The visit to Services Secondary School was special because it was the crew first visit to a school to implement the organization’s mission. The date was November sixteen of two thousand sixteen on a sunny Wednesday morning just prior to the student assemble starting we made our way to the principal office. Students scattered all around the compound as they stared with intense curiosity with respect to the team wearing mission t-shirts and carrying cameras. We received a warm welcome from the principal followed by a brief discussion of our cause, and the witness of the priceless moment when she (the principal) learned that the founder attended Services at eleven years old.
We were farther introduced and directed to build a communication channel with the lead teach Mrs. Massaquor who we would coordinate our efforts with. With excitement our team gladly jumpedon the offer to take a first day tour filming. Assisted by another teacher we visited with many of the students in classrooms and informing them of our purpose and the process of which we’re to abide by in selecting the right students to fund their education.
The advisory board of the organization laid out the guidelines of how students should be selected for funding by our sponsors. We conducted a survey questionnaire with 190 students, and based off of how each individuals answered the questions would be how they’re eliminated or considered to represent our cause. Out of this amount surveyed we collectively analyzed each student answers and selected 20 of the students whose answers fell within the set guidelines of the board. These group of students were also subjects for our case study “City Pieller: Life and Times of a Young African Student”. A documentary in which the film crew visits with students and their families at home, to interview and experience some of their challenges in such an under-resourced (poor) country for the youth.
Located in Freetown the capital of Sierra Leone, Services is a historical school with connections and support from the military barracks of Wilberforce Freetown. The building structures are between two entry driveways going up and around the military hospital and exiting on the other end like a parabola. Just like its uniform color for students, the structures are colored in and out with blue, green, and yellow.
The buildings existence came from a long period of when the school was polarized with girls and boys primary school classes from 1 through 6. In present day however stand a restructured school that has evolved into a secondary school that produces college entry-level students. With such a relentless school with the ideals of empowering school children to become great contributors to society could use all the help it can get in renovating the inside and outside of the classrooms. The Murhero Foundation non-profit aim is to gather and allocate resources from our supporters in the United States and donate to Services to help our efforts in curing the challenges in classroom renovation.
“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me” (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam). As India’s 11th president and a space scientist, Dr. Kalam understood and upheld education to the highest esteem so young Indian students too can understand the value of what it meant for teachers to devote their lives to teaching. Our organization embrace these educational principles of teaching as we collaboratively worked with the teachers at Services Secondary School. One of the first thing we noticed was the interactions between teachers and students, the teachers each held small canes that resembles small sticks look-alike which were meant to discipline the students to pay attention to what the founder had to say. Whips being utilized to discipline these students may seem like an unorthodox tactics to us in the West, but to the Sierra Leoneans culture this is an effective disciplinary act for the greater benefit of the students’ education.
Mrs. Massequor and the rest of the other teachers were superb in assisting our team to effectively survey, select, and distribute donations to students. Without the smooth communication channel and the constant updates between the lead teacher and our logistics director, maneuvering and conducting events at the school would’ve been much difficult to achieve. But on each occasional meeting event at the school we saw nothing but passionate teachers towards their students and experienced nothing but kindheartedness towards our staffs and efforts. The foundation gained tremendous awakening about how much far less teachers are undervalued in developing economies like Sierra Leone compared to rich economies. We fully intend to give encouragement that will continue to fuel the passion that teachers have towards the development of their students through an incentive program for good teaching.
GOAL: School Challenges