Teachers’ visit celebrates school links
Teachers from St Patricks’ Primary and Emscote Infants School, visited their counterparts in Bo with funding from the British Council’s ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme. They had a busy ten days, coordinated by OWL’s Liz Garrett and Jenny Bailey, visiting their partner schools and running workshops for teachers. They took with them football team kits for all 14 linked schools, causing great excitement. Click the picture below to see more...
The visit was about more than classroom activities and included a meeting with the Mayor of Bo and with a Paramount Chief, a visit to the hospital (“impressively clean and well resourced”) and seeing a newly–completed well for Sewa Road School. “Bo is clearly developing and improving at a pace!” said Liz.
There are lots more photos of their visit online: (these open in a new window)
OWL Welcomes Harold Tucker, Mayor of Bo.
Since being elected Mayor of Bo at the beginning of 2013 Harold Tucker has continued to promote the close relationship between Bo and Warwick districts. OWL hosted him for a two–week programme in October and November 2013 with visits to schools, council facilities, youth activities and many more. He met the mayors of Warwick District, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth.
In addition to the long–established activities of the link, including the expanded waste–management programme, he is keen to promote cooperation with the Fire and Rescue Service and services for children with disabilities and for the aged.
At OWL’s AGM, Harold spoke warmly of the 30–year relationship between our communities, describing it as not just a link but a partnership. He responded frankly to questions about local government facilities and finance in Bo.
In a reflection on his visit he wrote “It is such a difficult task describing how sad I am to be leaving very kind people like you. But, at least I’m glad that I’m lucky enough to have accomplished something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Read his report...
Maternity link with Sierra Leone
“Sierra Leone is one of the worst places in the world to have a baby. Women have a 1:8 chance of dying as a direct result. We feel it is our responsibility, as world leaders in Health Care, to share our knowledge and skills to improve these statistics.”
The Alexandra Hospital (Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust) has formed a Maternity Health Link with the Lumley Government Hospital in Freetown. The aim of the Link is to improve the maternity services offered in that hospital by providing on–going training and support to the staff working there. Read more about their link.
Doris Frizzel Memorial Park, Bo
Doris Frizzel made a generous legacy to One World Link which has helped to fund many of our recent activities. The biggest single project has been to buy land and build house as a long-term investment. It will be let out to raise steady income for Bo OWL. The area has been named in Doris’s memory and the building was commissioned in a ceremony addressed by Mayor Tucker of Bo City (who visited OWL UK recently – see story above), Mr. Joseph Mundu Bindi, Chairman Bo District Council, and John Archer, Chairman of OWL UK.The first building, Doris Frizzel Memorial Park, Bo
Read the current newsletter
See previous newsletters ..
It’s easy to donate to OWL online
You can now donate to One World Link using CAF bank’s donate system. Click here to make a donation.
OWL Youth Group welcomes visitors from Bo
Four members of the One World Link Youth Group in Bo, Sierra Leone, visited us for two weeks in July. This followed the very succesful trip of 10 Warwick District young people to Bo last year.
Bo OWL youth group and friends in Leamington
This return visit included community work with homeless young people, visits to local link schools, a trip to Parliament to see our MP, as well as a social trip away with British youth group members to the Wye Valley. The video below captures the spirit of the two visits.
The Sierra Leonean visitors recorded their impressions of their visit to the UK – the things and sounds that surprised and interested them:The visitors recorded their impressions
There are many opportunities for people of all ages to get involved with activities with our friends from Bo. If you are interested in getting involved, we are always especially keen on new interested young people, please get in touch with Catherine, our Youth Coordinator – email@example.com.
See more on the Groups page ...
Newsblog - a news digest for Sierra Leone is launched
One World Link has launched ‘Newsblog’, an upgraded digest of news about Sierra Leone scoured from the African press. John Yates, the OWL volunteer who gathers all the news items, intends the digest to be a service for anyone with an interest in Sierra Leone.
John worked with web developer Richard Proffitt to create the new dedicated pages with abstracts and links to the original articles that cover everything from education to economics and sport to sustainability. See the Newsblog
What is Good Aid?
In the second of a series of occasional talks organised by OWL, we welcomed back as guest speaker Mark Poston of DIFD, accompanied this time by Professor Paul Jackson from Birmingham University. Their themes were wide ranging – What is Good Aid? Aspects of Decentralisation, and Post Conflict Development, including Chinese involvement in Africa.
OWL supports waste management in Bo
Bo City Council is at last able to make a start at providing a full waste management service.
Since the civil war, market traders, shops and businesses have gathered their rubbish in large heaps which the council removes with its two serviceable vehicles. They have been unable to use their landfill site because they did not have a digger to manage it. In the centre of Bo an enormous hill of rubbish accumulated over the years and needs to be removed (see the picture below). Families, meanwhile, dispose of their rubbish by either burying or burning it at home.
Bo Council, with technical support from OWL Local Authority Group, are now able to start solving the problem. UNDP are providing rubbish skips, skip lorries, a digger and other equipment to Bo and to another city, Makeni, for a pilot project. Bo's digger has started work and the remaining equipment is due later this year. Managers, operators and mechanics are receiving training from officers from Warwickshire County Council amongst others.
There is also a programme for community leaders so that they can drive a public campaign for the use of the new system. This support is funded by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Bo OWL will be members of the management committee, so the involvement of One World Link will continue as the service becomes established and the problems of waste are eased.
Ebola continues to cause sickness and death in Sierra Leone. To get an idea of what is happening and the measures being taken to combat the disease, see the Minutes of the District Task Force Meeting in Kenema District
OWLTALK: Monday 12 May
We are continually exhorted to give help to developing countries. Charities and NGOs thrive on it and our consciences may be eased. But does aid really help?
Day of the African Child
The visiting teachers presented banners
St Patrick’s school hosted a day of huge fun and a lot of learning for some 500 children from thirteen schools in the Warwick and Leamington area. They joined in drumming, sports, singing and dancing, and heard traditional tales from the visiting Sierra Leonean teachers. On a serious note, they learned of the origin of the International Day of the African Child in commemorating the shooting of school children in Soweto in 1976 and considered the need for schools for children everywhere and whatever their abilities or disabilities. Finally they held a grand parade with banners proclaiming their links with schools in Bo and sang and danced in a great display of exuberant enthusiasm. Read a report...
You are my brother, You are my friend.
You are my sister, Our love should never end.
Waste Management Team plan the next stage in Bo
Following the success of the waste management pilot project in Bo, Glenn Fleet of Warwickshire County Council reports on his return visit to help Bo City Council plan the next stage of waste management.
“In June of this year Derek Greedy and I had a further opportunity to visit Bo for a week to evaluate the usage of the council present landfill sites. We had been asked to look at the two sites that are presently used and have the potential for disposing of Bo City’s waste. The UK Government are paying for this project and are using an NGO called Welt Hungerhilfe and we are supporting them.
A small business making bags from recycled materials
“Another part to the project is supporting small business develop in using recyclable materials. A number businesses applied for support. The support covered small amount for tools, but mainly skills base learning in Marketing and Developing the business. The photograph shows you one of the winning business that make bags out of water bags, that keep the inter bag dry.” Read more ...
The first digital map of Bo City; A 5–way collaboration
OWL's Local Authority group are now working with the Mayor of Bo, Wusu Sannoh, establish a planning system in the city, but first they need an up–to–date plan. John Archer, a planning specialist, visited Bo and soon found himself working with a group at Mercy Hospital who are developing the first digital maps of the city using technology provided by a fourth partner, the US Navy.
The data were then brought to the UK by Rashid Ansumana, Director of Research of the Mercy Hospital team, and the Warwickshire Observatory team demonstrated how the resulting digital maps can be used. They have produced an interactive map which you can download – try turning on and off different layers to reveal and hide details. Read John's report.
This story has a happy prequel; Rashid remembers fondly the OWL link between his primary school (St Francis, Bo) and a school in Warwick district. This must be the ultimate OWL feel–good story!
How to donate to OWL without paying!
Buy goods online and a percentage is donated to OWL – very simple.
Loads of Links
We have added lots of new links relating to Sierra Leone about diamonds, football, art, culture, tourism, schools and more. See the Contacts & Links page
Teaching about Development?
Looking for information about school links, educational resources and teaching materials? Visit our Education pages
Read more about our groups ...