So today (Thursday) was my last whole day in Freetown. I will return to Sweden tomorrow. We are done with the donations for the flood- and landslide-victims so today I chose to spend the day at Conforti Primary School which is the school that the NGO we are working with in Sierra Leone are running.
The story behind Conforti Primary Schools is very heart touching. It started in 2001 when the civil war ended in Sierra Leone two brothers – Francis and Christian Mason – returned from Guinea to their family home in Calaba Town, a suburb of Freetown. The physical destruction and human loss that met them was heartbreaking. Not only had the country’s infrastructure been destroyed, but families and communities had been torn apart. The choice for Francis and Christian was whether to stay, or whether to simply flee the country and rebuild their lives overseas. Francis and Christian decided to stay. For a few hours each morning, underneath a mango tree on family land in Calaba Town, the Mason brothers began teaching the children – many of them orphans – in their community. And each morning more and more children came to the classes. By the end of the first year there were 22 children. When those children graduated to the next grade, the brothers began a new class. By the end of their second year 210 more children had joined the school. With the support of the community, basic classrooms were built and local volunteers were recruited to help with the teaching.
Today Conforti Primary School have over 500 children in the school and the school have one of the best scores on the National Primary School Examinations every year. Conforti have also developed a 2-year vocational training program for women that have dropped out from school in early age and need a second chance to get an education. The project is called Conforti Organization Girls Empowerment Project and it is my stepfather Micke that is the man who makes this project being able to exist. Micke have connected the project with a fund in Sweden and the fund is now supporting the project financially every year.
I started the day by visiting the students in the girls’ empowerment project. Today they had classes in catering, hairdressing and sewing. I asked them if they could sew some clothes for me to bring back to Sweden and it ended up with me getting 6 shirts and 3 dresses. They are so talented and the clothes they are making is so beautiful.
After my visit at the girls’ empowerment project I went down to the nursery to eat lunch with the youngest children at Conforti. Those children are so lovely and I wish Sierra Leone was located closer to Sweden so I could visit them more often. I ended the day by visiting every class in their classroom. The children had so many questions about my life in Sweden and I tried my best to answer all of them.
My day in Conforti primary school was a perfect ending to my stay in Sierra Leone. I wish I could have stayed longer but hopefully I will be back in Sierra Leone soon!