I am Tamba Abdulai, the founder of Tamba Abdulai Foundation in Kono district, Sierra Leone. Tamba Abdulai Foundation is a local non-governmental organization (NGO) registered with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children’s Affairs. The NGO’s objectives are to create educational opportunities for children from rural households who lack financial support to attend school and to raise educational awareness among parents to increase school enrollment at the grassroots level.
I founded the organization in 2014, after having had the opportunity to study in the United States under the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange Study Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Upon my return to Sierra Leone, my goal became to create similar educational opportunities for other Sierra Leonean children. Through my support of education in my home district, Kono, I hope to contribute to a future of hope for underserved children, and especially girls, by helping them achieve higher levels of skills, resources, and self-confidence, thereby reducing their vulnerability in a sustainable way.
Since its inception, Tamba Abdulai Foundation supported five cohorts of school children from 15 rural communities over five consecutive academic years, ranging in size from 30 to 97 students, with school fees, uniforms, and supplies. Concurrently, intensive educational awareness campaigns were conducted among parents, promoting the importance of education and discouraging early marriages. In the last five years, school enrollment in these communities has increased, in part as a result of the campaigns and financial support. A total of 110 students have been supported so far, 16 of them during all five years. We diligently track student performance and evaluate their eligibility each academic year. In the 2017/2018 school year, 97% of the total students we supported completed the school year with 88% of all our pupils promoted to a new class.
In the 2018/2019 academic year, a new government has stepped up their educational support by eliminating school fees. As a result of a lesser financial contribution per supported student, in the 2019/2020 academic year, we wish to introduce a new mentorship program for supported and unsupported children and parents in the 15 villages where we operate and increase our advocacy efforts. With the new president's "free education" initiative removing some of the financial barriers, we want to increase our awareness-raising efforts and community education to ensure that all children in these villages are able to enroll in school, especially girls, for whom cultural and traditional barriers to pursuing education still exist.
In order to make the next academic year's program a success by renewing our commitment to existing students, increasing the number of students we support, and expanding our mentorship, awareness-raising, and advocacy activities, we need your help in raising $10,000.
Please consider supporting the Tamba Abdulai Foundation in changing the lives of young girls in Sierra Leone!