Summary of Bulletin No.31 of “Walking Together”
Bulletin No. 31 starts with a message from Sr. Shirahata titled “Starting 2021 : To the members of Walking Together”. She expresses her appreciation for the many people who have been worried about the spreading of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone and for the Sierra Leone Charity Jazz Concert last December. Banks have been low on money during the Christmas season, and so they could not receive the funds from Walking Together. Christmas was not as it used to be, but there were still fun times with things that were available. Schools are operating, and Sr. Shirahata celebrated her 79th birthday on November 29th, and is now the oldest.
Following on pages 2-3, is another report from Sr. Shirahata called “From Sierra Leone : Thinking about the disappearing environment” (from Catholic Newspaper, 2020/11/29 edition). The beautiful greenery and nature Sr. Shirahata saw from the plane she boarded 44 years ago, has slowly diminished where it used to cover 70-80% of the country is now down to 50%. Also, Chinese companies have been cutting down trees to produce fuel and have been sending them to Guinea. Although the government shows no concerns for this, COVID-19, or the negative effects on the people and society, Sr. Shirahata states that the people of Sierra Leone are keeping their heads up and have been keeping strong.
On page 3 is “The good by Sr. Negishi” by Maria Ines Fatmata Bangura, Secretary at the Lunsar – Tamagawa Kindergarten. Sr. Negishi supported her with treatment, rehabilitation, and also with college education since she has disabled from an illness she caught when she was in elementary school. With the support, Maria Ines Fatmata Bangura successfully obtained a license in accounting and was able to become who she is today.
In Mariam Kamara’s “To the supporters” （2020/10/30） message, she thanks the supporters for helping her get into N‘Jala University with the support funds and also talks about how hard she worked to pass the National Nursing exam.
On pages 4-5, is “After the Charity Jazz Concert”, a message from guitarist Shinri Tanaka. She talks about how they had to come to host this concert, and her feelings for Africa and African music.
Details about the concert can be found in a report “Sierra Leone support : Charity Jazz Concert in Shimo-Kitazawa” compiled by Walking Together HQ staff, Ayako Yamamoto, on pages 5-6.
On page 7 is “Voices from supporters”, followed by an announcement from HQ, which covers the difficulty sending funds, charity jazz concert, Sr. Yoshida update, and relief supplies.
P1 (left) : Matching ribbons on the day of the school festival
(right) : The very happy Sr. Shirahata teaching music
P2 (top right) : Sr. Shirahata preparing for class after suffering Malaria
P3 (top right) : Sr. Shirahata and Maria Ines Fatmata Bangura
P4 (top left) : Mariam Kamara in training clothes
P5 (top left) : Shinri Tanaka with her guitar
P6 (top left) : Ayako Yamamoto at reception
P8 (top) : Charity Jazz Concert stage
(bottom) : Sr. Shirahata and the children
(Copy:Hiroko Gotoh、 Translation:Ayako Nokuo)