Nov. 29 - Dec. 1:
Today is #GivingTuesday so all over the world charities are lobbying for consumers to donate to their cause. Today’s blog post is both an update on our trip to Salone launching the Community Resource Center (CRC) and meant to be inspiration for you to click the donate button if you agree with what we're working on.
It's been such a great time in Golu and a busy one! I love the village life. The rains have ended but everything is still so very green and its not yet dusty as we transitions into the dry season. There's a lot of new life: chicks, ducklings, kittens and baby goats...not to mention the always-endearing human kids. It's quite wonderful! Food-wise, we're eating home-grown "red rice" which is delicious and nutritious. On Thanksgiving we were down at the river and bought freshly caught fish from the fisherman. Everything is so natural. I love it.
We chatted with some diamond miners who were walking up the road from the river. They do some mining by hand in and around the river. One of them had a diamond with him. He dug it out of his pocket. He had it wrapped up in a small piece of foil that looked like it was from pack of cigarettes. It was so tiny and dirty. Yet, I'm sure it was quite valuable. It was cool the way he just pulled it out of his pocket. He had mined it that day.
As far as development at the resource center. It's so impressive how excited the villagers are and how appreciative. We have a core group that has evolved around managing it and they are terrific. I am very impressed with 2 of the young guys, especially. They are so sharp and learn everything so quickly. One is illiterate but has picked up the solar technology mechanics in a snap. He told me he wants to learn to read and write. TVL is now committed to getting an adult literacy program off the ground. We talked about it at the town meeting and so many of the young adults lit up at the mention of it. Many of them lost the opportunity to go to school because of the war. The illiteracy rate among adults is 60%. The illiteracy rate among the children has been reduced to 40%. That's still ridiculously high, of course. In Golu, approximately 200 out of 500 school-age kids are not in school. Read about Ishmael’s story on how he was affected by the civil war on our Facebook page. The theme of illiterate young adults is all too common and something that needs to be addressed.
With the exciting news of the opportunity for young adults in the community to finally be able to learn and write from the town hall meeting in Golu the ladies broke out in song and dance. See video below.
In addition to town meetings we also traveled to a neighboring town, Gerehun which is about 4 miles from Golu on the Bo-Kenema Highway. We met with elders and the chief on 11/29, to discuss ways to cooperate, promote joint efforts and advance the common goals of TVL and similar initiatives in Gerehun.
I hope that you enjoyed our post from Sierra Leone and that it inspired you. If you would like to make a contribution to TVL you will be helping us to complete our Community Resource Center. You can contribute by clicking here. Your contribution will go towards newer technologies, power sources, internet connectivity, furniture, continuous upkeep of the building and educational programs geared towards children and adults literacy.
Below are more recent photos from this visit. You can view more on our Facebook page here.