Friday, 3 February 2012

Back in the UK and missing my Maronka girls

I am back in the UK now and I am adjusting from 40 degrees to - 4 degrees very very slowly...........I am really enjoying spending time with family & friends and I am keeping in touch with Maronka. Isata and the girls called me last night, it was so lovely to speak to the girls, Mary, Aminata, Christiana, Miriam, Josephine, Sia and Laura and we were giggling together so I feel happier today now.

Here is our latest update........

We now have 44 girls in the safe house and on my last day we took some of the girls out to the market and went for a special lunch of omelette & chips, it was a lovely relaxing afternoon treat, we are all patiently waiting for our drinks....

and guess who I found eating her rice as soon as we got back, FA in true Sierra Leonian style; if you haven't had your rice you haven't eaten, she had just eaten her lunch, fizzy pop and an icelet and she still had room for rice and she is so tiny.

Diana is back in Maronka to volunteer for 3 months, welcome back Diana and we all hope you enjoy your stay with us.

There are many challenges in Maronka during the dry season such as frequent bush fires and the well running dry. The well has been redug and drinking water is now back on, thanks to this man who was lowered on a rope down the well by his companions and then hauled back up again, not a job for the faint hearted I can tell you. Its amazing how much we take for granted in the western world. Every year the farmers burn the land to prepare for planting and this has caused much concern in Maronka as one fire was not attended to properly and it burnt down the mango plantation,  Obai and the community have been working around the village to ensure we stay safe from fire.

Daily clubs after school ; Art & jewellery making, music, current affairs, human rights and drama, they are all very well attended and if they continued into the evening none of the day students would go home at all.

 Art & jewellery making club, jewellery making is very popular with the boys......

Despite the bush fires and temporary lack of water Jane is still with us and has been working hard with ABJ and the Kingfishers class. Jane has introduced Maronka to Chinese New Year and been running the music club with Aminatta. I miss hearing Jane and the girls singing Fambanaye which is a South African song in the language of the Shona, I looked for it on Youtube last night and I could not find a recording quite as good as Jane and our girls.......Jane has so many good ideas, she may have to come back again, we hope she will. Here is Jane doing some reading and phonics work with some of the younger ones.......

The family literacy classes are going from strength to strength in the village, they love role play and learning as much as they can in every lesson, its amazing how quickly everyone is progressing and the commitment they have all shown to learning is tremendous.

The Girls Strength finder project is in its 5th week now and Diana will be starting another group off this week, the girls in the first group have really engaged with the course and are progressing well.

We have had our final trip to the beach this month and much fun was had by all, all the children have now been to the seaside and they are writing about their experience in class.

Now to the biggest event of the year.............please do sign up for this very worthwhile and enjoyable fundraising event

Hoek van Holland to Brussels via Amsterdam outskirts
30th August to 2nd September 2012
Proceeds to benefit Educaid, Sierra Leone 
The trip will start with all cyclists catching the 20.00 train from London, Liverpool Street station to Harwich on Thursday 30th August and boarding the overnight ferry which departs at 23.15. The ferry will arrive in Hoek van Holland at 07.45. Bikes will be unloaded and cycling will start along the coastal route towards Haarlem and then south towards Gouda (80 - 85miles).
On the second day cyclists will ride along picturesque canal paths catching a glimpse of Dutch countryside and sampling delicious food. The second day (75 miles) will end close to Antwerp. The final day will be a short cycle ride (50 miles) into Brussels ending with a celebratory meal before boarding the 17.59 Eurostar arriving in London at 19.03.
A support vehicle will accompany the cyclists throughout the ride as well as a catering vehicle which will carry supplies to sustain cyclists. A ‘Bike Mechanic’ will cycle with the group to support any cyclists requiring maintenance for their bikes. All bikes will be transported to Holland in a van which will be loaded on Wednesday evening in London and will return with the bikes to London after the ride. Bikes can be collected on Monday morning.
In order to raise funds for the project we are asking participants to raise a minimum of £1,000 each in sponsorship and to cover their own costs of £300 per person which will include Eurostar tickets, ferry ticket and cabin, two overnight stays as well as food during the ride.   A limited number of places will be available for full-time students who will be asked to fund 3/4 of their costs and to raise a minimum of £500 in sponsorship. 
With only 50 spaces available don’t miss out on this great opportunity to have lots of fun while supporting EducAid!!! Send your application form and deposit of £200, (cheques payable to ‘EducAid bike ride’) to the address below to reserve your place.
We will arrange for sponsorship donations to be made on-line through Sponsorship forms with gift aid facilities will be available too. 
For further information contact Janet Broadhurst on 07956 423 223 or or in writing to 37 Connaught Gardens London N10 3LD

If you ever do any online shopping, or even if you think you don't (because you might in the process find it is cheap and easy to do so) please do sign up.  We will be most appreciative and you will definitely be making a difference to our work in Sierra Leone.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people, please go to and

You can keep up with the currrent news and activities at the EducAid Face Book website:


  1. fantastic work, the children look so happy. Well done to you all x

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