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  Newsletter 9 - July, 2008


Bloomsbury Publishing, publishers of Harry Potter, donated more than 800 books to the new library at Rogbonko Village School. The donation comprised copies of the first five books in the world famous Potter series and was so generous that after stocking the school library, we decided to share the remaining books with seven local schools. We also gave a gift set of Harry Potter books to each child who graduated Rogbonko Village School in the last two years.

Last year we asked anyone who had any spare kids’ books to send them to us. As a result we received several hundred books and the newly opened library now boasts a broad selection of story and reference books. And thanks to our solar lighting system the library is open for children to borrow books and read from 6pm to 8pm each evening.

As it turned out none of the children who received books had ever heard of Harry Potter, sales of which last month topped 400 million worldwide. Nor had they ever owned a book of their own. It’s good to see some things change.


Rogbonko village and Sierra Leone have been hard hit in the current world food crisis, which has seen riots in nearby countries including Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. In Rogbonko few families can afford more than a single meal a day, in line with 70% of the country - a figure set to rise to 90% due to increased food prices. Therefore Rogbonko Village School Trust has decided to introduce free breakfasts for all schoolchildren, initially for the duration of the ‘hungry season’ until the rice harvest in November.

If you’d like to support our breakfast club your donation would be especially welcome.

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Three cheers for the pupils and staff of Brandeston School in Suffolk who have raised a whopping £2000 for Rogbonko Village School. The two schools have had a long standing relationship, which began in 2004 when Brandeston pupils began raising money for a new school building to replace our first thatch and bamboo structure with a proper school building. Two years later Brandeston raised sufficient funds for each child in Rogbonko to receive a mosquito net, a literal lifesaver in a country where malaria claims thousands of child lives each year. This year’s donation will be used to fund skills training in carpentry and tailoring for our adult education classes.

Rogbonko children are also taking part in raising funds for their own school by weaving traditional shuku baskets (see picture) and traditional country cloths to sell in the capital.




World maps, the Human Body, Darwin, The Sun, the Night Sky, Meteorites and posters detailing the effects of environmental pollution – just a selection of dozens of colour wall charts donated to Rogbonko Village School by PCET Publishing of Ealing in London. Once again the donation was so generous we were able to share our good fortune with several local primary schools. Our thanks to Carol McNichols of PCET, to the Managing Director and Staff Roch Valley for the school bags and A Ray of Hope, UNESCO Youth Ambassador for the Culture of Peace.


Twenty one Rogbonko children sat the secondary school entry exam this summer. Extra evening classes were held in the school to help them prepare. In the two years Rogbonko pupils have sat the exam we have enjoyed 100% success and the highest marks of any school in the area.


We regularly  receive queries from some of you asking why Rogbonko Village School Trust is not a registered charity, which would then enable us to claim Gift Aid. The answer, quite simply, is that we are too small. The legal costs of registering as a charity, plus the ongoing administrative costs mean that registration would not be cost effective. The Charity Commission advises organisations with an annual turnover of less than £10,000 to consider alternatives before becoming a registered charity.

Rogbonko Village School Trust, c/o 161 Waller Road, London, SE14.