One of the most popular posts I have ever put up on this blog was a series of pictures showing exactly where Children of the Nations' ministry site is located in Sierra Leone. I was able to show lots of satellite images of the surrounding area including the villages where our children live. However, the images were actually taken before COTN moved to Banta and so I wasn't able to show you where I live! We can now have a look at an updated version of some of those images. The most recent hydraform construction at COTN is not visible yet though - google can't quite keep up with our community's rapid growth! If you click on the pictures you can get a better look at each.
So we start below by focusing on the southern region of Sierra Leone, Moyamba District to be exact. Find the blue lakes of the Rutile mining operation as that is where we will go next.
On the left of the picture below you get an idea of the scale of the rutile (titanium ore) operation - one of the biggest businesses in the country. The lakes are created to allow the earth to be dredged and the rutile extracted. The brown area on the right is the washing plant of the bauxite (aluminium ore) mine - another big employer. Running through the middle is the Taia river which provides the local community with fish and is a great place for a swim....e-coli notwithstanding... The right side of the shot shows lots of the Upper Banta Chiefdom.
North from the bauxite mine, travelling up the mining road, we have Ngolala.
And there it is - COTN's Ngolala Ministry Site, Ngolala Junction Village and Ngolala Village. This area, particularly Ngolala Junction Village, is continuing to experience rapid growth and so if you travelled with me there tomorrow you would see many more houses than what is pictured below.
Below is Ngolala Village, often called the "Old Town". To the north is the football field, to the east is Pa Kobba's palm plantation and the village of Senehun. Many of the children in our Village Partnership Program in Sierra Leone live in those houses pictured.
Below we have COTN - the community gifted us with 100 acres to use for the care of their children. Along the southern boundary of the property we have the village of Ngolala Junction which is rapidly growing up around us. The land rises fairly steeply up hill from the western end of the property to the road which makes up the eastern boundary.
Below is our main "public" area - in the bottom right, by the road, we have our offices and our medical clinic. In the bottom left we have our primary school which has had three buildings added to it since this picture was taken. These buildings house our science lab, remedial classroom, library and nursery classrooms. In the top left we have our Skills Training Centre and to the right of that we have our secondary school classrooms. In the middle we have our football pitch! We have at least 700 children on this site every day!
And this is where our children live - our Children's Home. In the ten houses in the middle live about 100 children and it is one of my favourite places in the world. Surrounded by our farmland (you can see the piggery buildings on the far left), I stay in the house on the bottom left of the Home's horseshoe although a new building is being put up behind the Home. International staff will move in to that house freeing the current house up for the use of our children. On the top right here you see some of our staff houses. Across the road from this is where our new staff quarters have been built as well as our guesthouse.
So that's where it all happens. Where we raise children who will transform nations!