What Image Comes to Your Head When You Hear “Sierra Leone”?

When Hindo Kiposowa and his students from Bumpe High School in rural Bumpe, Sierra Leone enthusiastically joined our pilot last spring, none of us would have anticipated what would be coming. One of the first questions asked by the class at BHS was “Do you know anything about Sierra Leone? Please describe what you know or what you would like to know.” 

Many students who had responded were not aware of the country, while others piped in. Over a short period of time working with Hindo, I came to know a person committed to education and a person determined to empower his students to bring change to the Bumpe community, the country, and the world.

The dream for the school in April 2014 was to have their own computer centre. With this technology, access to resources could be expedited and students and teachers would have a greater connection to the world at their fingertips. Hindo had sent a document outlining his yearly plan to cover a range of topics with his students from: careers, technology, education, health, peace, environment, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and law.

So how were the students in his class engaged on WorldVuze without the computer centre you might ask? It was through the determination of Hindo who worked with his students and on his own time came home and used his own resources to communicate with me to share his students’ questions. Prior to working with us, Hindo has had a long commitment toward global education, working with TakingITGlobal.

If you look up Sierra Leone in Google now, you will be hard pressed to see anything more than news about the Ebola epidemic. Without other connections to this place, will this become the new face of Sierra Leone?

In a recent article posted by the Guardian, it has been cited that there are 20 deaths per day due to Ebola in the country. It is hard to truly grasp what these statistics mean. Where do you find out how people living through this experience are thinking and feeling about it? In order to learn more, we need to first support each other in these most pressing times. If you were in this position instead, I truly believe that a person like Hindo would help you. He and his community are working tirelessly to ensure that the deadly Ebola epidemic does not claim any more lives than it already has.

Hindo and his students are setting up opportunities to connect to their classrooms. If you are interested in learning with them, please find out more by reading Jennifer Klein’s article, Ebola in Bumpe: Connect Your School to Real Grassroots Action. Most importantly, please show your support by donating to their lifesaving educational and sanitation initiatives here!

As a global community, let’s do our part to stop this epidemic. Our hope is that soon, when we bring up Sierra Leone, it will be a new topic of conversation.