More from Marks Journal

June 5

SIERRA LEONE

Heading up to Kamakwie today, a couple of hours away.

Today we have been negotiating with management, and visiting schools to make sure we are getting the best results and bang-for-buck for the kids. There are barely any science labs, so thousands of kids are behind there. There are barely any library facilities. All these things are taken in to account, as well as teaching rigor and expertise. And given the shabby and expensive transport options, proximity matters.

Today we are going more remote, and we will also be thinking of the possibility of juggling kids between orphanages so the older kids in particular get the best opportunities. On one hand it seems the great benefit of OrphFund accommodation is that all levels of kids are together, like a family. On the other hand these older kids need less interruptions and more support in the final school years.

Of course, this would be immediately obvious to all you parents out there!

It is not immediately apparent what school fees are. One school quotes one figure per year, but then charges extra (double the initial fees!) to attend classes. And then some of the teachers don't teach, and the class just sit there.

Sometimes it feels like I'm Alice in wonderland! But like the heat, one quickly acclimatises to the bizarre.

The lesson for me, a partially informed volunteer, is this.

LITTLE STEPS...

All these decisions take careful consideration, weighing up the impossible, improbable against the likely and possible.

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I would consider it a full time job for one project, but Steve co-ordinates 9, plus many smaller outreach projects. He does this as a volunteer on a tiny budget. In his words... the big charities have been getting millions of dollars a year and have been here for decades, but very little is changing.

OrphFund is slowly expanding its RESULTS, taking little careful steps. Effective altruism people...

Sports Activists!!

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Check out some of our favourite people! Sports activists have successfully kitted out Orphfunds Sierra Leone Soccer team  Famalam FC..

 

 

Sport Activists want to say a massive thank you for everyone who sent boots, balls and impressive collection of goaly gloves which went out to Sierra Leone via the legendary human carrier pigeon Fiona Napier in the end there was 27 pairs of boots/10 gloves/goal keeper threads! Some people said to me they could only get a few pairs from there club or buds and said was it worth it..hell yes cos together u made a lot :) This first batch of stuff is being dropped with OrphFund orphanage team Famalam FC.... the big gloves are going to go to some bigger hands in F town! Next collection well look to get some more bigger sizes over to famalam but also sort out the freetown ballers! If you wanted to donate but didnt' dont sweat it going to organise next drop soon xx Sport Activists's post.

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Orphfund markets!

Its most definitely market season! 

Come visit us for the perfect gifts full of love like our unique photo blocks, some freshly made leather wallets, or some delights from our African sewing school. 
Catch us at Rose St Aritsts Market every weekend or check out our facebook page to see where else you can find us in the lead up to Christmas! 

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More from Marks Journal

June 4

SIERRA LEONE

I'm warming to this place.

It's not the excruciating heat, it's the kids.

This orphanage was set up 7-8 years ago so kids have grown - the oldest is 18, and the youngest probably 5.

Usually the older ones who are clever go to boarding school, but it seems there aren't many such schools here. That's one of the challenges... how to pay or what to do if there isn't one.

We are researching better school options here now, including starting a good school here - for the kids and also as a sustainable model. So here, there are 2/3 in primary n 1/3 in secondary.

Great kids... about half of this lot were found on rubbish tips picking food scraps to stay alive. Now they wear the flash school uniforms and are getting first, second and third out of classes of 60-70 students.

Bet they never thought they were that kind of person! But they sure are.

Mark

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