Gallery 2008 - Maima
Friday 19th December 2008
We spend an exciting and inspirational morning visiting St Andrews school Maima. The visit to St Andrews School Maima is truly moving as we received the most fantastic welcome from about 70 young children with smiles as wide as their faces. It felt totally spontaneous and was a wonderful feeling. Sometimes friends ask why are you doing this? The truth is its hard to analyse, a combination of helping those in need, reducing the guilt of living such a good life and so on but actually to have seen those grateful smiles makes it so worthwhile.
It was 4 years ago that St Andrews Maima School was opened to about 60 pupils aged 5 and 6. Daniel Kambaima, the head teacher today reported that there are now 221 pupils from 5 – 11 years of age. We have helped to extend the buildings over the last few years but it was really good to see a further extension being built with Government money today. In talking to the Governors it is unanimously agreed that we shall try and lobby for the Sierra Leone Government to take over the school. That is a very different model to the UK but it seems that here NGO’s and the voluntary sector seeds projects for the short term. In some cases as with Bungalow school the short term support is very limited (in the case of Bungalow School the church is now providing support after one NGO pulled out). However the principle of not being reliant on external support for teachers salaries and books in perpetuity is a good one. Pastor Yatta will now be lobbying the education minister for the transfer of Maima school but we understand this could take some time so please don’t cancel the standing orders just yet!