120 Children Sponsored in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
OC Ministries in partnership with Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, funded the education of 120 children in the village of Baiwalla. This will enable them to attend school free of expenses for their first year.
Operation Classroom –
In search of a new international outreach project to become involved with, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church recently partnered with OC Ministries to support Operation Classroom in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone. 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. So far, 120 children have been sponsored. Each sponsor pays $150 to cover basic expenses for one child to go to school for one year. The goal is to continue the sponsorship program on an ongoing basis.
Each child received a backpack filled with books, pens, pencils, crayons and funds designated for shoes and two uniforms.
Latest Project Update
A team is soon to return from Baiwalla later this month. Their goal is to determine how the school sponsorship program is going to continue and plans for the following year of sponsorship. Since construction of the secondary school is nearly completed, another goal is to work with Rev. Judith Banya and educational professionals from UMC and Sierra Leone to design the educational program for the school.
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 (as of recent) 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. 120 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 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 school fees including a backpack, uniform, and shoes. Additional donation money will be used for teaching materials or purchasing beans to supplement the nutrition of the school lunches.