2019 has been a very challenging year for the UK Board of trustees and supporters of Ahkom UK and for Ahkom school and Tec Voc, Sierra Leone.
The free education policy initiated by the current government saw many pupils leaving private schools that are located in the most impoverished districts of Sierra Leone (eg Kono) for government assisted schools where benefits of the new policy would be received. Understandably, it's been a case of consideration of financial necessity over considerations of quality tuition.
In Kono, two schools opted to remain private - Ahkom and Save the Children (Diomplor). Growing financial constraint has forced Ahkom to also apply for government assisted status. Diomplor, a well funded Catholic concern, has no such constraints and will remain private.
We have soldiered on, albeit slowly, with the school farm project which, when completed, will provide income that will help towards school costs. Thanks to our Chair, Diana, for her donation of £150 towards this project. Further thanks to the chair for her generous contribution towards maintenance of the classroom roofing; a task that's not been undertaken for years. Thanks also to Hillary for her donation of new volleyball and basketball sets. Much appreciation has been shown by the pupils for this gesture.
Many thanks to Ahkom charity UK, for generously contributing towards the making of much needed school furniture for the school.
In a bid to offset some of these expenditures, Ahkom school organized its first ever fundraising barbecue jump and dance during the Easter period. Unfortunately though not a financial success, the event drew in publicity and participation from a good number of pupils and locals who professed to have had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
A joint ceremony for graduating tec voc trainees and nursery 3 pupils progressing to primary class 1, was also held mid year. The occasion went well and was aired by the popular local eastern radio station.
Senior secondary pupils sat to their WASSCE in April/June. Results of these examinations are due out shortly. Junior secondary school pupils have just finished sitting to their national BECE. Results should be out in August.
We're currently engaged in following up our application for government assisted status.
K. D. Sandi
Ahkom Charity, UK