By Maddieu A. A. T. Kabbah
Residents of the townships of Gbendembu and Rogbin in the Gbendembu Ngowahun and Sanda Taindaren Chiefdoms, Bombali District, Northern Province were in a jubilant mood over the week as Liz Peloso and Family from Canada presented a forty container load of assorted tools, equipment and text books to GEKO-Sierra Leone for the establishment of vocational skills training and learning resource centres in the two chiefdoms.
Presenting the consignment to GEKO-SL, on behalf of her family and friends, Mrs. Liz Peloso disclosed that the good will gesture was in line with GEKO-SL’s objectives of supporting the educational aspirations of underprivileged youths and children. She said their choice to support the activities of GEKO-SL stemmed from the realization that the organization is one of the few she has come across that works with sincerity and diligence to uplift the status of grassroots communities using simple but sustainable strategies. Mrs. Liz Peloso cited many instances where GEKO-SL had intervened in the past to promote education.
“Since 2011 we have supported one hundred and five orphans and underprivileged children in the two chiefdoms with scholarships that will see them through university,” disclosed, reassuring the gathering that her family and friends will continue to support GEKO-SL in its development drive.
Receiving the consignment, the Associate Director, Mr. Isheka Turay, thanked Mrs. Liz Peloso and the people of Canada for their generosity. He asked that special thanks be conveyed to Gloria and Ed Cardoso who squeezed time out of their tight schedules and spent their financial and other resources to bring the project to fruition. Mr. Turay said that these resource centres are meant for peer teaching where brighter students can help the weaker ones. He expressed the hope that the two resource centres will curb the spate of pupils idling after school.
Additionally, the vocational skills training centres, he said, will provide non-school-going youths the requisite skills in masonry, carpentry, tailoring and the repair and servicing of small engines that would enable them live a life of independence and dignity. Mr. Turay advised the beneficiaries to be steadfast in their educational pursuits, referring to them as the future leaders of their communities and warned them not to misuse the materials provided for them but to use them judiciously. He expressed thanks and appreciation to the Liz Peloso Consulting Incorporated and family friends for supporting GEKO-SL’s educational projects in the Northern Province.
A representative of the parents, Mrs. Fatu Kamara, expressed profound gratitude to GEKO-SL and their supporting partners for creating such an opportunity for their children. She described the project as a privilege which they will help sustain. She said as parents they will work ardently with GEKO-SL to develop their communities.
Speaking on behalf of the heads of schools, the Principal of Gbendembu Baptist Secondary School, Mr. Thomas R. Khanu, expressed thanks and appreciation to GEKO-SL and Liz Peloso and Family for their patriotic gesture. He noted that the gesture was timely, since, according to him, one of the major constraints facing students was the lack of adequate and appropriate text books for the various subjects offered by the schools. Mr. Khanu called on GEKO-SL to lend more support to the centres, especially with computers and accessories and other modern technical aids. He assured GEKO-SL that the centres will be adequately utilized by students, teachers as well as visiting researchers