Below you can read the full report of a meeting which was held in June 2015 to distribute school materials to all the pupils of the Sport For Empowerment Foundation.
Saturday 13th of June 2015, Sport For Empowerment distributed learning materials (books, pens and mathematical set) to 61 pupils of their foundation from various schools as part of support to the educational pursuit of these children. The distribution ceremony was held at the Mena Police playing field in Makeni, attracting parents of both the foundation pupils and the families of four orphans (of the Ebola Orphan Project).
The Chairman of the ceremony, Emmanuel Y.Samura, said Sport For Empowerment, is a youth led development initiative that is focusing on two aspects; sport and education. Admonishing all present that it takes good will and dedication to engage in such venture as all the members both home and abroad are not paid but sacrificing their time and resources to ensure these pupils have learning materials. Mr. Samura said, when government announced that schools will resume in April, most parents were apprehensive of the decision for various reasons, one of them been how can they (parents) meet the demands of giving learning materials to their children at a time things were really hard for the country.
Calling on the Coordinator of SFE, Alphazo S. Kamara, to give a background and rationale of the gathering, Alphazo commenced his presentation stating that before Mrs Ellenoor came on board, three of them ( Sheku, Desmond and Alphazo) had always shared a dream of supporting the less privileged among pupils in their surroundings, to avoid what they went through when they were going school. This desire continues to burn in them as there were several pupils struggling to be educated. Stressing that the aim of the foundation is to help promote education of all of its members. This is evident in the promotion of the Area Best to the Sierra Leone Premier League in 2010 and subsequent relegation the same year. However, this never dampens their spirit.
On the aspect of Sport, the Coordinator stated that they are using sport to shape and build the characters of the pupils, to train them on leadership and how they can take responsibility for community development. He further said that is not the first distribution that the foundation has done. In December 2014 at the peak of Ebola, the foundation distributed food (rice and cooking condiment) to their foundation pupils, and the remainins was never shared among themselves (Sheku, Moses and Alphazo), but look out for those families that had been more affected by the virus by either loosing a parents or both. Therefor, four families were identified after a thorough research to ascertain they are actually orphans.
The Coordinator reported to the gathering that since the outbreak of Ebola, none of the foundations children were quarantined nor died. This was because they have been holding several meetings with them on the preventive measures of Ebola, with similar meetings held for the radio teaching program for the boys.
Since the resumption of school we have been in touch with the Paine family to see how they can source support for the boys, and today we are here to give this support to them.
Alphazo mentioned that in addition to the 61 pupils, four orphans will also be receiving school bag, two pair of shoes, two pair of uniforms, two pair of socks/stockings and a lunch pack
The Coordinator state that for subsequent distribution the criteria will be different, as school performance, commitment to the ideals of the foundation, discipline both at school and home and community development initiative will be used. He called on parents to ensure their pupils take education seriously if they want to continue been part of the foundation, “any one who is not serious about education will leave the foundation”.
Making a statement, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation Sport Producer and Presenter Mohamed Papa Bangura said; he is very happy to see such a venture taken by colleagues he has so much respect for both at individual and professional levels coming to support education through sport. Calling on the pupils to take such steps very seriously. Mr Bangura said, education is an essential aspect to the fight of poverty, he cited the example of a young Sierra Leonean who went through the Craig Bellamy Foundation and presently in the U.S to ply his professional trade that he is there because he was doing extremely well both in school and on the pitch, most of his colleagues are still here simply because they have not been doing well in their education.
Daniel Kamara, the uncle of Aminata B.Kamara, one of the orphans that receives the support, almost in tears, said “I cannot find words to express, as I was not expecting such support from young people who have not in anyway promised us until we were taken to a tailor and told to be here today, as i stand here my heart is full of pride for a wonderful support especially for the education of a girl child. Things are really hard since the death of my brother’s family. My daughter was laughed at in school because she has no proper shoes, no uniforms not to mention a bag. Today, she can go to school as any other pupil. I am therefor, asking all of us parents to pray that this group continues to grow. They are really an example”.
The grandfather of Michael, said he will join Daniel to acknowledge the efforts of those present and those far away of thinking about children they are not in any way related but have decided to help them in their school. This will go along way in making our children confortable in school. My grand son was almost crying for a bag and water bottle, he was going to school with no proper uniforms because i cannot afford them.Thank you God will surely reward you.
In response to those complement, both Sheku and Alphazo state that these children will continue to benefit from the foundation as along as they are in school.We will be visiting the schools to cross checked if they are there emphasised Alphazo.
Each of the 61 pupils received six ledger books, one mathematical set and six pens, making the total amount spent € 692,-