop-out selling kerosene in the streets.

 As a little boy with an empty stomach every morning I used to find it difficult to go and be in school with a concentrated mind. But I say thanks to God for you all who provided food through BTA for us in school every day. This food has been a contributing factor in my education because it made me healthy, active and focused. Moreover, it made me to be punctual in school every day because I never wanted to miss the food for a day.

 As a result of this wonderful meal (BTA) provided by you, I stayed in school healthy and active for many years and I am happy to let you all know that I am presently the Head Teacher (Principal) in the same school that I attended and in which I benefited from the BTA food.

The New Principal at Our School
The New Principal at Our School

Links:

Nov 9, 2016

Ebola is gone but so many Challenges Still Remain

I’ve just returned from my first trip to Sierra Leone in several years.  The Ebola outbreak – known in Sierra Leone as “the Ebola period” – kept me from travelling to this wonderful country that I missed so much. Ebola is gone but so many challenges still remain.

The trip was full of amazing moments but so too some sadness.  While A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa (BTA) is clearly doing so much and making such a difference (more later), the country’s economy is in terrible, terrible shape.  The price of everything has more than doubled.  There is a shortage of petrol.  There is more unemployment than ever and there are many, many children living on the street – some as young as two years old.

So please – keep helping. Keep supporting BTA so children can eat (when they would not otherwise) and these children can be educated and these children can succeed.  Please do that at a time when it is more important than ever.

Very Good News at This Tough Time – Thank You...

  • Our feeding program in the Upper Banta chiefdom is up to 1200 students – we provide lunch to children of ages from nursery school to Senior Secondary School.  They only get food at school.  This nourishment – for years running now because of you! – means they can study and pass exams.  Some grades are up to 90% passage rate of the national exams.
  • The support we gave to the Ben Hirsch orphanage in the province of Kenema during the Ebola period literally saved lives of these children who are either Ebola survivors or children of two parents who died of Ebola and are having a terribly hard time getting adopted.  Our support in the form of food and medical supplies came at a time when so many non-profit-organizations pulled out of Sierra Leone.  We didn’t and these children are doing so well because of it.  And so, so grateful.
  • We visited a small school for street children ages 2 – 4.  Yes – street children.  They come now each day to get food and start their A, B, Cs and numbers.  Now that I’ve been exposed to this, I will wholeheartedly find a way to add sending funding to these kids as soon as I can. 

I love this work.  The children love us.  And I am sending love to all of you and a great appreciation to you for continued support. Let's work together to make Sierra Leone whole again. 

 
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