Baiwalla Secondary School Updates
March 2020 Trip Was Cancelled
Due to concerns about COVID-19, the Hennepin Avenue UMC mission trip was cancelled this past March. Before this unprecedented and unfortunate change in plans, the team had arranged to hold teacher trainings in literacy, classroom management, financial record keeping, and farm/garden development. There were also plans to install a new computer lab. For now, these plans have been put on hold. Hopefully, we will be able to reschedule the trip in 2021.
The school is closed, due to the pandemic, but school lunches continue to be provided via distribution of commodities. Teachers and community member are helping transport food to pick-up sites in outlying villages, where many students live.
How is the School Doing?
The school was shut down for the rest of the school year by the Sierra Leonian government. Since the kids no longer were served a school lunch, the Mission decided to give each student’s family a portion of rice and vegetables to compensate for the school lunches they didn’t get. Bags of rice were brought to the 5 outlying villages and distributed.
118 students are currently enrolled in the school (7th and 8th grade). There are 7 faculty members, who teach a variety of subjects. The faculty discovered that students’ literacy in English needs to improve. The United Methodist Women and individuals from HAUMC donated money to purchase illustrated, culturally-specific books to send to the school.
The farm which is designed to provide food for lunches and cash crops to support the school is being developed, which is very exciting! Oil palms have been planted along with vegetables, peanuts, cassava, and beans.
A soccer field and volley ball court has been completed. The first team sports have been organized.
Housing for teachers has been completed with kitchen, flush toilets and running water added.
12 people from an outlying village of Baiwalla came to help with rice planting! All to help support the developing farm & garden, and contribute to the school feeding program.
July 2020 Fundraiser with Hennepin Avenue UMC
During the month of July, our partners at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church will be holding a fundraiser to renew and recruit new student sponsorships for our Secondary School. This campaign will only be done online this year to adhere to social distancing & health guidelines. Visit our EVENTS page to learn more.