With only 4 days and a long to-do list, we hit the ground running. The rainy season has been gentle on us so far–few showers and the worst storms were a couple of weeks ago.
Linda and I immediately headed out to the New York Section of Bo to meet up with the director of the deaf school and the sanitation project contractor from January. We wanted to validate the Eloos were operating as expected after 4 months, as well as collect photos and profile information at the deaf school so we could complete more student profiles for our Hope For Kakua sponsors.
I was very pleased to see the Eloos were being used properly and that composting and dehydration was already occurring.
The day was also filled with the excitement of working with all the students at the Ebert-Kakua School for the Deaf that day–no matter the disability, children are children and young people are young people–full of hopes and fears, and always curious and willing to share a smile as I tried my halting signing skills while photographing each student, teachers interpreted, and Linda captured their interests and other personal details.
Although Deeper Missions focuses on bringing health-giving clean energy, safe water and sanitation solutions to communities in need, the Hope For Kakua Sponsor-a-Student program is a natural extension to our mission as students are supported with essential materials and meals to help the learn at their best.
Linda and I are coming home with over 30 more student profiles to share with those who would like to help empower some of the most vulnerable of Sierra Leone’s population; young men and women, and children who, without the Ebert-Kakua School’s academic and vocational training, would be forced to simply beg on the streets each day to help feed their family.
We also spent the day looking ahead to the next sanitation project. With new engineering and design specifications in hand, I met with Mr. Jaka, the contractor for the Mercy Hospital Eloo project, as well as with Mr. Sonneh, of LoMa Builders, whose company specializes in local building material excellence and training youth in construction skills. I hope to tour his training and manufacturing site tomorrow
Both men are anxious to prove themselves in this and future projects which, along with improving the health of their communities, will provide needed work for a country whose unemployment rate is estimated at a staggering 70%.