The BDEC Primary School is the only current functioning grade school in the town of Bumpe that is located 16 miles away from Bo city, the second largest city in Sierra Leone. We departed Bumpe high school for BDEC right after the donation event for the students. Both schools located in the same town made it very simple for a quick transition to the primary school. All of the students appeared to have just gotten on a lunch break; we headed straight for the headmaster’s office that turned out to be Mr. Koroma a former teacher who taught the organization’s founder as a little boy at BDEC in Bumpe town. We spoke with the students through the teachers who helped us get the message of our cause to the 5-10 year old little boys and girls who attend the primary school.
The most memorable moment with the students came after our team had distributed the donation supplies to both the students and teachers. It was an incredible experience to watch the expression of appreciation on the school children faces when they saw that our organization came to their school with a real cause and we actually brought school and hygiene supplies for the benefit of the school as a whole.But the one moment that tops them all was when the team was getting ready to leave and our founder motioned to take a group photo of him and the students, the kind of embrace and excitement that the children depicted for the group photo was priceless. One could feel the priceless smiles, excitement, and love the young students were showing to our cameras. Even as were boarded the vehicle to leave the children chased after the vehicle with the camera still on them filming as we drove away. It was a true classic moment of children being children from a remote village who rarely or perhaps had never gotten their pictures taken and filmed.
The original school structures were all destroyed due to the long lasting rebel war and natural deterioration according to speaking with some of the teachers who had been teaching at the school for over 20 years. Just like the high school, the primary school is the only school in the region for miles so a lot of families rely on it functioning in order to give their children the basic foundation of early childhood education. The more than a kind gesture from the World Vision organization helped the town build three school buildings with classrooms that is allowing the teachers to organize and utilize these structures to conduct school with very minimal resources.
Once upon a time prior to the civil war the school and town in general was a thriving economical community where many people from other communities came to socialize or settle down to be a part of a progressive culture. Even foreigners from neighborly countries like Liberia came to Bumpe to take advantage of its robust educational school system. With two competitive primary schools BDEC and UBC, plus a well established high school with boarding homes for teachers and students solidify these claims. A lot have changed today in the post war era; the people in the communities are left to essentially scramble together any resources available to re-develop the destruction of the infrastructure that the war brought upon them. Our goal in the long-run is to keep working with the elders like principal Mr. Koroma to assist in eliminating challenges by mobilizing resources to the school as the organization reaches its full potential.
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly” (Langston Hughes). Mr. Hughes was a groundbreaking teacher in many ways in the class of American literature. Teachers many times are the motivators and creators of their students’ dreams. Particularly in the remote regions like Bumpe town where electricity or Internet is non-existence, these teachers rely on their experience and long attained knowledge to educating their students and make them realize their dreams and to pursue them with their fullest potential.
The effort by BDEC teachers in assisting the organization to get our cause across to the students was the most helpful. Again, keep in mind that many of these students are children who may be as young as four years old, and as one can imagine that the teachers teaching in the lower levels of class one and two are practically acting as parents to the students not just teachers. Many of them have their own children at home to take care of but understand that in a community that like Bumpe every elder is expected to look after the children even if he/she is not your child. We believe these kinds of teachings to young children are more than heroic; the teachers are sacrificing their adult lively hoods to devote it as resources for their school kids. Thus our organization vows to devote some of our resources to create an incentive program that will reward the teachers at BDEC Primary School; for, they help to give educational foundation for younger students and prepare them for high school.
GOAL: School Challenges