Newsletter 4
Newsletter 5
Newsletter 6

Newsletter 7 
Newsletter 8
Newsletter 9
Newsletter 10
Newsletter 11
Newsletter 12
Newsletter 13
Newsletter 14

Newsletter 15
Newsletter 16

Newsletter 14

Rogbonko Village School

During the ten days I spent recently in Rogbonko I watched the children play football every evening. These games weren’t just fun knockabouts, but serious practise. Between 5pm and 6pm the boys play and the hour before dusk is the turn of the girls. The reason for all this enthusiasm is Rogbonko is now part of a primary school league table: the Mamunta Section Primary School Football League. And the hours of practise have seen our boys head the league in the course of the year with the newly created girls team rising to number two spot.

The idea for a football league came from Rogbonko School’s new teacher, sports enthusiast Abass Forna. The aim was to encourage competitive sports between the five area primary schools. Rogbonko hosts the games on the only grass field in the area, created when the school was built. Thanks to our supporters we also have line flags and balls. Indeed, in order to facilitate the league Rogbonko chose to donate footballs to the several schools who didn’t possess any. And just recently Ray of Hope’s Don McBurney gave a set of impressive plaques for winners and runners-up.

Still, the children play barefoot and dressed in their old clothes. The one thing they woulddearly love is a football strip of their own and came to me for help. In turn Iasked them what colour they’d like and the girls voted for red, whilst the boys liked the idea of blue. A simple kit of shorts and a shirt for both teams would cost around £400. So if you’d like to help fly the team colours, do please send your cheques made payable to Rogbonko Village School Trust (Football Strip).

By Aminatta Forna

Python eats school chickens. Four of the five school cockerels tragically lost their lives when a python slipped into the chicken house one night in September. The discovery of the snake was made by Aminu, aged 11 (seen here demonstrating the python’s length) who went to let the chickens out in the morning. Pa Issa, the village snake man was called and bravely entered the hut armed only with a machete. It seems the python, having consumed the four birds, was too large to exit through the hole by which it had entered and decided to sleep the meal off. The cockerels appeared to have each nobly done battle with the predator in defence of the chicks and hens, who emerged shaken but unharmed after being held hostage for several hours.

Things get better

Some of you may have noticed that for the first time in three years we didn’t make an appeal for you to help us fund a school Breakfast Club to provide our children with at least one square meal a day during the ‘hungry season.’ That’s because this year the farmers managed to produce a food surplus for perhaps the first time in decades thanks in part to a government programme to provide tractors to rural communities.

Rogbonko Village School Trust, 161 Waller Road, London SE14 5LX .

From Rogbonko to Suffolk, with love

This year Suffolk School Brandeston Hall have raised funds for Rogbonko Village School through their Year 8 fete. The grand total raised this year reached £1,779.81. Rogbonko School has long been used for adult education and outreach programmes. Last year the school hosted a maternal health seminar for birth attendants and women in Rogbonko and the neighbouring village. Sierra Leone has one the the world’s highest maternal death rates.

Women there have a one in eight chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. Less than half of births are attended by a skilled professional. The money is being used to help ongoing work on a small maternal health centre and to fund future training for birth attendants. In order to thank Brandeston School Rogbonko pupils made gifts of woven bags and friendship bracelets. The bags were specially designed and made by the boys and reflect the style of weaving in which boys in the area are trained. The bracelets were gifts from the girls.