Fourteen-year-old Hannah Smith attends the Methodist Girls High school in Bo where she is enrolled in Junior Secondary 1. Hannah and her younger brother Paul were enrolled in the residential program, and were recently reunified to live with their father, who is disabled.
Hannah’s school organized a quiz and debate competition for 16 children across 3 classes (JSS1, JSS2, and JSS3), to observe the African Day of the Child commemoration, with the objective to identify competent pupils in the school. Questions were designed and selected for all junior secondary school subjects.
At the end of the competition, Hannah Smith emerged as the victor in the debate category for JSS 1 and a certificate was presented to her in recognition of her participation and achievement.
“I was really happy,” Hannah said. “The reason I’m so happy is that when I stood for the competition and won it, my friends were all very happy for me. I studied hard to bring success, encouraging other children in my community, the CRC program, and in the school to be bold and study hard.” Hannah shared her thanks and appreciation for the teachers in the school for helping to prepare her.
Hannah also gives credit to the CRC staff as well for helping her to be successful. As a result of CRC support and what they had taught her, Hannah benefitted from their stories, reading, devotions, and preaching of the gospel.
One of the school’s teachers, Mr. Ibrahim Sillah said “Hannah Smith is one of our best students in the school and it was not a surprise she came out as the victor in the competition. And as for her performance in class, she came in second in the first examination, first in the second examination and we hope she will earn the best result in the ongoing examination!”
- Deborah Kanneh, Family Care Program Coordinator
Sponsors Gaylew and Roger Hutchison were excited to hear Hannah's news. "We're very proud of Hannah!" Gaylew exclaimed. Roger shares his wife's pride, "We're so very proud that she is our sponsored child." Hannah displays her certificate, joined by FCP Coordinator Deborah Kanneh, and her teacher Mr. Sillah.
Every year in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare of Bo, The Child Rescue Centre commemorates the Day of the African Child Day. This year’s theme “Pikin Nor For Lef Behine For Salone E Betteh Wan” (No Child Is Left Behind For the Betterment of Sierra Leone), inspired a fun, yet meaningful event for more than 200 of the children and youth enrolled in the CRC's programs.
Since 1991, The Day of the African Child has been celebrated across Africa to honor the children who participated in the 1976 Soweto Uprising and raise awareness for African childrens' education and welfare. The day has also become an opportunity to examine the progress of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child established in 1999.
The CRC's commemoration opened with prayer and remarks by Family Care Coordinators Deborah Kanneh and Amie Nallo. Education Manager Mabel Mustapha followed, exclaiming that “I am the happiest woman today to see children in the entire program join the Child Recuse Centre to mark this event. We have been working to promote the well-being of children and to uplift their social rights in this district and in Sierra Leone for more than 18 years.”
The celebration included a festive meal, dance competition, storytelling, and a powerful message to the children to take their education seriously. The event closed with a prayer for African children across the continent.