29th September, 2014
I updated the bulletin #5 of “Walking Together” in our website.
I placed the English manuscripts of two letters among the articles of the bulletin #5.
One is an annual report from Sr. Elisa Padilla, the Supervisor of the OLG Schools, and the other is a thank you letter form the Principal of the RC Boy’s school.
In addition, we opened <English Page> and <English Blog> in our Website. On <English Page>, we placed the introduction and information of our activities, and <English Blog> is updated reports and letters from foreign countries at any time. Please look at these pages.
26th August, 2014.
An Annual report from Lunsar, Sierra Leone
Sr. Elisa Padilla
Superior of Sierra Leone,
Supervisor of OLG Schools
The new road has been tough but I believe the secret of our success is precisely in the unity and harmony that exist in the group;with in you and ours. “Together we stand” is what President Koroma says to the Sierra Leoneans as he invites us to build a better Sierra Leone. I really appriciate that you are walking together with these Sierra Leoneans.
The presence of the Japanese people continues to be felt at every step, at every corner of our mission. I want to say Thank you to all of you who in spite of the difficulties continue to do your best to help those less fortunate. This year we are about to conclude, we received from Mr. Kanno the sum of
¥ 13,722,000 equivalent to $133,177.82. It is the first year that
sr. Leticia Michiko Negishi is not physically present as God took her away on 1st
November 2013. She answered to the call of the Lord who call her with the
words, “Come, blessed of my Father to receive the crown prepared for you from
all eternity”. At the beginning of the year we were still hopefull that the
technology would be able to bring her back to us but she was ready to meet her
spouse and left us a legacy we are to continue.
It is now our noble task, yours and ours, to make her dream a reality and to continue the work she started. Your contribution was used as follows:
· The feeding program continues in the kindergarten and primary school on daily basis because we believe that the little ones should be guaranteed a plate of rice for the day. It helps them greatly in their development. Towards the end of the academic year, particularly the third term, we decided to extend the feeding program to 100 (one hundred) girls in the secondary school. It was during the academic year that we noticed that the girls coming from distant villages had to walk up to three hours to arrive to school without breakfast ; and to cover the same distance on the way back home. These girls came with empty stomach and occassionally received help from their friends who shared at times the bread they brought to school. Other girls coming from Lunsar but who live in deplorable conditions and who had to sell firewood after school in order to return home with the ingredients to cook for the day also enjoyed the facilities of the meal a day. The beginning of the year and Christmas time are special occassions to eat together all the nearly 3,000 students that come to our schools.
· The teachers also share from this program during Christmas and Easter as we buy for them a bag of rice each, to celebrate with their families. Our schools will not run properly without their help. There are 120 teachers in all of our schools with whom we create a family atmosphere and who work hand in hand with us.
· Scholarships. Some students in the secondary school particularly those that were taught by Sr. Leticia Negishi continued receiving help. Since the performance of three junior students who were to take the BECE (exam at the end of the Junior Secondary School)was very poor, we decided to give them the opportunity to stay in the boarding home. Their performance improved 100% as they had enough food to
eat and they did not have to walk for hours going back home. Other students like Evelyn Faya sat her WASSCE (an examination taken at the end of the senior school and she is waiting now for her results; Kadiatu Kabia is in the final year at Maria Ines Vocational Institute. Jeneba Kabia who is doing nursing she receives not only money for her fees but also a monthly allowance since she is doing her practicals in Freetown and has to pay for transport and feeding. The following students are attending UNIMAK:
o Isatu Salaymatu Thoronka will start the fourth and final year in Business Administration and Management
o Hannah I. Kamara will also start the fourth and final year in Development studies
o Saio Josephine Marah will start the 3rd year in Human Resources Management
o Aminata Kamara will do the 2nd year in Accounting and Finance. She only received half of the fees as the money for the scholarships was exhausted; sharing one scholarship with Mariama I. Kamara who will also start the 2nd year in Diploma in accounting.
· There are some girls attending Maria Ines Junior Secondary School and Maria Ines Vocational Centre that receive help for their studies. Maria Ines was the last school Sr. Leticia was heading as principal. She started the Vocational centre in order to help the women to learn a trade and support their children. Seeing that very few women were interested she thought of constructing the secondary school within the same compound. She thought that if the secondary school girls saw the women learning a trade they will no longer consider the Vocational Centre as a place for drop outs. This year the number of students nearly double. (Will she be doing some promotion from heaven?)
· Even though the Ministry of Education has approved 17 (seventeen) teachers, there are still some that have not been lucky. We continue counting with your great assistance in order to pay their salaries as they patiently wait for the approval. eg experience does not count, they cannot accumulate money for their pension and are not protected by any Union. Yet, they do teach as they see their vocation vital for the development of the country.
· In an attempt to improve the results of the WASSCE students, this means girls that are in the final year of the senior secondary school, we decided to “camp” them in the school, asking them for a symbolic amount to cooperate for their feeding. They lived in the school since the beginning of February up to the end of June when they took their exams.
· We also started the construction of three kindergarten classrooms under the supervision of Sr. Clara Fumiko that will help to give to the children more space to
learn and play. We believe they will be ready for the beginning of next academic year. May be Sr.Shirahata is the one who is waiting to finish the building
· We continue assisting those that are sick and in need of the hospital but unable to pay. Many of them appreciate the fact that the medicine and above all the proper attention is given to them.
· To partly equipped the Chemistry lab constructed last year; particularly with the supply of some of the elements they need for their practicals.
I will never end if I have to mention all that your help can do. Yes, the financial assistance means a lot but above all your continued moral support. To know that you will always be there to pray, suffer and walk with us. Let us ask the Lord to continue blessing all our endeavors so that together we all one day enter heaven to receive the crown promised to those that see Him in the less fortunate.
God bless you,
Thank you letter from the Principal of Roman Catholic Boy’s School in Lunsar
Fr. Emmanuel L. Sesay
Parish Priest for St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Lunsar
July 29 2014
All the member of Walking Together, JAPAN
Greetings from the Parents, Staffs, and Pupils of St. Peter Claver Junior and Senior Primary School, Lunsar Sierra Leone.
I am a priest recently assigned to St. Claver Parish after demise of former Rev. Fr. Richard M. Kamara. I have found your organization giving welfare support to our pupils in the School.
With gratefulness, I write to acknowledge such a wonderful gesture, you are sending towards the feeding of our School Pupils. In truth, it’s quite a laudable act of kindness especially in this our rural under privilege society in which some children are not even sure of complete meal per day, Needless to talk of them coming to School with Breakfast or Lunch.
Indeed your Love brought Joy and Effective in the teaching – learning process.
Therefore, on behalf of parents, staffs and pupils of the School, I most sincerely register my appreciation and thanks to you and all those whose benevolence our children are enjoying.
By information this is the roll of the School for the concluding year 2013 – 2014;
The Junior School closed with a roll of 962 Pupils
The Senior School closed with a roll of 647 Pupils
Total 1,609 Pupils
The support received, coupled with our local contributions affords THREE DAYS COOKING per WEEK, those three days are; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are days of great joy in the School.
Once more I say thank you to all the members of Walking Together and may God bless you abundantl