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  • Writer's pictureOC Ministries

177 Children Sponsored in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone

OC Ministries in partnership with Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, funded the education of 177 children in the village of Baiwalla. This will enable them to attend school free of expenses for the year.

Operation Classroom –

Anita Nerhus with Momoh Bundeh who is now a high school student in boarding school

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church recently continued its partnership with OC Ministries to support Operation Classroom in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone. In December 2017, a team of 8 people visited Baiwalla, to learn more about OCM's partnership with the community and leader Rev. Judith Banya. Upon their return, several volunteers decided to reach out to the Hennepin congregation to help sponsor the education of children in the village of Baiwalla. In 2019, 120 children were sponsored. This year, 177 children have been sponsored. Each sponsor pays $150 to cover basic expenses for one child to go to Primary School for one year, or $300 for Junior and Secondary School students. We continue the goal of sustaining the student sponsorship program on an ongoing basis. 

Ann Carlson with Ibrahim Kamara

You could go to

Baiwalla and meet

your sponsored

child too!

Cheryl Hauser with Moses Aruna

Latest Project Update

In the 2020 sponsorship campaign, student scholarships were received from Hennepin Avenue UMC members and others. Some for Primary School students ($150) and some are for Junior and Secondary School students ($300). The extra $150 for the latter helps pay for school administrative expenses. An in-country Selection Panel reviews and rewards the scholarships here, also.

Hennepin Avenue UMC Youth raised over $2,000 for books for the school that will be purchased by Reverend Judith.

Anoka UMC gave $1,600 for the school lunch program.

Judith Banya is in the process of hiring a new principal and teachers for the Ormsby School.

The Ormsby School has received approval as a “Government Sponsored School,” which means it can receive support for operating costs. So far, $560 has been given and

Rick Ormsby continues to raise funds for Judith’s support.


In 2014 Rev. Judith Banya returned from living in the United States to her hometown of Baiwalla, Sierra Leone to begin various ministries to help her people. Baiwalla is an extremely impoverished community where people mainly live on income from subsistence farming–income of approximately $1.50/day. Nutrition, education and clean water are high priorities for developing self-sufficiency in Baiwalla. With the help of OC Ministries and United Methodist Churches in Minnesota, Rev. Judith has installed a well, built a mission house, started a new church and satellite churches in smaller villages, started a school feeding program that feeds 900 children per day, established an adult literacy program, and launched the construction on a junior and senior secondary school.

However, in conversations with Judith regarding priorities for service, OC Ministries and the Hennepin Outreach Team decided that the next focus was ensuring that the children in the community had an opportunity to attend school. 177 are sponsored so far with the option of renewing said sponsorship each year. Another priority is to provide funding for the school feeding program. The United Methodist Women have contributed funds to help the school feeding program & Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church has collected and sent 700 pounds of beans.

Call to Action

You can help enable children to get an education by sponsoring a child to go to school. $150 will pay for a child’s Primary School fees including a backpack, uniform, and shoes. Additional donation money will be used for expenses related to Junior and Secondary school (+$150), teaching materials, or purchasing beans to supplement the nutrition of the school lunches.

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