On February 5th 2012 we flew to Freetown to attend the first graduation ceremony of the University of Makeni and to visit all the projects that the Trust had funded and decide what next steps were needed. (We paid for this visit ourselves, not wanting to use Trust charity donations).
Briefly we concluded:
Teachers Resource Centre in Rolal – the Trust’s money was well spent and the Teachers’ Centre will be a great resource for future development in the local area.
St Joseph’s School – the borehole we had funded was still providing good clean water for all the pupils and staff, books and furniture that we had sent were being used by teachers , but our main delight was seeing Zoe working – she was clearly doing a great job.
The University of Makeni – we had a wonderful time at the Graduation Ceremony. We were delighted but also surprised at how far the university had come since we had left in March 2010. We also spent time checking the borehole and the toilets to make sure everything was working and we were pleased to find at least 75% of all the toilets flushed. We were also shown our equipment from our first container being used.
Holy Spirit Hospital – there had been no progress on digging a new borehole. It was decided that Fr Gianni should be asked to undertake the work with his trainee well diggers from Lunsar, and Jonathan visited Fr Gianni to arrange this.
Scholarships for the Children of the Blind – We met several times with Councillor Sentu to discuss the procedure used to pay the children’s school fees and the recording of the money and we left with the impression that all was running smoothly and the finances were as water tight as we could make them. We interviewed five of the children whose fees we had paid for three years and they all seemed happy. One little boy at St Francis School seemed to be particulary enjoying school and told me he was already a prefect and wanted to join the government one day.