Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Top Ten

What are the top ten things that have happened with Children of the Nations – Sierra Leone so far this year that I should be excited about? 



ONE – Solar Power

We now have solar panels on all of our children’s houses and at our school.  This means light at night and charge for phones and laptops!  With a new diesel generator and more solar systems on the way we are feeling pretty good about our ability to keep the lights on! 

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Fatima can study at night!

TWO – Wells

Working with a partner organisation, we are going to see the installation of wells in NINE local villages this year.  Added to the Ngolala Junction well already dug and another we helped repair recently, this all means clean water for an estimated 3,800 people!

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Jack won't have to drink water from an e-coli filled stream!

THREE – New Leadership

We have added FIVE new members to our National Board and ONE new Country Director.  These professional Sierra Leoneans are passionate about what God is doing through this ministry and it has been a joy to see them settle in and plan for the future. 

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that the gifts, talents, experiences and knowledge of more people is being tapped to provide Massah with greater opportunities!

FOUR – House Farms

We have been planning for some time to get the kids in our Children’s Home more involved in growing their own food, to learn lessons about sustainability, work ethic and teamwork.  This planting season we did it!  Each house has their own signposted plot and will enjoy the fruits of their labour come harvest time.

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Patrick will grow up knowing how to provide for himself and that when you work hard you give yourself more of a chance of eating well!


Another way we have helped our kids participate in their own care is through giving our teenagers COTN Money.  Nicknamed “Clarks” after our founders, they then use this at the COTN Shop to buy their basic toiletries and, if they save wisely, other more fun items! 

What's this got to do with raising children?  It helps Hawa learn about budgeting and handling money so that when she is looking after herself in a few years she will be better prepared. 

SIX – Staff Housing

It is not easy for our national staff to live and serve in an area like ours – often far from family and with few amenities.  We are in the midst of building a senior staff quarter which we are hoping will be the first of a number of buildings to provide our staff with a much more comfortable living situation.

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means the staff taking care of Julius will be more motivated to give him their very best!

SEVEN – GO Teachers

Come September we will have THREE international teachers join our school staff for the whole academic year - a wonderful opportunity which will have a really positive impact on the quality of the education we are offering.  The GO Teach program will continue for the next THREE YEARS at least, so if you or someone you know would be interested…you know where to find us!

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Amidu, who works SO HARD at school, will be given more of a chance to do well. 

EIGHT – University Places

Next month two of our girls will travel to Uganda to go to university!  These girls have served COTN for the last year in our GAP program and have earned scholarships.  We are also excited to support a former student of ours who we hired as a student teacher at the start of this year to go to teacher training college.  This will bring us up to a total of FIVE students in college and university – amazing!

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that N'gardy, Susan and Henry step closer to dreams of being able to take care of themselves and their families and gives Hawanatu, Marie and Jacob role-models to look up to and seek to emulate. 

NINE – Spiritual Care

This year there have been so many different opportunities to share Jesus with our communities.  Whether this has been through kids camps, school activities or by praying with and for our Muslim friends and neighbours, it is always exciting to see God at work. We are excited about recent initiatives in our church and bible study programs as well as a newly hired Youth and Children’s Pastor.  Watch this space!

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Becky is learning about how much Jesus loves her EVERY DAY! 

TEN – Mokpangumba School

While we are still far from breaking ground, a lot of the prep work has been done which will allow us to begin work on a school building in the village of Mokpangumba.  We have about 80 kids attending school daily and a really committed teaching team but no building! It is going to be really exciting to see that change!

What's this got to do with raising children?  It means that Maseray will have an opportunity of learning in an environment which will help her excel. 

And Finally... 

Sorry - I needed another point to tell you about the two profoundly deaf boys we were able to secure places for at a specialist school for the hearing impaired.  Through this completely life-changing opportunity they will learn to lip read and will work their way through primary and secondary school!

Okay that was just half a year.  Let's see what the rest of 2013 has in store...

What's this got to do with raising children?  

If you want those children to live out stories which will transform?  



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