ChildFund in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Government of Sierra Leone has launched a USD 1,555,000 (One Million Five Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand Dollar) education project to increase access to secondary school education for 3,300 out-of-school children in the Western Area of Sierra Leone.

It is a three-year project which will run from April 2023 to December 2025 and will be implemented by ChildFund Sierra Leone in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School (MBSSE) in 6 schools in the Western Urban and Rural Districts.

While delivering her keynote address on behalf of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Deputy Minister 1, Emily Grogra, applauded KOICA for supporting President Bio’s flagship program, noting that KOICA has for decades been supporting Sierra Leone’s educational sector adding that South Korea and Sierra Leone have had a long agreement spanning for more than 38 years, noting that the Project is an outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sierra Leone and Korea, which is to support and fund Sierra Leone’s education sector.

She stated that President Bio places a premium on human capital development, so the KOICA and ChildFund intervention is a step in the right direction.

She concluded that the 6 schools that are due to be constructed in the Western Area will help return a lot of dropped-out girls and urged all stakeholders in the educational sector to come together and build a sustainable Sierra Leone.

“Lockdowns and school closures due to COVID-19 have hit girls’ education particularly hard and threatened to roll back years of progress,” she concluded.

The Country Director, ChildFund Sierra Leone, Victor Kamara, stated that the project is geared towards the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and the government’s National Policy on Radical Inclusion in Schools.

He continued that the project is geared towards ensuring that out-of-school girls are supported to continue their education and that communities are meaningfully engaged in the protection of marginalized children and enrolling them in school.

The Country Director noted that the project also aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, adding that it also aims at increasing access to secondary school education for 3,000 children living in marginalized areas.
He ended by thanking the project donors like KOICA, ChildFund Korea, and ChildFund International for their unflinching support.

Deputy Director of, KOICA office in Nigeria, Hye Song Park, commended the activities undertaken by ChildFund Sierra Leone.

“For the first time in history, KOICA is funding a project in Sierra Leone through ChildFund Korea. This is a great opportunity for us as partners in this project to be able to contribute towards Sierra Leone’s development, especially in the area of education,” says Jaeun Nam.

She mentioned that the importance of the project cannot be overemphasized, as every child has the right to a safe, formal, quality education and access to lifelong learning.

She however emphasized that due to a combination of factors, many girls are forced to leave school while others never have the opportunity to attend in the first place.

In a statement from the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Sorie Turay applauded the initiation of the Project.

He added that teachers are very much important in the execution of such projects and noted that all the time donors and stakeholders are much more concerned about the support of children, leaving the teachers who are the drivers of the project.

The Board Chairman, of Government Rokel Secondary School, Justice Musu Kamara, also commended KOICA and ChildFund for such support and encouraged the donors to fund more educational projects.

She said the project serves as a morale booster to teachers and pleaded that such projects are to be established all across the country.

The launch attracted stakeholders in the education sector, principals of selected schools, and members of the Fourth Estate.

Childfund is an organization that promotes societies whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting, and advancing the worth and rights of children.