John Power is a friend of Peter Wood, our Treasurer. He first became involved in visits to Sierra Leone in 2011 and was struck by the poverty and hardship that was being endured by the people, partly due to the 10 year Civil War which had ended only nine years before. When John returned home he resolved to fundraise for the school in the small village of Waterloo, just outside Freetown. The school was in former army accommodation and was in a dilapidated state: no glass in the windows, sagging ceilings, a leaking roof and in some cases the classroom floor was the same clay and soil as outside the building. He initially raised money for fees to send new children to the school and also pay for those struggling to pay the £50 pa to stay at the school. At his own school in the UK he also arranged for the UK staff to help pay the wages of the Sierra Leone staff. Aigburth Methodist recently made a donation to the school to repair the roof, support 2 girls with school fees and uniform, and pay for treatment for a boy with a skin condition. What is a small amount to us can do a great deal in Sierra Leone!
John has recently sent us this update:
This last year has seen the community around Nelson Mandela High School breathe a sigh of relief. They have been relatively unscathed since the flooding tragedy in August. Previous funds that have been donated by Aigburth Methodist have been used for bursaries and scholarships for pupils, most welcome to the principal of the school, Mr Sandi. Last year, some of the funds were used for capital projects on the much dilapidated building, which, as I write is receiving a new coat of paint. The teacher and the pupils are so proud of this latest development.This year 20 pupils have been chosen to benefit from the scholarship and bursary scheme which AMC so generously fund. The criteria for the pupils was set by the Deputy Head Master, Mr Williams. He is known for his kind heart and personal benevolence to the poorest and most vulnerable children at the school. He has been humbled by the funding of these next 20 children and selected the poorest and most vulnerable.Most of the children on the scheme have lost both parents to Ebola and would typically have to work to pay to come to school. Because they work it means that they have to miss vital days at school and fall behind, sometimes so much that they are forced to leave school altogether.I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the members of AMC who have so generously donated funds over many years, which has made a significant impact to the lives of many young people at the school.Wishing you every blessing.John Power