From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Freetown Gets New Childrenís Library
Nov 29, 2010, 12:28

The Arch Diocese Development office for Freetown and Bo (ADDO-CARITAS) on Monday 22nd November officially opened the newly renovated pre-school library at St. Edwards Secondary School compound, Kingtom, Freetown.

The childrenís library was rehabilitated through support from Caritas Germany.

The building was vandalized by Rebels during the decade devastated civil conflict in Sierra Leone. The absence of a childrenís library at St. Edwards pre-school was a major challenge face by pupils and teachers of the catholic pre-school. Therefore, the opening of the Library brought sigh of relief for the pupils, teachers and parents who are determined to see their children grow and become good leaders of tomorrow.

Gerhard Ritta Caritas Rep., ADDO Director Father Peter Konteh and ADDO Regional Coordinator Tenneh Koroma

In his remarks, the chief Executive Director of ADDO-Caritas Reverend Father Peter Konteh commended Caritas Germany for funding the renovation of the Library and for their relentless support to upgrade the catholic pre-schools in the four Dioceses in the country, adding that the commissioning of the Library was a dream come true. But warned representative presents to reflect on how they are going to manage the facility and make it children friendly. He said more effort is needed to sustain the pre-school program when the donors fade away by 2012. He echoed that it is now time for proper reflection and planning for sustainability of the Pre-school programs.

Father¬† Konteh disclosed that the idea about the renovation of the Pre- school Library¬† was conceptualized when Caritas Germany contacted him via email about the availability of extra funds and call for submission of proposals, noting that after highlighting his priorities, he realized that the renovation of the childrenís Library and resource centre was pressing and within three days of sleepless nights he was able to put some pieces together and submitted a beautiful proposal that was approved by Caritas Germany.

He said with the funds, he was able to renovate the Library and resource centre, establish an internet cafť for children, renovate pre-school and buy furniture for other pre-schools in the four dioceses of Freetown, Bo, Makeni and Kenema.Father Konteh pointed out that the number of reading books available in the library was not enough. He therefore appealed to donors and philanthropist to support the Library with childrenís text books in a bid to make the library a real learning environment where children will read and have fun.

He¬† expressed frustration over the lost of reading culture in Sierra Leone, pointing out that it is high time parents tried to re-introduce the culture of reading to their¬† children. He said reading contributes a lot to the development of the intellect of the child as well as adults. He said with the Library now in place, children whose parents cannot afford to buy text books can go to the Library to read and even non pupils of the pre-school are allowed to use the library. He said they will be opportune to have access to the internets, visit sites that are useful for childrenís development.

He noted that visit to unfriendly, immoral and pornographic sites will not be tolerated in the Library internet cafť.

Caritas Boss in Sierra Leone, Gerhard Ritta lauded Father Konteh for   his commitment in transforming the Pre-school into a modern 24th century standard. He described Father Konteh as a development and result oriented person.

Mr. Ritta expressed satisfaction over the speedy renovation of the Library and resource centre. He said Sierra Leone will only develop if government priotizes human resource development.

He   explained that the education of children will turn around the nation into a land of milk and honey in other words the Singapore of Africa.

The Caritas   boss re-echoed   the need for sustainability of the project when the   donors fade way.

He urged the Teachers and ADDO to take up the challenge of sustaining and expanding the pre-school program.

He said early pre-school education for children will help develop their cognitive and psychomotor abilities. Therefore emphasize on early child education. He said the opening of the Library is key to developing the reading skills of the child.

The ADDO western   Regional Coordinator Tenneh Koroma hails Father Konteh for his vision and strategies in promoting the Pre-School educational programs in all the four dioceses.

She appealed to teachers, Principals and proprietress to raised awareness among parent about the facilities now offered at the Library and resource centre.

Reverend Sister Ochachi -Njoku expressed delight over the establishment of the Library for children,

She call on ADDO to make the Library strictly for children noting that text books in the library should reflect the need   of the children.

She said children are more interested in picture and beautifully colored books with fine stories that will attract their interest. As a sign of gesture, Sister Nkechi donated small quantity of childrenís text books for use in the Library. She implored others to follow suit.

In   a related development   over thirty catholic   pre- School   teachers   have completed a five day refresher   training workshop at the conference hall of St. Edwards compound at Kingtom in Freetown.

The training was organized by ADDO-Caritas with funds from Caritas Germany.

The Training according to the ADDO western Regional coordinator aimed at strengthening the capacity of pre- school   educators on the educational curriculum and the learning and teaching methodology for children below age five.

She   said the training also looked psycho-social c counseling, Care and trauma healing for children, adding that teachers should pay maximum attention to disabled children as well as those with special needs.

The ADDO coordinator noted that children needs special care from both their teachers and parents in other for them to grow into productive future.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.