CRC Case Manager Victor Kanu recently visited the home of former residential student Abdulai Dakowa, who is now enrolled in the Family Care Program. His mother Saffiatu is so grateful to be reunited with her son.
Saffiatu enrolled in the CRC's first microfinance class, and started an African soap business with the small loan she received upon graduation from the class. She joined the local "osusu" (lending group) and has been able to turn a profit and save money to support her little family.
Victor found that Abdulai is doing well at home with his mother, brother and sister. He helps with cooking and some domestic work, and participates in morning devotions with his family. His mother says that Abdulai is practicing his Christian life at home.
"I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to you for the valuable assistance your organization has rendered to me in the upbringing and education of my son Abdulai at this very difficult time," Saffiatu told Victor. "This offer to us has contributed so immensely to the future of Abdulai," she says with gratitude.
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.
"Don’t worry, you are going to get well soon.
Abu Bakarr Kanu has made excellent progress in his recovery from severe burns he suffered in March of 2017. Since that time, Mercy Hospital has been committed to his care and recovery. Abu Bakarr lived for months at Mercy Hospital, so that he could receive around the clock care. Additionally, The Child Rescue Centre provided weekly counseling sessions to help him to cope.
Abu Bakarr and his brothers Yahyah and Mohamed were officially enrolled in the Child Rescue Centre, and last fall, he was able to move home with brothers, uncle and grandmother, and begin classes at the Bo Kulanda Town Primary School.
Abu Bakarr loves school, and is getting good grades. His best subjects are English and mathematics, and he spends a lot of time studying for both. His best friend in school is named Brian, and they are also in the same class. Brian and Abu Bakarr love to play and read together. His brothers continue to encourage him in his recovery, telling him often, “don’t worry, you are going to get well soon.”
Abu Bakarr’s wounds are still healing, as healing from serious burns is a long and laborious process. He is happy to be home and going to school, but he still visits Mercy regularly to get his bandages changed, and to allow the Mercy staff to track his progress.
Fortunately, Abu Bakarr's family lives close to both the school and Mercy Hospital, and he has many friends who are happy to walk with him to school and to the hospital. Neither is far, but he needs to take breaks along the way.
Most of the students enrolled in Child Rescue Centre programs live in and around Bo, where the CRC headquarters and facility is located. However, the CRC now supports students in Freetown, Makeni, Kenema, Fengehun and other places. Recently, CRC staff who manage the Family Care Program traveled to Freetown to conduct home and school visits with the CRC students living with their families there.
Many people have the misconception that the Child Rescue Centre is a place located in Bo, Sierra Leone, where children live. In fact, the residential program of the CRC is the smallest of all CRC programs, making up just 3% of the total number of students who are supported by the CRC. The majority of the CRC students live with their own or foster families, and receive financial and medical support that allows them to enjoy growing up within a family and community, while also providing them with access to education and medical care that would otherwise be out of reach.
The CRC's Family Strengthening Program not only provides the opportunity for parents and family to visit the CRC and attend regular activities with their student, but also gives students the chance to spend weekends and holidays at their forever homes. This helps students to become gradually acclimated to life in the Bo community. The students enjoy learning how to help out at home.