Mile 38 school has now opened
Cindy Nofziger is the Executive Director of Schools for Salone. She lives in Seattle but has ties to Sierra Leone. Cindy was in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone from 1985 to 1987 serving as a physical therapist at the Masanga Leprosy Hospital. She returned to the US, but went back to Sierra Leone in 2004 to visit her colleagues she had met while in the Peace Corps.
John Sesay was a native of Sierra Leone and asked Cindy if she could help him rebuild his village’s school that had been destroyed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Cindy said she would try to help. When Cindy returned home, John sent her drawings done by village children. Cindy turned the drawings into note cards and sold them to anyone that would buy them. This helped fund the school that opened in November 2005. Cindy had found a way to help her adopted country build a school.
Between 2005 and 2018, Cindy founded Schools for Salone (SfS) and helped build 24 schools in Sierra Leone. During that time, SfS rebuilt some schools and began to add other facilities and programs besides the school buildings. This is where the “and Friends” came into play in making SfS a highly successful program.
Some of the friends were in the US where they helped greatly by making financial contributions and establishing networks of people willing to help the SfS Foundation. SfS established yearly fund-raising events in Seattle and San Francisco. Charities provided matching grants for SfS and other meaningful support in the Seattle area.
Some of the friends in Sierra Leone helped build the schools, provide staff to train and support the school teachers and librarians, and start an outreach program that involved many other organizations in Sierra Leone. SfS became a comprehensive program that had teachers teaching other teachers, and adding safe water, waste disposal, and books for the schools.
Sierra Leone is a poor country. When girls reached puberty, many were forced to leave school because the could not afford menstruation supplies that are taken for granted in other areas of the world. Other girls left school because of unplanned pregnancies. SfS has helped to provide menstruation kits of reusable materials for their students. This program has now been expanded to provide these kits to other organizations in Sierra Leone. SfS provided sex education to girls and boys attending the schools. In 2017, there was not a single pregnancy by students attending their schools.
There are now 25 schools that have been built through SfS in Sierra Leone. This 25th school was the result of the cooperation of SfS and a Sierra Leone native that is now a US citizen living near Seattle. Cyril Faulkner returned to S-L in 2000 on a medical mission with a group of Christian doctors, nurses and youth volunteers. On a subsequent trip, Cyril’s church adopted the orphan children of a village known as Mile 38. The 25th school is called Mile 38 School, and it will open in 2019.
Cyril’s Evangel Temple Full Gospel Church was founded in 1971. In the summer of 2001, the church embarked on a mission endeavor in Sierra Leone. In order to meet the needs of the children the Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone, under the leadership of Pastor Simon M. Sesay established an orphanage in Mile 38 of Sierra Leone, The support from Evangel Temple Full Gospel Church in the USA has enabled some of these orphans to complete their secondary education, motivating the graduates to start a charter school as a means of helping other children who experience a similar plight like their own. The Mile 58 school will allow more students to go further with their education. The school is seeking additional funding to build and equip the school with teaching supplies, computers, and solar-powered generators. You can learn more about the Village 38 school at the following link: http://evangeltemplefgc.org/ministries/missions/
There are many people that support the SfS effort. One key person is the Program Officer, Natalie Gordon. Natalie makes frequent extended trips to S-L to help turn the strategic plan for the continued growth of SfS into realities. Her efforts have been instrumental in expanding the role of SfS in the communities it serves, as well as establishing ties to other programs in S-L that extend the scope of interaction with other organizations. For the sake of brevity, the reader can open the link to see Natalie’s work during a trip to S-L in detail. It is a testimony to her dedication and the effectiveness of what is being done to meet SfS’s mission statement and vision.
In order to complete this article, these are links to the 2018 Annual Report for Schools for Salone and the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan that documents the progress that has been achieved to date in providing education to students in Sierra Leone.
2018 Annual Report
2017-2019 strategic plan progress report
There is an opportunity for readers of this article to contribute to Schools for Salone’s general fund or specifically support the Mile 38 School. The US is recognized for its Peace Corps and Food for Peace programs. Food for Peace has operated for over 50 years and fed an estimated 3 billion people. Schools for Salone is making a meaningful contribution by its efforts in Sierra Leone. Your support of these efforts is greatly appreciated.
School number 26 is now under construction, and funding for school number 27 has been made possible by a major grant. Your support can help increase the number of schools funded through Schools for Salone, and continue the efforts to provide education to thousands of children in Sierra Leone.
The link for donations directly to Schools for Salone is: https://schoolsforsalone.org/donate-new/
You can choose the amount that you can contribute, and see how money is used to meet different needs. SfS is a 501 (c) organization recognized as a charitable institution and contributions are tax deductible. Your support is greatly appreciated.