Visit to Guinea
The population of Guinea is around 12.5 million and more than half live in poverty. Of this population, there are around 5.6 million children under the age of 18 in Guinea, with approximately 670,000 of these children growing up without their parents. Only 29% of the population aged 15+ can read and write. And rather than education, around 40 per cent of the children are forced to work, with some involved in dangerous activities such as agriculture and mining.
URBOND is working hard to ensure an education is available to young people in Guinea. Whilst the charity is in the process of building a school in the Republic of Guinea, for the past eight months URBOND have been working with an established school, Ecole d’application in Dubreka, providing extra classes so that children can have a better chance of passing their exams and greater opportunities.
On the 20th December 2019, URBOND paid Ecole d’application a visit. This was an opportunity for URBOND UK officials to meet the teachers and the children for the first time. The whole school was in the process of sitting exams: everyone working in silence. The day’s paper was Geography, History and essay writing. During the visit, URBOND donated pencils, crayons, rubbers, pens, notepads and diaries to both the children and teachers.
Having distributed the study materials, we got down to business. We looked at school improvements, discussed ways in which to progress alongside all the up & coming challenges. We reinforced the working relationship between URBOND and Ecole d’application.
Mr Soumah, one of the senior teachers at the school, said: “I have been here for over 12 years; working with URBOND has given us positive energy and hope for a better future for the children. The support from URBOND has so far been the greatest thing that had happen to our school”.
When asked about the challenges they face, Mr Soumah explained how “teachers prefer working in private schools where they have better pay. Rural areas like Dubreka hasn’t got enough teachers: at worst kids must walk a few kilometers to go to school because there is none close by. Some communities even do local fundraising to supplement a teacher’s salary to motivate him or her to come to their town. We thank URBOND and all the supporters in the UK for the great job they are doing for the less fortunate in the city of Dubreka.”
To see how much this means in these communities makes everything we do worthwhile – and URBOND continues its support here whilst our school is being built. We wish them all the very best with their exams.
Preparing site for construction:
On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd December was the preparation of site for the school construction works. With the help of the locals living in the area, we have managed to clear the land and level the ground ready for construction.
“It is a pleasure to be involved in levelling the land ready for school construction. It is hugely satisfying to know that UK-based organisation URBOND deeply care about the situation of our children, even better to know that a school will be built here in Dubreka that will provide free education and opportunities to our children. Getting involved and supporting this fantastic organisation is the least anyone can do. I will urge everyone in Guinea, UK or wherever you are in the world to lend your support to URBOND and help change lives and provide hope.