Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

GAGA Project - Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country coming back from a difficult past. With the recent Ebola Crisis, there is still a long road ahead for Sierra Leone to reach it's full potential. In connection with partner organisations GAGA is working to make small differences in the Freetown area.

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We realise that Sierra Leone is a country and not simply a project, but we continue to work in the Freetown area of Sierra Leone under the direction and guidance of Alan Wolstencroft, Vice Chairman of the GAGA trustees. Alan has a wealth of experience and involvment in Sierra Leone, has raised a large amount of funds for schools there and achieved many things. With Alan as our contact and using his established network, we have completed joint projects there. At the end of 2014, GAGA UK provided £1000 to help teacher's through the Ebola Crisis. The schools were closed for 7 months, and without fees being paid, the teachers could not receive a salary. These funds helped the teachers greatly during this time, when many were losing work or lost the bread winners of their family and had no source of income to sustain their families. In Sierra Leone alone, around 4000 people died due to Ebola. The country and region needs to remain vigilant in the upcoming months, and problems caused by the crisis will persist for some time yet.

Alan’s guidance and on the ground knowledge gives us a great deal of accountability and transparency which is very important to GAGA, Alan and all those who support us. Our work still has a heavy focus in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa but living up to our namesake we are starting to branch out in other countries with the aim of ‘making a difference’ across Africa.  Very often we are only a part funder of projects in Sierra Leone, but over time our contributions have seen very worthwhile projects completed.

Because of this we have decided to give Sierra Leone a special section on our website. Here you will be able to see what we are currently doing or have already achieved with our partners.

Click on the Project News tab above, to find out the latest from Alan and projects in Sierra Leone.

How it all began - Christian Hope School, Kissy, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Christian Hope School, Free Town, Sierra LeonneIn November 2005 our Trustee Alan visited Sierra Leone for 11 days as a Rotary volunteer for the Charity Mercy Ships. The Rotary volunteers were funding and helping build a hostel at the Aberdeen West Africa Fistula Clinic on the outskirts of Freetown. Alan has since returned to Sierra Leone numerous times, working on Mercy Ships projects on his second and fourth trips, but he has also “branched out” and personally taken on 3 school projects in Freetown. 

On his first trip to Freetown, Alan and his Rotary colleagues visited Christian Hope Primary School. This school caters for 280 primary age children with an average of 40 per class but has no running water or electricity. On his return to the UK, Alan formed a “twinning” between his Bishop Carpenter primary school near Banbury and Christian Hope. 

In January 2007, his third trip, Alan gave a personal undertaking that he would fund the building of a 6 classroom extension at Christian Hope School. The majority of the work was completed by June 2009 and the extension was officially opened during Alan’s sixth trip. The finishing touches were undertaken after Alan’s return to the UK, but he also agreed that he would pay to refurbish the original classrooms in need of re-painting and work to the ceilings and floors. This took place over the next few months and was completed in April 2010. 

Christian Hope is situated at the top of a hill and a great deal of groundwork was needed. As the photographs show, there is an area uChristian Hope School - pupilsnderneath the classrooms that  could be converted into a meeting room/assembly hall. Alan had a costing for this but decided that he wanted to hold off for a time and monitor events at the school rather than just be regarded as a “money tap”. He therefore looked for another project to focus on in the short term. 

On his trips to Sierra Leone, Alan, like all the other Rotary teams, is met at the airport by Pastor Mark from Lunghi. He ensures that the Rotary teams get through the airport system and get to their transfer point for the onward journey into Freetown with as little hassle as possible, and Pastor Mark and Alan have become really good friends.

The children in the Calvary Community at Lunghi (near the international airport) were being taught in the church hall, which is used for many other things and is therefore not ideal, and after a meeting with Pastor Mark at the site Alan agreed to fCalvary Lungi pupilsund the building of the Calvary Community School at Lunghi. The work began in September 2009 and was completed in November 2010. As well as four classrooms, there is also a small toilet block and electricity. 


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