After visiting Sierra Leone in the fall of 2017, and seeing the devastation of the August 2017 mudslide in an area of Freetown (1,000 people died), as well as touring the Njala University Library with its paucity of reference books or other materials, our PAACET Director asked the PAACET Board to undertake a collection of items that might help the students at both levels to learn and thrive.
Since November 2017 we collected 194 boxes of various textbooks from 3 different Universities in Alberta as well as numerous individual donors; 135 boxes of Medical Supplies from Vereburn Medical Supply in Calgary – which are also destined for Njala Teaching University; 48 boxes of Kindergarten to Adult books from Dr. Nketti Johnston-Taylor a local Sierra Leonean, and 16 boxes of Primary School books and supplies that will go to SAIO Primary School which lost 15 of their students to last year’s horrific mudslide and left 10 more of their students as orphans. The majority of the primary school boxes were collected by Boy Scout, Kael Tatlow, as part of earning a Community organizing badge in Calgary, Alberta.
That’s a total of 395 boxes (and approximately 4,000 books) that made the shipment on April 28, 2018!
After two months, on June 30th, the container arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone. While we raised enough funds to cover the unloading from the container, unexpected port costs drained the rest of our funds. Therefore, we now find that we must raise additional funds to cover the cost of sorting the boxes locally (employing local, young summer students) and then hiring a truck for the 5-hour drive to Bo in Northern Province where Njala University is located. We also need to hire another truck to deliver the SAIO Primary School supplies to Regent, Freetown. All of this takes time, muscle power, gas and vehicles. In addition, it is now the rainy season once more in Sierra Leone, and this takes extra care and attention for storage and transport in covered vehicles.
We only have one month before school and university begin again in September. Please help us to accomplish this huge task so that all the students can accomplish their goals of education for a positive future in Sierra Leone.