Written by: The Visão Foundation
So last month we decided to launch a campaign called "I keep Learning" to help provide educational support for children in Sierra Leone affected by the #Ebola crisis. Ebola hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia earlier this year causing thousands of men, women and children to lose their lives, and halting education. As a precautionary measure, the Sierra Leone government shut down schools which unfortunately left more than one million children out of school with absolutely nothing to do.
What is being done for these kids?
As of last month the government began broadcasting classes in such subjects as English, mathematics, social studies etc. across 41 radio stations and the country's sole TV channel, three to four hours a day, five days a week. "The goal is to provide a suitable option for our school-going population as the entire school system has been disrupted since the outbreak of the Ebola disease," said Minister of Education Minkailu Bah.
Although this has been helpful, in a country where 25% of the population own radios and less than 5% have access to a television, many children are left unserved.
So what next ?
As we all know, inactivity can often lead to trouble. With so many kids left idle and bored, it is not unlikely that many may end up dropping out of school, getting involved in illegal activities to make ends meet or even getting pregnant. Keeping kids mentally engaged is the key to helping them not fall further behind and essential for their future.
To make sure that the scholars in our programs are supported, we decided to assemble learning packs containing age-appropriate materials and activities to help keep them mentally stimulated. But we couldn't stop with our kids, so last month we reached out to friends and family to support our efforts and boy did they come through. Thanks to their generosity, in one month we have raised $1100 and assembled 70 learning packs that are now on their way to Sierra Leone.
We cannot fully express how grateful we are to know such amazing people who step up time and time again. To all those that have donated, we thank you!
Although 70 packs is a great start, there are so many children that need to be reached. We encourage everyone to pledge to get involved in some way and help keep these kids learning.
For more information on how to put more learning packs in the hands of school children affected by Ebola in Sierra Leone please click here
Below is a list of a few organizations/groups working tirelessly to help end Ebola and support those suffering on the ground in Sierra Leone. For more information about their work, please click on the link to their websites/pages below.