PRESS RELEASE: SAFE Foundation to support communities in Sierra Leone Two years after West Africa was declared Ebola-free, the SAFEFoundation visited Sierra Leone and witnessed first-hand how the country is still very muchsuffering the costs of the outbreak. For the first time since the Ebola epidemic hit, SAFE’s charity director Hannah Fitt was ableto visit a primary school in the area of Lumpa, which it has been supporting since 2011, toassess the impacts and what is needed moving forward. While the nation is no longer in a state of emergency, it is clear that it is struggling torecover from the damage caused by a series of disasters. The Ebola outbreak, along with themudslides two years later, has left the Kankaylay Islamic School completely stripped ofresources. They are severely lacking the books, stationary and teaching materials they needto provide the children with a proper education. Where the school previously supplied eachchild with a hot meal every day, the crisis has meant that government money has beendirected elsewhere, so this provision is no longer possible. Some children are now lucky ifthey eat five meals a week. In addition to being hungry, children are arriving to theclassroom exhausted because they don’t have beds to sleep on. The desperate poverty has also led to the school looking after very young infants, divertingattention away from teaching and towards childcare. Six teachers at the school are no longer being paid but are still working six days a week tomake sure the children continue to receive some level of education, with some of themwalking over ten miles each day to get there. The teachers have also resorted to taking insome of the orphans themselves, despite barely having enough to provide for their ownfamilies. It is vital that these teachers receive a salary - this means of living is not sustainablein the long run. With the threat of Ebola gone and it being viable for SAFE to get back out to Sierra Leone,now is the time to start rebuilding and helping get the community back on their feet. Whatcan you do? It is really quite simple. A hot meal to feed a child costs just 40p. An annualsalary for a teacher is only £800. Any contributions can make a difference straight away;within 6 months the results will be tangible and felt by the whole community. But they willalso have an impact long into the future, giving children who have endured horrific eventsthe chance to start again. SAFE is also asking for donations of materials that can be sent over to the school: School resources – exercise books, pencil cases, stationery School bags English dictionaries Craft materials – playdough, plasticine, coloured card Junior level textbooks – English, maths Reading books Resources for walls – alphabet posters, number posters, junior level Adult bikes for the teachers to travel to school Storage units – small drawers, filing cabinets etc Home economics items - cooking supplies, pans, wooden spoons Futons (roll up mattresses) for children to sleep on Sports equipment – balls, bibs, cones First aid – plasters, bandages, antiseptic wash, sanitary products Quotes “We’ve been supporting the school since 2011 and were all shocked at the deprivationwhen we started but having gone back 7 years later after the natural disasters and healthepidemic we’ve been stunned at how seriously they impacted the already desperatesituation. However, I also feel really encouraged that there’s so much we can do and can seevery clearly how we can make a massive difference straight away.” – Hannah Fitt, Directorof the SAFE Foundation “We have met many problems in our country, with the children suffering the most. Ebolakilled many family members and then the mudslides. After, we had many health problemsand now many are left with nothing. We are excited about our work with SAFE because weknow the value and difference it will make: it will give our children the future they deserve.”– Mohammed Bangura, Headteacher of the Kankaylay Islamic School Note to Editors The SAFE Foundation, founded by twin sisters Hannah Fitt and Lucy Dickenson, is a Cardiff-based international development charity. It is committed to helping poor communities indeveloping countries access basic human rights, education and healthcare. In addition, theSAFE Foundation works with vulnerable young people in the UK, helping them to reach theirpotential and reconnect with society and the world. SAFE works with the Kankaylay Islamic School to deliver a programme of education thatfocuses on social skills, decision making and building confidence, as well as highlightingissues of HIV and AIDS, nutritional health and gender equality. SAFE also provides fundingfor the infrastructure of the school and support 25 orphans who are most in need.