Report by James Mansaray, Freetown: Today marks three full days since I returned from Kabala. Sorry I could not say a word on this blog about how it all went before today due to fatigue and some other urgent family needs that I had to tend to upon arrival home in Freetown. More over I had to sleep like Simba, our pet dog, to regain my strength. Thanks to Mama Vicki for keeping you informed about my safe return and the likes.
I bring you all greetings from Kabala. The school work is progressing steadily and this time it was all work, work, work. Pa Foday (my father) was busy buying sand from a nearby village whilst I was transporting cement with a pickup truck to the school site. More kids voluntarily came in to help and mama Fatu (my mother) even though sick, was doing the kitchen stuffs to help feed all the workers. Everybody was playing his or her own part to get all the walls and floors done. You can tell from the pictures that more concrete work was done. Each class room took ten bags of cement to get it done - - mixed with broken stone and sand to make it strong.
I had to be around this for a whole week as time is almost there and it won't be too long before schools are open. The kids are all aware of the facts that they will be entering to a new dry structure with nothing like rain to stop them like the previous years when they were all squeezed up in this tiny hut awning. Come September they will be in this new building and am quite sure we all will do our best to finish it before that date.
I had already promised and announced that both Mama Vicki and Fr. Hicks are working hard to so that they witness the grand opening ceremony of this new school. Pa Foday said it would not be fair for them not to be part of it so we are all looking forward to their arrival soon. I wish you all could come and celebrate with this kids.
As of now, they are busy finishing the windows, doors and ceiling before we placed the final coat of paint on it. Indeed it was a dream come true and am proud to say that not a single passerby in that area who won't stop and say thanks for this wonderful work, God bless all those who had contributed to make this a reality. More villagers are happy since the school is not too far from their farms and villages.
I have so much to say on completion of this project. Thanks to you all for making me be part of this wonderful job. Without you guys, it would have been impossible for us to reach this point. Please check the blog and/or photo web album on the website and see the pictures yourself.
I look forward to make the next trip to Kabala to see the structure completed more. God bless you all.
PS it is wonderful news that 43 students will receive uniforms and that worm meds are going to come our way. Thank you and please continue helping us.
St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA
With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.
See our website at www.nazarethhouseap.org
Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.
Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Dr. James Conteh was presented with some of the shipment of medical supplies from Nazareth House via Aleica & Eric Willis of Louisville, Kentucky. More supplies are in process of being shipped. Unicef built a new hospital for him, but he lacks the man power and supplies to run the hospital. Most newly educated doctors leave Salone for higher paying employment in other countries. It is important for us to help him get up and running in his new hospital, just as we are helping our teachers to get supplied and up and running in our new school. Kabala has a new hospital and a new school ....Thank you for your continued support, we are making progress...Please keep it up! Thank you, thank you!
James has met these villagers several times on his trips to Kabala. They have always been very kind to him and he is always happy to provide rice for this beautiful family. The father of the family has promised me to provide some Palm Wine on my next visit. I've never tried it and I'd like to at least taste it - carefully, since I've heard its tremendously potent. (See young boy climbing tree to gather palm nectar for the wine)
The Nazareth House School in Kabala is nearing completion. This past weekend floors were poured in the classrooms. For more photos of this work visit our website and look at the NHA School Page and click on the School Photo Web Album or go directly to the web album at this link http://picasaweb.google.com/nha.prayer/NazarethHouseKabalaSchool MAKE SURE to use the slide show option for greater viewing detail.
Look for a report from James and more details of this weekend in this blog coming soon!!!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I title this “Our” students because these children are as much a part of your life as they are mine. We all make up Nazareth House and through that love and generosity, many students are receiving an education—a hope for a brighter future. Last week I asked James Mansaray (our Nazareth House Director in Sierra Leone) to take pictures of children around Freetown (see previous post below)in their school uniforms so that I could show these traditional outfits to all of you. As the photos that he took arrived into my email inbox, one by one each child captured my heart. I had planned to examine the uniforms to compare them with our design sketches, however, instead I found myself focused on each child’s beautiful face. All of the children are adorable, but one face; one precious smile in particular, seized my undivided attention. It was that of little Josephine Sankoh (pictured to the right), a victim of the RUF—having been attacked with a machete during the war (while only an infant), she flashes the most genuine smile at James as he snaps her image. I am ashamed that I complained my coffee was at proper temperature this morning...sigh.
This is the case of most children in Sierra Leone, they have nothing but are always happy—abundantly grateful for the least bit of attention or the smallest gift.
Our students in Kabala are lacking in clothing. What better way of helping them as we provide them a school building (education in a sheltered structure safe from the weather) but to also provide them with apparel. To promote discipline and enhance the education experience, it is the tradition for the relevant schools in Sierra Leone to dress their children in uniforms - so that all are the same.
As the construction of the building nears completion, it is time to begin making our student’s uniforms. The material will be purchased in either Makeni or Freetown where it is cheaper. Tailors/ Seamstresses in Kabala are ready with their sewing machines to whip up each child’s uniform. This stimulates the local Kabala economy while providing for the need. Nazareth House will cover the cost of labor and material.
We are asking for donations of $25 to provide two (2) uniforms per student. Most of our students wear little more than shredded rags to cover their body, the two uniforms will be alternated to wear throughout the school week.
Your gift of $25 delivers two uniforms to a student (boy or girl). Once received, a photo of the child dressed in your uniform gift will be sent to you along with the child’s name and age.
We are considering the color of red for our NHA School Uniforms.(see sketch above) However, a final decision has not been made as we are also considering using the colors in the National Flag.
All uniforms will have the NHA Logo on them. The girls wearing jumpers and the boys white shirts and shorts. The tailors will make the final decision on design.
James has been in Kabala this past weekend to bring funding for the materials to finish the school. We are extremely close to ending the construction and have already begun to make the desks, secure funding for the uniforms and acquire the learning materials.
The rainy season is upon us and we must work fast and hard to be in the school quickly. Your donations are vital to this project. We are almost there. Please help!
Can you believe it?—you are providing (not only an education) but the building and necessities for these children. What a wonderful offering of love! God bless you.
Donations should be mailed to:
Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
or by using the paypal link of our website nazarethhouseap.org
Saturday, June 21, 2008
PHOTO 1: Rains in Makeni, 2: Heavy Rain in Freetown, 3:Rain in Freetown
Thanks to those who, despite the economy woes in the USA, have placed the less fortunate people above themselves and continue to support Nazareth House Apostolate - the school we are building in Kabala, Sierra Leone is getting closer and closer to completion. We have received over half of the final $3K in funds needed to complete this construction project. Everything and anything you can contribute (no matter how small or big) pushes this great work to its finalization resulting in children receiving life changing education sheltered from the heavy rains in an adequate, safe structure. Rainy Season is in its infant stages presently, rest assured "the water is coming"! Donations are being accepted payable to Nazareth House Apostolate through paypal on our website (see side bar of this blog for link) and by USPS at 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218. Please help to finish this building before the hard, unending rains come within a few short weeks. We are so close!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Report from James Mansaray in Freetown: 17 June 2008
After two weeks of mourning and meditation on the demise of our beloved Nancy in United States and Alimamy in Freetown, Nazareth House Apostolate is looking on the other aspects of our work here in Sierra Leone. Death, nor trials, can take us away for what we have already started, so we always remember and put our then past behind us; focusing on what we are called to do.
In one of our older post on this blog, rice price increase here in Sierra Leone was mentioned and it is with this and from your little support, several bags were purchased and distributed among neighbours and close friends of Nazareth House Apostolate. (Photos: Mammy Barrie with donated rice & Salu Bangura family with their portion of rice assistance) It is impossible to meet all those that are hungry but we always try to do our best around us with the aim of helping more people as time goes on. Thanks to all those who contributed to make this week's distribution happen.
Back at St. Laurence House, it was all success this Weekend for our two young damsels' (Lucy & Ann Marie). They have successfully completed their Primary school education with EXCELLENT grades and now will be entering Junior high school. At the colourful ceremony, it was all smiles for me and Kadijah to see them proudly receive their certificates and prizes. They did not only address this huge crowd representing their class, they sang with the school choir, and also danced in the school's cultural dance troupe displaying their wonderful African skills. I never knew my girls were this good. I was so impressed and wished all of you were here.
Thanks to all of you - especially those who had helped pay their school fees the past years. It would be unfair not to share this joy with you all. I wish I could mention each of your names, but you all take the praise.
You guys are sowing many seeds here. With your support they have come this far and we look forward to see them in Junior high come September.
Ann Marie Parker and Lucy Mansaray, daughters of James and Kadijah Mansaray graduated from the elementary school they attend in Freetown, with honors. They will begin higher education next semester. The celebration of their graduation included dancing, singing and awards received by both girls. The above pictures allow us to join in on the celebrations. We are so proud of these two girls -Lucy wants to become an accountant and Ann Marie, a lawyer. We can certainly use both of these professions in the work of Nazareth House in Sierra Leone.
Roo, as you can see in the photos, is a bit cranky. Unfortunately, he is suffering with a case of internal parasites, i.e. worms. We have sent pumpkin seeds and are seeking help to find adequate pharmaceutical to also send to him.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Have you been to our www.cafepress.com/nazarethhouse online store lately? Check out our tote bags, tee-shirts, coffee mugs, beer steins and more. Make a difference in the lives of those suffering in Sierra Leone while building awareness of Nazareth House in style: for every purchase you make, a portion donation is made directly to Nazareth House Apostolate for the work in Sierra Leone.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Traditional African photo of body in coffin, St. Luke's Church funeral for Alimamy and the huge following of grievers at his funeral and graveside. This is not the usual funeral, Alimamy is given this lavish funeral as a gesture of love and respect for all he has done for the poor and sick in his beloved Salone. Most cannot afford a funeral or definitely not a coffin as nice as this one.