Please find attached a short update report from the last month in Sierra Leone where our pupils at the Extra Mile School are in their second term of the year. We're trying to keep all of our wonderful donors in touch with progress at the school and to share with you how we are spending the funds we raise. Thank you once more for your continuing help and support.Read More
Extra Mile is a UK registered Charity helping to bring education to the street children of Sierra Leone. Its ongoing mission is to recruit volunteers to teach in English-speaking schools, help train its teachers and open to run its own free school.
Jan and Mike, on behalf of Extra Mile, wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year. We are so sorry not to have had time to send everyone a Christmas card but hope you’ll understand how little time we’ve had since Mike returned from Sierra Leone last week.
Whilst Mike was out there we held our first Governor’s Meeting and the staff and pupils completed their second main assessment and also their termly exam. Staff completed their end-of-term report cards and held a parents’ meeting to share their successes. Overall, pupil’s academic progress has been very good and with attendance at an encouraging 88%. We now have three full-time teachers, including the deputy Principal, two part-time teachers and four volunteer teachers. We offer bread and tea every morning at our ‘Breakfast Club’ from 7.30 till 8 am and a small drink of water at lunchtime, around 11.30am. Brian Hoy (ex-Bolton RUFC) has been with us for a month repairing the roof, building shelves and cupboards and re-organising the weather blinds, for which we are very grateful indeed. Mike ran two half-day computer workshops with one of his ex-pupils and a half-day teacher-training workshop before coming home, thankfully without any further illness.
Finally, another piece of good news is that our full-time teachers are now offering extra classes after school and at weekends for our Class X (NPSE primary class) to help them prepare for their forthcoming external exams in May 2017. We especially thank all our wonderful donors who have helped and supported Extra Mile once again this year.
Best wishes and God Bless you all.
PS We hope you like our new school logo at the top of this letter, which now forms our school badge. Extra Mile, Ober-Funkia Community Secondary School – EMOFCSS
Good afternoon, on a very wet and windy Sunday, (18th September, 2016). Only another two months left of the ‘rainy’ season, “glug!”. One benefit of so much water is that Jan (one of our volunteers in SL) has transplanted most of Africa’s flora now, and hopefully its all going to filter out most of the salt crystals blown in from the sea which corrodes everything so quickly here.
With all the rain, the leaks from the roof into all the classrooms have increased. We tried to spread more than twelve huge, blue tarpaulins across the roof but sadly the rain crept beneath them and over a few days the leaks started again. Time for more serious action and this time we built sloping, wooden frames covered with eight feet long zinc panels with guttering, to run water off into a new water tank we’d built at the back of the school, sadly we've had no water for almost six months. Over the course of the month of August we stemmed the flow to a few drops wiped off the desks each day. Only then could we finish off the plastering and later the painting of the classroom walls and corridor before the pupils came for induction on the 12th September.
A phone call on Tuesday last week to tell me of the sudden death of one of our former headteachers. A stroke had paralysed him for the last two years. We had visited him only the week before to put a canvas over his leaking roof. Forty-eight years is no age to die. Rest in Peace, Komba Mbayo.
The last of our three volunteers has now left, back to Texas via Brussels. We’ll miss his ‘southern drawl’. He was a little bruised as he left, having ‘flipped’ off his bike and onto the road when he and Ismael tried to share a ride the night before.
We began interviewing pupils and their parents/guardians on the 18th August. We had filled all our places by the following day. Stories of complete destitution and despite such poverty, many of the orphans of ebola had been 'adopted' and now seek an education with Extra Mile. Traumatic interviews were only part of our difficulties, the turning away of so many more pupils and their guardians over the pervious four weeks was equally hard. Every day people would come from miles around, through intensive thunderstorms and unbearably hot days, only to be told that, ‘the school done fl-op’ (full up). Even today another two ‘aunty’s’ prostrated themselves on our verandah, praying and pleading that I would ‘admit’ their wards. If only we could build another ten classrooms, but even then we would need another ten. Our mission now is to do the best we can to raise the hopes of those pupils we have admitted into the school and help them achieve the impossible, an enjoyable and successful education.
Please pray that we can achieve this ambition.
Mr.Moses Conteh and his new wife Marie at their marriage registration at Roksy Building, June 1st. 2016, witnessed by Mrs.Anne King, one of Extra Mile's fantastic volunteers, who is teaching Mathematics at Lady Patricia Kabbah Memorial JSS, Goderich.
Bloodshot eyes, acute stomach pains, lethargy, profuse sweating, bleeding from the nose and ears and a temperature over 38 degrees – death within 2 or 3 days. EBOLA is a killer and the most dangerous...Read More
Yes, the news from Sierra Leone is grim and not expected to get any better, any time soon. Mike returned from Sierra Leone in late August 2014 on one of the last flights after the Gambia Bird airline 'pulled the plug' on its return flights to London...Read More
Despite the growing anxiety over the threat of EVD, and it is very real, we can still continue life here, almost as normally as we can and respond to those everyday strains that continue to challenge us.Read More
As Martin Smidman prepared for his two-week, Extra Mile programme at Agape ‘Experimental’ School in Sierra Leone there were the inevitable, crucial enquiries, such as, ‘how long are the lessons?’ and ‘how big are the classes?’.Read More
A colleague handed an advert, in a teacher magazine, to Claire Lintern in 2010. She applied to become a volunteer with Extra Mile and taught at Bishop Jane Middleton High School in Goderich, Sierra Leone.Read More
Since her return to the UK in June 2012 when Dr. Jane Bentham had worked at Services Secondary School, Juba, in Sierra Leone, she has been working hard to continue her work for Extra Mile, by raising funds for its work in this small West African republic.Read More
Chloe Ennis, an 17 year old arts student from King Edward VI College, studying A Level Media, Art, Textiles and Photography, and Sandy Wright’s granddaughter, will be soaring from 12,000 feet at speeds of 120 mph in a 5 minute tandem skydive on her 18th. birthday in April 13.Read More