Jun 15, 2015

Having an Impact in an Ebola Burdened Country

Global Giving

Report for Summer 2015

A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa Foundation

When we last provided a report to this wonderful group of generous donors, we talked about how much of a toll the Ebola outbreak was taking on the people of Sierra Leone we adore.

Things have improved … there are fewer cases reported now than in a long time.  And as a result – our children wereable to return to the school at which we then began again to provide them breakfast and lunch.

As you’ll recall, because of the outbreak of the disease and the declaration of a public state of emergency, the movement of people from one place to the other was thwarted. Household members in the Upper Banta and Lower Banta Chiefdoms in the Moyamba District and Bumpe Chiefdom in the Bo District (the area in which BTA works) were mandated to stay in their villages which prevented children from going to school where they were being provided their meals. 

In order to address this, we changed our model and brought food to the villages so the children would not go without the nutrition they so desperately need.

This went on until mid-April.  Now, as we mentioned above, they are back at school and they are now able to take their meals as they did before the Ebola outbreak and the declared state of emergency.  The schools were completely disinfected and cleaned. Health talks were initiated in our schools to ensure that our children stay safe and healthy; the children have adopted extremely good hand washing habits and conversations about how to prevent the spread of the disease continue.

For this of course, we are all incredibly grateful and grateful to you for your support.  Here are some sentiments expressed by the people for whom we provide in Sierra Leone:

On behalf of the entire school children and staff of COTN – SL we wish to tender our since gratitude and appreciation for all your donations to the children of Sierra Leone in particular children of the Mallory Jansen Memorial Schools.

You have stayed with believing that these children will someday transform nations. The Ebola Disease has seriously posed untold hardship to children and their families. We therefore ask for more  support in ensuring that school attendance of children are maintained, drop-out rates reduced and certainly improve the cognitive and learning abilities of children.

Be encouraged to continue the good work of faith as we strive to raise children that will someday become agents of transformational change in their communities and ultimately this nation. With this we say thanks to you, your family, friends and all the well-wishers and supporters of BTA.

Also to share:

We mentioned in our last update we had identified an orphanage for children whose parents have died of Ebola.  When parents die in Sierra Leone, the tradition is that the children are taken in by family and/or residents of the village.  This however, is not happening when the kids are “Ebola orphans.”  People appear to be afraid of them.  So Sierra Leone has had to open a lot of new orphanages.

BTA therefore extended its work to provide funding for food and medical supplies to one of these orphanages, located in Kenema … an area hard hit by the epidemic. 

Our intention is to continue to provide for this orphanage and we encourage you to please continue your financial support to BTA in order to help us be able to do this, and continue the feeding program.

Thank you again for everything.

Mar 10, 2015

Helping Children in SL During a Difficult Time

Radios for Learning
Radios for Learning

A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa (BTA)

Focusing on Children in Sierra Leone

At a Devastating Time


Report from Sarah Armstrong, Director, BTA


It’s critical I know for us to regularly share with you updates on how investments in BTA are making a difference to the people of Sierra Leone. And please be reassured that all of your investments are making a difference. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to continue the feeding programme with the students who live in the Upper Banta region of the province of Moyamba.


But things have been VERY challenging for us because of Ebola. I know you are all aware of just how horribly this monster of an epidemic has affected West Africa … and certainly in Sierra Leone.


It is flat out heartbreaking. But BTA has responded in ways of which we can all be proud.


The children have been quarantined in their villages due to Ebola. So we have done the following:


  • We purchased no-touch thermometers and sent them over to Sierra Leone so that the children could have their temperatures read safely and regularly.


  • We have switched the feeding programme to a programme where we are now delivering food to the villages. As you know, they used to get their meals from BTA at school. But they don’t go to school any more … so without our new system … they would not eat.


  • We purchased radios for each of the villages. Because the kids cannot go to school to learn, the country has developed a system whereby the teachers provide lessons by radio. The lessons are broadcasted from a central location but the kids in our villages were not able to hear the lessons because they did not have radios. Now they do – thanks to BTA.



We identified an orphanage for children whose parents have died of Ebola. When parents die in Sierra Leone, the tradition is that the children are taken in by family and/or residents of the village. This however, is not happening when the kids are “Ebola orphans.” People appear to be afraid of them. So Sierra Leone has had to open a lot of new orphanages.


BTA has provided funding for food and medical supplies to one of these orphanages, located in Kenema … an area hard hit by the epidemic.


I will end this report with a note from the wonderful person who directs the programme for us in Sierra Leone…


The Distribution of the BTA food to our children is a big blessing to Children of the Nations organization ever since the Ebola outbreak. This has always helped in developing the holistic life of our children in sustaining their lively hood. They are always praying and so excited whenever this food is distributed to them.

In the distribution period the parents are grateful for all that Aunty Sarah Armstrong and other donors are doing for their children. They are also praying for God’s showers of blessing on whosoever is helping in their resources for the education of their children.


Jun 23, 2014

June 2014 Report on Children in Sierra Leone

A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa Report for Global Giving

June 2014

Thanks and appreciate for the BTA food program given to Mallory Jansen Memorial School, Ngolala.

 These needy and vulnerable children are thankful and appreciative to all those that have special interest in them to provide food for their holistic life development and in their learning. Their thoughts and hope is growing stronger in their daily activities at home and in their schools. Their parents and guardians are continually praying for those families that are providing such a nutritious food as BTA food in which their wards are benefitting from every day.

 The school is growing in strength every day and more children are admitted into our school program because of the high standard of educational learning that is taking place. As a new school, the school has developed to Senior Secondary level. Our children have registered for the West African Examinations Council WASSCE for Nov/Dec 2014. We are praying that they come up with a very good result.

 In this 3rd term, there have been minor illness in the change of our weather but we are thankful that COTN-SL clinic is hard at work in taking the health care delivery to the school and always de-worming our children. Mokpangumba School is gradually progressing and thank God there will be a school building structure in September 2014-2015. Our enrollment statistics are 1,125 total children that we are providing education for, nursery through University.


The testimonies and children’s stories are shown in the pictures and in the real stories of them and their family life. We appreciate you all who are funding this and may God bless you in all your endeavors.

 Yours faithfully,

Joseph Lamboi

National Education Supervisor

 Children’s stories

  •  A 12 year old boy who is attending Mallory Jansen Primary school in Ngolala: He is in grade 4 and lives in Ngolala Village. He has two brothers and four sisters who are all attending Ngolala primary school. His father and mother had long separation in their marital relationship when he was nine years old. He said he could not remember all that happened between his parents but when they were in another village, one morning his father took them to Ngolala Village and said to them that their mother did not love them, therefore they are moving to COTN School.

 When they came to Ngolala Village, their father took them to school and explained to the head teacher why he has brought them to school. They then went to the Country Director, and she helped and encouraged their father by allowing them all to attend school. As they have been attending the school, their father is a mason in the construction department of COTN-SL building classroom structures.

 When asked about what the BTA food is doing in his life, he was pleased to say that God has made it possible for their survival because every day in school they get a meal a day which is making him physically strong and even helping him to read because he does not go hungry when he is in school.

 This young man is proud to say he would like to go to college to become a medical doctor or a nurse to help other people in their health care. He said he is thankful and appreciative to his father for making it possible for all of them to attend school in Ngolala. He is also pleased to say that the food they eat in school is encouraging most of the children in Ngolala community to come to school early because they get breakfast and a good meal for the day. He wishes God’s blessing for all those that are supporting the BTA program in helping Sierra Leonean children that are in needy positions for help.


  • A fifteen year old girl attending Mallory Jansen Junior Secondary School in Ngolala: She is in JSS3 preparing for Senior Secondary school next year. Her village is Kanga which is about 10 miles off from Ngolala. Her father is married to several wives living in the same household in Kanga village. She has four sisters and ten brothers. Five of her brothers are attending school. Her name means that she is the fortunate girl child that is attending school and now in JSS3. In their family, girls are not given the opportunity to go to school, instead they will join them in the societies and get married. According to her, she was attending a School in Gbnagatoke staying with her aunty who was a teacher in the school. When her father visited them last year when she was in JSS2, she told her father that she wanted to attend Mallory Jansen School. Her father consented because her brothers are attending school, so he wouldn’t mind brining her to Ngolala School. She was interviewed and admitted into JSS3.

When asked about the school food system, she said that the nourishing meal she gets in the school is helping her greatly as compared to the school she was in before. She is a Christian and comes to church every Sunday with her guardian who is working in COTN-SL clinic as a nurse.


  • A 13 year old girl in class 6 of COTN-SL school: She lives with a single parent in Ngolala village. She has two brothers and two sisters in the home. Her story is that she was attending school in Freetown, staying with her aunty up to class four. At one time, her mother went and took her in Freetown to come to Ngolala. When she asked her mother why, she was told that there was a good school in her village in Ngolala. So rather than her attending school in Freetown, she should come to Banta. She explained that she hadn’t wanted to come but the mother insisted that she joined her in Ngolala. She was told that her father was working in the mining company at Sierra Rutile Moriba Town. She willingly joined her mother. When they came, she was curious to see her father but was told by her mother that her father has left her to marry to another woman. She was sad at first, but when she was staying in the village, seeing other girls attending school, her mother suggested to her that they should come to school at COTN Ngolala.


She was interviewed and started attending Mallory Jansen primary school. One thing that interest her most is that every child is given an opportunity to learn and there is good BTA food for every child in the school. She enjoys eating with her friends during lunch. She said she does not worry about her mother giving her lunch at home. She said in school her best subjects are Home Economics, Math, and Physical and Health Education. When asked about her father, she confesses that she is not getting any help from him only her mother is caring for them at home. She is praying that God will bless those who are helping the COTN food program to provide more to them as they cannot afford to feed themselves as what is being done for all the school children in Ngolala. 

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