In Serekolia (Sierra Leone) AMU’s plans to extend a school’s premises are underway and will provide greater access to education and improve the quality of learning.
It is not easy to attend secondary schools in this small West African country which has been at the bottom of the Human Development Index for many years.
In Sierra Leone children give up school for various reasons, the main being the long distance separating the low number of schools from the numerous villages spread across the country.
Not everyone is able to manage the journey, and those who can are forced to move away from the protection of their families and communities. With the lack of housing, adequate nutrition and care, the girls and boys fall victim to teenage pregnancies, child marriage (30% of the girls are under 18) or prostitution and drop out of school.
In 2013 the community built a makeshift building to improve school attendance. The school currently has 210 pupils in just 3 classrooms, with no water or toilets, and is unable to accommodate all the students who would like to go to secondary school.
The aim of the project is to extend the school’s premises, providing it with essential services such as drinking water, toilets, chairs and desks to provide access to education and improve the quality of learning.
Thanks to the new school, many teenage girls in Serekolia will not have to leave their families but will be able to stay with them and study close to home, protected and looked after by their community.
The community will also act as guardians for students attending the school from neighbouring villages. In fact, as an act of reciprocity, local families will offer them accommodation, food and supervision as their own parents would do.
AMU’s intervention aims to extend the school premises by constructing a new wing comprising 3 new classrooms as well as offices for teachers and administrative staff, a block with toilets and the provision of space for 100 seats/benches for the students.
The project also aims to reach at least 300 adults from the 19 villages in the kingdom by holding awareness-raising meetings on the rights of children and adolescents and national regulations that guarantee those rights.