The efforts of a Bridlington school have raised enough money for the construction of a school in an ebola-ravished African country.
the first pupils at Hope School in Kenema, the third largest city in Sierra Leone, will enter the classroom for the first time in February thanks to Bridlington School.
Global School Partnership Lead Teacher at Bridlington School, Mark Parker-Randall who is a Qualified Registered General Nurse and an Ordained Minister of Religion, visited Kenema after working in YMCA schools in Freetown and Bo last year.
Mark, who met with the Sierra Leonian Deputy Minister for Education and the Chief Inspector of Schools to discuss the educational needs of the country, said: “It was as I stood looking out over the city of Kenema from its hilltops, and seeing the children there being taught in the most basic of situations with no school building and very little learning equipment, something in my spirit said this is the reason you are here!
“It was at that very moment that I had it in my head to partner with the YMCA and the people of Kenema to build a school called ‘Hope’ in Kenema.
“I could not have foreseen the disaster and devastation that the Ebola virus would bring to the community and country within a matter of months.”
Bridlington School began fundraising in February this year by carrying out activities including sponsored walks, car washes, gardening and fancy dress events to raise money.
Sarah Pashley, Headteacher at Bridlington School said: “I am completely overwhelmed by the response. Building Hope School will make such a huge difference to the lives of young people in Kenema, whose lives have become particularly challenging due to the Ebola crisis.
“We are really looking forward to seeing the project develop and of forging a close partnership between BridlingtonSchool and Hope School.”
One of the pupils at Hope School, Joseph Kamara, said: “I thank God and the partners who have made this possible for us to have our own space with improved learning materials so that we can concentrate and acquire education which will build our career in the future. No one knows, maybe the next President will come from this school”
Mark will return to teach in Kenema after ebola restrictions are lifted.