In an innovative drive in supporting post war development of Sierra Leone, the Josephine Bahkita Day Care Home for the poor in Lunsar, Port Loko district over the weekend observed first annual graduation for some 38 vulnerable children at the Saint Peters Parish hall in Lunsar under the grand Chief Patronage of Mr. Idrissa Kamara the Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank and the Chairman of the Marampa Football team.
According to the proprietor of the school Mrs. Josephine Conteh, before the start of the home between 2006 to 2007 the future of the children in Lunsar was bleak as most of them were taken on begging spree around town by their parents with little or no consideration of their education.
She said, she set up the school from her personal inputs, support from family members, friends and well wishers who admired her efforts in rescuing those vulnerable children from becoming drop outs in society.
She said at the initial stage it was very difficult for her as the blind parents were not willing to part with their children for education but she kept on sensitizing them on the need educating the children who might end up to the future leaders.
The graduation ceremony started with a march past from the school campus and ended at the Saint Peters Parish hall in Lunsar where parents and guardians jubilated for their children who graduated from kindergarten to class one.
Mr. Idrissa Kamara recalled that some 48 years ago Sierra Leone was far ahead in education as compared to countries like Singapore which he said was now ahead of us with 93% literacy rate as compared to Sierra Leone with 35% literacy rate.
He attributed the gains made in education in Singapore to the resolve of the people and government of that country to prioritize education as investment in the future leaders of the country.
“If Sierra Leone places more premium on education we will catch up and even overtake Singapore” he said.
He expressed admiration for the effort made by Mrs. Josephine Conteh for looking after the academic pursuit of the most vulnerable category in society, adding that he was proud to associate himself with such an organization in order to ensure a brighter future of those children.
He admonished the children to invest in the academic pursuit of their children as they will take over from them and continue the development of the country. He also encouraged the children to take advantage of the opportunities available by paying attention to their parents and teachers for their own good.
In an effort to compliment the hard work of Mrs. Josephine Conteh Mr. Idrissa Kamara donated on behalf good friends, business enterprises and well wishers in Freetown a huge quantum of teaching and learning material.
The materials include: 400 exercise books, 50 rulers, 80 pencil, 11 packet pens, 2 packet crayon, 2 erasers, packets of A4 papers, 5 boxes of chalk and 2 radios.
Mr. Idrissa personally pledged on behalf of himself and family the sum of Le 750,000 to the school, this was followed by pledges from other patrons like madam Lilia Waffa who pledged to provide a school structure and Le 500,000 towards the sustenance of the school and she even went on to motivate parents and guardians to pledge towards the development of the school.
On behalf of the catholic mission the officiating Rev. Father Francis I. Conteh pledged 5 bikes, beds and sheets to the school and also promised to feed the school. He prayed for the sustenance of the school and a progressive upcoming of the children