Schools maintain contact despite Ebola
Throughout the Ebola crisis schools here were able to make contact with some of their link teachers by text, sending messages of support and sympathy. We have only heard of the death of one pupil and one teacher. The schools in Bo were closed for 9 months and some buildings have suffered damage due to lack of maintenance.
We cannot imagine how difficult that long period of confinement with little social interaction was like. The whole education system was thrown into turmoil with pupils not able to sit their exams and proceed to the next grade. To read more, see our newsletter...
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
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Day of the African Child
The visiting teachers presented banners
This was a fine June 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.
A difficult year – but with positives
The Chairman’s report for 2014
The problems created by the terrible disease of Ebola have caused a great deal of personal tragedy within Sierra Leone as a whole as well as within Bo itself. Yet our long association yielded positives. For example we had a successful visit from three Bo teachers and the waste project in Bo continues despite the crisis as you can see elsewhere on this page. Read the Chairman’s report ...
It’s easy to donate to One World Link online
You can now donate to OWL using CAF bank’s donate system. Click here to make a donation.
The Clean Streets of Bo
The streets of Bo City are cleaner than ever thanks to their waste management programme in which One World Link and Warwickshire County Council have played a vital role. A photographic report by DFID (UK government aid) shows litter–free streets in all parts of the city. OWL and WCC supported Bo City Council in setting up a pilot project for waste management and now that project has been extended with support from DFID with results that you can see in these pictures. See their report...
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org.
See more on the Groups page ...
The Waste Project continues to grow
Why would a friendship link like One World Link become involved in developing the waste disposal system for the City of Bo? The answer is that we have been able to bring together specialists from our own county with our friends in Bo City Council.
The pilot showed that a skip type of collection service for this community was the right way to go. No real room to have large lorries moving between households, so now Bo's rubbish is collected in skips.
Recycling and re-use are important aspects of the project. Fifteen small local enterprises are now involved in recycling waste and turning it into a profit. They came up with a variety of ideas and were finally chosen for project support in open competitions. Their ideas range from composting waste to making handbags, pots, slippers and bio-charcoal, and even making dolls' houses out of paper waste. A potentially large industry could come from manufacturing pavestones out of waste plastic. Read the latest about this important project...
Recycling aluminium waste into cooking pots
Two speakers came to speak to One World Link and its friends in September. One was Yash Tandon, a distinguished academic, campaigner and international negotiator, and the other was Robert Elliot, a professor of economics at Birmingham University.
The idea of the evening was to give everyone an insight into TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This controversial agreement between the US and the EU is seen by some as the key to unlocking wealth for participating countries, and by others as a license for multinational corporations to dominate governments and the public even more than they already do.
Robert Elliot sketched out all the arguments in favour of free trade – and by extension of TTIP, which aims to remove barriers to trade between the US and Europe. He took us through mainstream economic arguments and evidence for the beneficial effects of free trade.
Yash’s argument is that there is no such thing as economics or economists. Economics as practiced by the likes of Rob, he inferred, was actually just a veil for power. Power is all that matters in these matters – exercise of power and resistance to power.
In answer to the question of what we can do in the face of TTIP and other seemingly inexorable forces, the answer seemed to be to encourage local and small-scale trading initiatives as a bulwark against the multinationals.
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
Read more about our groups ...