We spent the day out in the villages surrounding Kabala and it was such fun! First of all, we travelled over ridiculously bumpy roads to the remote village of Malaforia where we were welcomed by hundreds of jubilant primary school students. They were very excited because they had learned that CAUSE will be constructing a new 3 classroom building in March, as well as initiating a full CAUSE Kids sponsorship program at the Malaforia Primary School.
Over the past four days, I have been travelling with the Founder and Executive Director of the 60 million girls foundation, Wanda Bedard, who is visiting from Montreal with 3 members of her team. These women are positively delightful! I am thoroughly enjoying showing them the CAUSE Kids work they have been supporting. I have also learned all about how this amazing organization was started. Wanda gathered 30 of her friends together and decided to tackle the challenge of providing equal access to education for girls in the Developing World.
One of the greatest strengths of CAUSE Canada is our team of national staff in each country where we work. Without these dedicated, competent people, we would be unable to accomplish anything of lasting value. We are always encouraging our program managers to continue to take courses and learn, so that they develop their knowledge, skills and confidence.
Today was very special! I had the privilege of watching my husband, Paul receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Makeni. CAUSE Canada has been implementing relief and development projects in Sierra Leone for 25 years and has spent a total of $23 million during that time. Before the war, CAUSE implemented primary health and water projects. During the horrific civil war, we fed and provided shelter to tens of thousands of internally displaced people as they fled their destroyed villages in the rural areas and congregated in Freetown.
Reconnecting with our CAUSE national staff is like spending time with family. I enjoyed chatting with Arthur Cummings, our Country Director, at lunch today as we feasted on Red Snapper, hot sauce and rice. He told me the harrowing story of when his 15 year old daughter was abducted by rebel soldiers during the rebel invasion of Freetown in 1991. She fell ill in the first few days when the troops made their heavily burdened captives walk for many miles through the jungle. So she was left behind.
After almost 25 hours of travel on 3 different planes, Paul and I arrived at Lungi Airport with our 3 traveling companions. As we sped alongside the Freetown Peninsula in a "water taxi" (the final 45 minute leg of our voyage before arriving in Sierra Leone's capital city) I reflected on past trips.
December 10, 2012
It’s hard to imagine that my time in Sierra Leone is almost over. It has been one of, if not the best experience of my life. I have been exposed to things that some only read about in books. It’s been a beautiful, challenging, and rewarding experience.
November 2, 2012
November is here, which means that the national elections in Sierra Leone are just about to take place. November 17th is the official date for the election but campaigning by all the major political parties has already started and it is very interesting to watch the passion for democratic elections that is displayed by local supporters.
October 8, 2012