More from Marks Journal

June 1

SIERRA LEONE

Compacting the 95kg of donations for the 4 projects in Sierra Leone. We came via London specifically to be able to pick up these extra donations from Steve's brilliant folks Ken and Elaine.

Off to Freetown!

There are 4 projects in SL, and the volunteer count is down to 3. It will be the roughest one because of the recent Ebola tragedies and it is one of the very poorest nations in the world.

Look forward to finding out what that means, as well as sorting out the complicated structural relationships between Orphfund Australia and the local managers.

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We are sorting out schooling options, catching up with every child ("profiling"), building a huge fence to comply with UNICEF requirements, and tiling floors for the ongoing health of the kids.

I look forward to telling you all bout it, especially after a good 6 hour sleep on the bags behind the baggage wrapping machine in Heathrow foyer. (At what point are you too old for that?) x

Mark

June 3

SIERRA LEONE

It's a very different side of Africa, obviously!

Each project has an angel, a manager who is honest and can be trusted enough to manage the complex relationships and politics, while keeping the needs of the kids paramount.

Henry and Alfonze in Uganda, Tom and Rose in Kenya, and here Osman Tolo. He's 26... the place, and this project in Tombo, exhibits more need that the others so far.

It's in a beautiful setting, high in the hills and remote. At least it was.

It's an area of contrast, next door is the Bellamy academy, a very flash boarding school set up by a big-hearted soccer star to find the next SL superstar. The place is now sitting vacant, apparently closed due to corruption in the hierarchy.

Steve has had a tough few years finding the right people... (there is yet another fake charity down the road, a sign painted on a wall saying bright light orphanage for post Ebola children. They collected money, heaps, but need proof of results. They wanted to borrow the Orphfund kids for a photo shoot outside the sign. This did not happen)

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I guess that's why I came. I was reading Peter Singer's 'the most good you can do' about effective altruism. Got me thinking about how my charity money is really spent. I support 7 charities, I am now transferring all contributions to Orphfund and MSF, who I have not supported to date.

Lots and lots to do here. Steve has upgraded the menu to suit the needs, and we need to build 300m of fence to keep out undesirables...