A Day at Bo Academy School and Children's Hospital - Sierra Leone - Day 7 - January 9, 2020
Today was another 14 hour day immersed in the activities of Seven Hills Global Outreach & Zion Ministries. We started our
day with an early morning visit to BO Academy, a primary and secondary school built with the funds of Seven Hills donors and run by our partner in Sierra Leone, Zion Ministries. Many of the photos which accompany this blog today depict the children enjoying our time with them (including Peter Demko’s camera drone, which hovered over them to the delight of all). Five years ago, four of our SHGO donor partners - Bill Davis, Anthony Consigli, John Altomare, and my wife, Dr. Kathee Jordan and I came together to raise nearly $60,000 to build a brand new two story school in BO to serve children in grades 1-12. Since then, Zion Ministries has operated the school as one part of our SHGO partnership. Since then, the number of children attending the school has steadily increased. Our efforts over the next year will be to helping Zion Ministries advance their teaching of the sciences at the school with new textbooks, microscopes, and the creation of a science lab. I’m hoping to attract donors who would like to assist us at SHGO in purchasing science textbooks for grades 9-12, along with chemistry, biology, and physics equipment, to ship to the BO Academy in Sierra Leone.
After our morning at the BO Academy, we traveled to the BO Children’s Hospital to see the working of one of only two hospitals in the country devoted to children. We then spent the afternoon at Mission Hospital to meet with the medical director and his staff and review how a private, religiously affiliated hospital works with the local government healthcare system. Healthcare in Sierra Leone is woefully under resourced; from the Country’s main teaching hospital in Freetown to regional facilities. Lack of equipment, basic supplies, and an adequate number of trained physicians is endemic throughout the country. We will continue our efforts at SHGO to create local, rural, primary healthcare and public health interventions. Later tonight, we were guests of Pastors Michael and Cynthia Kanu at a dinner with his Board of Directors and leadership staff to discuss strategies on “next steps” to support their school programs and continue our efforts to bring solar lights to each of the 26 villages we support.
Tomorrow we return to the Bandawa campus to share school and medical supplies we carried over on our trip. One of the highlights of the day will be in gifting to the 300 rural poor students, pencils and other school supplies sent to us by the Watkins Family (specifically Madeline Watkins) of Texas. For the children from the remote villages, having a new pencil means they can continue to learn how to read, write, and compute figures. The simple gift of a pencil is a promise of a continuing opportunity to learn. Tomorrow is the last full day of work for our team in Sierra Leone. On Saturday, we begin to make our way home back to Boston - no doubt filled with indescribable memories. More tomorrow from Sierra Leone.