Lungi village is located south of Bo, just west of Koribundu junction. This village was devastated by the civil war between 1992 and 2002. Rebels occupied it and neighboring villages, terrorizing citizens there and disrupting education for a generation of students. After the war, the community rebuilt as best it could. The parents today, many of whom did not get to go to school, are passionate about giving their own children a better opportunity.
Lungi’s original school consisted of two tiny mud, stick and thatch structures for 6 teachers and 6 classes, serving nearly 200 students. The school leaked terribly during the rainy season, and there were no latrines for the children.
In June 2010, Foothill Technology High School teachers, Cherie Eulau and Melissa Wantz, along with her daughter Megan Wantz, traveled to Sierra Leone and visited the village to meet with the community about their needs for a school.
They were taken by the friendliness and gratitude of the people and by the hope in the eyes of the young school children.
Here is a video Wantz captured of the children singing:
They returned to their Ventura, California, community determined to do whatever they could to see their children educated in a school that is sound, safe and comfortable.
About 35 seniors at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, CA, joined Wantz and Eulau committed to raise $50,000 to build a new school for Lungi.
The fundraising was completed by the end of March, with more than $55, 000 raised in total, and school construction began with groundbreaking ceremonies followed by weeks of clearing land, hand crafting bricks and the actual construction itself.
The school was completed in June and Cherie Eulau and Melissa Wantz, along with their Foothill colleagues Chris Prewitt and Robin Houlahan, attended the Opening Ceremonies on July 24, 2011.