Educate a Girl, Educate a Nation - Sierra Leone

by Develop Africa, Inc.
Agnes with her grand mother
Agnes with her grand mother

Dear friends and supporters:

It's a joy to once again share a project update on how we are together impacting the lives of girls and helping to further their education.  We are providing a vital lifeline - strengthening precious lives that would otherwise drop out of school - with potential and greatness unrealized.  What we are doing is simple, but so very profound!  This warms my heart and I hope it warms your heart too!

This report includes the story of Agnes. This following brief on Agnes typifies that of many of the girls that we are together helping.   These girls are gems, future leaders, with great potential and purpose.  However, they are faced with challenges that are beyond the ability of their families - living below the poverty line and at risk.

Agnes is an orphan who hails from a very poor home. Agnes’ parents died when Agnes was a baby. She has been living with her grandparents who are old, poor and unable to generate income. They used to live in a slum by the sea. Recently a flood washed away all their possession and her uncle died in the process. A few months later Agnes lost her blind grandfather due to the shock from the flood.  Agnes and her grandmother are presently displaced and are staying with a family friend. Agnes loves school and would like to be a lawyer. 

Though her family socio-economic situation is quite a challenge, yet Agnes is guaranteed continued education through your on-going support. Thank you for preventing Agnes from dropping out of school.  Your timely support has indeed given Agnes a hope and a future.  Through your support Agnes and many more girls are continuing their education.  Thanks so very much.

We welcome your on-going support that enables us to reach and impact the lives of many more girls. Through your special large gift today or by signing up for a recurring donation, we wll together do so much more.  Thanks for your support! 

Girls at Door of Hope
Girls at Door of Hope
What difference does education in the life of a girl in Africa? The difference is night and day, success and almost certain failure.  A whole lot!  Based on our research and experiences, here are a few points of note:

1.  Girls that are not educated have a higher level of prostitution, a higher rate of child labor, get married earlier and are more liable to becoming drug addicts.

2.  Girls that are literate / educated are more likely to use their stimulated minds to become entrepreneurs.   

3.  Educated girls are more likely to send their children to school and raise healthier families.

Here are a few important notes about Education:
a)  Education aids countries in harnessing their natural resources - effectively changing their Gross Domestic Product (a general measure of productivity and growth).
b)  Education plays a vital role in the creation of enterprises that provides jobs for people. 

c)  Education provides a springboard to employing and using technology to improve the lives of people.
d) The lack of primary education is one of the main obstacles to eradicating poverty and hunger in Africa.  This is a vital foundation and without this many lives end up destitute and frustrated - due to a lack of opportunities.

e) Education opens the doorway to information, transformation, reformation, innovation and actualization of dreams.

Christiana (pictured) is a star pupil in Freetown with tremendous potential.  I had the opportunity to meet her in person during my last trip and I came away thinking - "Here is a brilliant, talented young lady with tremendous potential - who will make an amazing difference as a leader in Sierra Leone." 

Christiana is interviewed in this video on YouTube and she references education as a resource that will help her achieve her dreams of becoming a Banker.  We imagine it will do a whole lot more for her and she is full of potential.

With the above in mind, it's essential that we continue and enhance our efforts at providing a transforming education experience for girls like Christiana.  In 2013 we are diversifying our education offerings and providing more technology and vocational training and mentoring opportunities.  The girls pictured in this report and many more will be able to benefit from diverse training opportunities provided through electronic resources at our computer la - launching early in 2013.

Could you join us in this endeavor by helping to providing scholarships and computer training for Christiana and other girls in her community? Your donation of $30 or more a month will help cover the costs of a full scholarship for Christiana and other girls.  Your support is needed and important because it will help her and other girls like her stay in school - bringing about transformation and opened doors of opportunity.  Knowing that we can count on your $30 or more each month will provide ongoing progress, stability and secure her educational progress. Your recurring donations will be a predictable stream of income, making it easier for us to plan financially.

Right now is a great time to sign up for a recurring donation as during the month of December, GlobalGiving is offering a 100% match on all initial recurring donations up to $100 per donor.  Your recurring donation could also help us win a $500 bonus award! We will send you a special Develop Africa white coffee mug in appreciation!  You have to sign up now in order for your donation to count during this campaign. Thanks for your support

Sign up now - start your recurring donation - helping to educate Christiana and many other girls!
More girls - The future leaders of Sierra Leone
More girls - The future leaders of Sierra Leone
Christiana - Star pupil
Christiana - Star pupil
Sylvester and Christiana - Visit to Door of Hope
Sylvester and Christiana - Visit to Door of Hope



I recently ran into a news article that I thought you would find interesting.  It discusses how boys have historically been given priority in terms of education and more importantly what we can do to change this. Here is an excerpt from the article:

In many African societies, girls have long come last, since boys are generally accorded higher status. In the past, when parents decided whom to send to school, the choice for them was obvious. Removing the cost factor has made basic education possible for young girls as never before.
(Emphasis mine).

Simple - yet powerful and profound. From 3 future super stars!  By focusing together specifically on educating girls in this project, we are making basic education possible.  We are helping to close the gender gap and leveling the playing field.  We are helping to prepare girls for leadership in society and to triumph in life. 

Besides simple covering educational costs, we are also providing mentoring support and preparation for life and leadership.  Here is a brief, new video by 3 girls that we are mentoring.  They talk about the role that a "Gift", "Passion" and "Hope" - can play in one's life.  These 3 concepts are foundational, building-block concepts and the girls provide insights worth thinking over - watch the video...

These girls live in the Wellington suburb of Freetown and are a part of the Door of Hope organization.  The children at Door of Hope are being raised up to be leaders and taught vital life principles and lessons. By learning these vital nuggets at an early age, at least in part, they will be better prepared to face and triumph in life!

A little child will lead them...

Be sure to watch the insightful video...



Melena - beneficiary and empowerment advocate
Melena - beneficiary and empowerment advocate

Warm greetings|

It is with excitement that I share with you a video that gives some insight into the life of one of the girls we are together helping to educate.  In the video, Melena answers questions from an interviewer who is off camera.  The video provides a glimpse into the life of a girl in Sierra Leone and closes with a message on empowerment – that is dear to all of our hearts - as supporters of this project. 

Melena tells us that the most important thing for her is her education.  She likes reading novels.  She would like to be a lawyer.  Her favorite game is basketball.  She likes going to school because she can only be what she wants to be in the future - when she goes to school and is educated.  She wants an iPod, a laptop and a cell phone for Christmas. The number one thing she would like to see changed in this world is child trafficking.  She believes that women should be given the opportunity to take part in decision-making as they are the backbone of this nation and without them this nation cannot go forward.

Watch Video

It’s great to know that the children we are together educating are forward thinking and are already passionate about helping to make a difference and change their world.  At this tender age – she is already vocal and we are excited to see how she will help promote the safety of children and empowerment of women in the future.  What’s even more good news – is knowing that we are helping to make this happen and shape the future!

The school year is drawing to a close and we are looking forward to sharing some of the end-of-year progress reports of the children with you in the coming months.  So far the sponsored girls have been doing great.  We are hoping to increase the number of children sponsored in the coming academic year and welcome your support to make this happen.

Have you by any chance seen the movie Slum Dog millionaire?  Well, just this week, popular movie star, Freida Selena Pinto star actress in the movie, ‘Slumdog Millionaire made a visit to Sierra Leone.  As a guest of Plan International, she helped promote the value of education and how this can make the voices of women heard in society.

Upcoming Father's Day Gift Suggestion: In closing, we wanted to let you know of the on-going opportunity to make a donation in honor of the special person in your life.  A donation to this project is a fantastic (and easy) gift for Dad on Father’s Day!  You can make a donation as a gift to your Dad on this project by selecting the third giving option, “gift or in honor of,” under the orange donate button on the project page. GlobalGiving will then send your Dad or the gift recipient an email, print-at-home, or physical card. GlobalGiving offers several fun card designs and you will have the option of choosing a design customized for this project, using the project’s main photo (this option is available for email and print-at-home cards).

Fathers - you can also request this as your Father's day gift!

Make your donation in Father's honor and support a great cause today!

Thanks again for all you do to further the education of girls!

Best wishes



Kadiatu - scholarship recipient
Kadiatu - scholarship recipient

Warm Greetings-

Have you ever desired to get to know more about the children that we are supporting in Africa?  Well, you are certainly not alone.  As a Project Leader, I love to see the photos of the children and in particular to listen to videos of the children.  This helps me to better understand their needs, desires, and aspirations and to stay connected. 

The chances are very high that you - the reader of this report - finished a basic level of education.  You probably hold and Associates, Bachelor's, Masters or even a PhD degree or equivalent.  Your education has helped to open up doors of opportunity.  It possibly contributed in one way or the other to helping you securing your current job or level of income.  Education can be very valuable as Kadiatu tells us in this video

Kadiatu has received a scholarship from funds raised here on GlobalGiving.  She is interviewed in this video by the Director of Door of Hope (off camera) who asks her a number of questions.  Kadiatu tells us that her favorite color is green.  She tells us the name of the school she attends and that she dreams of becoming a banker.  

Towards the end of the video interview she says "thank you" on behalf of her parents and herself.  I join her in saying:  "Thanks donors!  Thanks for helping make this happen."

Then she is asked:

>> So what has the scholarship done for you?

She boldly replies

>> ...  the scholarship has given me the keys to succeed and education is the key to success.

Education is highly valued in Sierra Leone - and Kadiatu, at her age, understand its potential to help shape her life and open up doors of opportunities.

Hearing this made my day - as together we have provided Kadiatu and others with a vital key to success.  A key to open doors. 

I hope this report "makes your day" and warms your hear, as it did mine.  It encouraged me to do even more - because we are together making this world a better place.  Strengthening lives and providing a better future.  What could be better than this?

Go ahead - watch the video again.  You helped make this happen.  Thank you and thank you and thank you!

With every good wish...



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Organization Information

Develop Africa, Inc.

Location: Johnson City, Tennessee - USA
Project Leader:
Sylvester Renner
Johnson City, Tennessee United States
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