St Margaret’s C of E Junior School
Our advocacy for our link school
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. We act as global advocates for BDEC Messima School and try to help as well as be their friend.
The School Well
Our first act of advocacy was in 2016, when we organised a sponsored water walk to raise funds for a well at BDEC Messima School. Previously, the school had no water, so children had to go into the community for water to drink, missing lessons and learning time. Many of the children in Bo don’t have enough to eat, so water is crucial to them being able to stay hydrated and feel like their tummies are full. On Monday 23rd May 2016, every child at St Margaret's took part in a sponsored Water Walk. They walked the perimeter of our school field carrying 2 litres of bottled water to imagine what it must be like to have to walk to a well to collect clean water every day. By June 10th, over £3500 of sponsor money had been collected - more than enough to build a well in Sierra Leone! Don’t worry, that water wasn’t wasted - at the end of the sponsored walk, it was used to water our flower beds and planters!
The finished well...
Building the well...
The Water Walk to raise money to build the well...
The School Toilet Block
When Mrs Atkins visited Bo in 2018, the toilet block looked like this:
Fortunately, the Sierra Leone Government has since provided the school with a new toilet block, but in July 2021, we were informed that vandals had broken into the block and stolen the sinks.
St Margaret’s were able to send fundraising money to the school so that replacement sinks could be fitted over the summer holidays ready for the pupils’ return to school in September 2021:
Our current act of advocacy is to raise money to pay for new fencing around the school compound. Currently, the school is surrounded by homes and roads, with no fencing separating the school from the local community. Here you can see children at playtime in the school compound with nothing to separate them from the homes opposite – you can see a woman with a bowl of fruit on her head walking home from market behind the children.
Fencing around the school will keep the children safe, but will also help prevent thieves from breaking into the school again. St Margaret’s pupils have suggested some sponsored events that we can hold over the coming weeks and months to try to raise the £2000 funding needed.