As a young boy, Amara Foday enrolled in the Child Rescue Centre's Child Support Program, but dropped out of school at the end of Junior Secondary when he failed to pass the difficult BECE national exam for promotion to Senior Secondary.
It's not an unusual occurrence for kids who come from backgrounds of extreme poverty in Sierra Leone, as they may be too disadvantaged to succeed academically by the time they start school, hampered by a host of problems associated with poverty like early malnutrition, chronic illness, itinerancy, or family dysfunction.
In spite of these obstacles, Amara persevered in his desire to learn a marketable skill. He had stayed connected to the CRC and applied to the CRC for a Promise Scholarship to attend vo tech school. The CRC was pleased to offer Amara a scholarship to pursue vocational training at Sierra Leone Opportunities Industrialization Centre. Amara used his scholarship to become a welding technician, a highly sought after skill in Sierra Leone as construction keeps pace with the population increase.
Amara has now completed his welding program and will officially graduate in December. He is currently working with a team in Freetown to demolish the houses destroyed by mudslides last year.
As he discusses his future, Amara has already started thinking about how to give back to his nation of Sierra Leone. "My career plans are to own a private welding and metal workshop to employ and train youths on metal work, and with that I can contribute in nation building, " Amara told CRC Counselor Victor Kanu. "The CRC has impacted my life in many ways, but more especially to make me to become somebody in the society by achieving my goal to be a welder and becoming independent," he added.
"My advice to a student hoping to earn a Promise Scholarship is to stay focused and work very hard in order to achieve the good result to develop ourselves and the country," Amara counsels aspiring scholars. "The CRC Promise scholarship means a lot to me, as it has helped me transformed my life, contributing to my family and the country as a whole."
Amara hopes to open a private welding and metal workshop to train youth like himself, "With that I can contribute to nation building."