From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
GEKO-Sierra Leone Boosts Education in the North
By Bampia Bundu
Sep 23, 2010, 10:02

The German Kooperation-Sierra Leone (GEKO-SL) has over the weekend boosted the educational ambitions of over fifty under privileged children from Sanda Tiandaren and Gbendemhu Ngowahum Chiefdoms in the North of Sierra Leone. The organization donated scholarships and assorted school items to the beneficiaries of the two communities as part of their School Education Project.


Speaking at the ceremony held at the Sanda Tiandaren and Gbendemhu Ngowahum Chiefdoms, the Associate Director, Isheka Turay said GEKO-Sierra Leone has been working with these communities for over 10 years in various areas of social development, noting that this yearís Education Project focuses on enhancing the childrenís entering into formal education. Mr. Turay disclosed that last year they worked with one hundred under privileged children from various communities including the above mentioned, noting the successes of their intervention as highly significant. He called on the children to value their education and admonished parents to monitor the performances of their children in and out of school. Mr. Turay advised the beneficiaries to be steadfast in their educational pursuit referring to them as the future leaders of their communities, and warned them strongly not to sell the materials provided for them but to use them judiciously, as they will not be replenished once they are lost.

GEKO-Sierra Leone, with Madam Isatu Z. Konteh as its local head has undertaken several development projects in the Northern Province over the years to include micro-credit facilities, skills training, civic education, health and agriculture.


Giving an overview of GEKO-Sierra Leone, the Program Coordinator, Victor Koroma said GEKO-Sierra Leone is a Non -Governmental Organization funded by national and international organizations such as the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), the African Womenís Development Fund (AWDF), GEKO-Unna (Germany), BMZ, DfID, and their Canadian Friends. He stated that GEKO-Sierra Leone is working very hard to reduce poverty in rural communities, focusing on child education and youths and women development through empowerment scheme.


The Councilor of Constituency 33 which comprised Sanda Tiandaren Chiefdom, Mamoud Kargbo thanked GFKO-Sierra Leone for the scholarships and learning materials and encouraged the lucky beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity provided for them. A representative of the parent, Chief Ya Bomkapri stated that the children were in dire need of going to school and that the opportunity provided by GEKO-SL is very much timely and assured that as parents they will do everything to ensure the good use of the opportunity by the beneficiaries.


The Head Teacher of the Wesleyan Sierra Leone Primary School at Rogbin Tiandaren Chiefdom Sorie M. Dumbuya thanked GEKO-SL for the donations stating that they could not have been provided at any appropriate time than the time it has been provided when schools were about to re-open. He said the materials haves addressed the difficulty faced by most pupils in their desires to acquire formal education.

Meanwhile, GEKO-Sierra Leone will end a three-day training workshop on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS for indigenes of the Gbendembu Chiefdom in the Bombali district.

The workshop has attracted 30 participants (15 females and 15 males) representing various works of life ranging from religious leaders, secret society leaders, traditional healers, women, the youth, traditional leaders and school children.

In his opening address that Chairman of the ceremony, Alusine Kargbo noted the objective of the training as including viz; to increase awareness on the basic concepts of HIV/AIDS, its causes, impacts and the ways to prevent and control its spread as well as its attendant stigmatization and discrimination, to increase awareness on the basic concepts of gender-based violence.


He thanked the organizers of the workshop for creating the forum where community members could sit together and talk about issues affecting them and the country at large. He urged participants be careful with how they conduct sex and encouraged to work hard to reduce if not eradicate the menace of the HIV/AIDS in their community and the country at large.

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