The founder of the Children in Crisis Center near Freetown, Aunty Sento, rescued 12 children during Sierra Leone’s Civil War. Aunty Musu rescued 9 children. In 2000, they joined together and opened the Children in Crisis Primary School, offering free education and shelter to many orphans and others in the Freetown area.
For years, the old stick and zinc pan structure housed a total of 379 students, 208 boys and 171 girls, from preschool through 6th grade, in split half-day sessions. It was stifling hot in the dry season and deafeningly noisy in the rainy season.
Through a dedicated partnership between the Children in Crisis school, Copper Pot Pictures‘ and their “Brownstones to Red Dirt” film project, and Schools for Salone, a new school rose on the grounds in Freetown in 2011.
It was not the easiest project. After experiencing delays and added expense due to difficulties in securing buildable land, Schools for Salone has begun construction for this remarkable school. The land is high on a hill, the soil is rocky and the access road is very bad, but ground breaking ceremonies were held on November 12th, 2010. Foundation excavation and brick making, all by hand, progressed rapidly, and foundations were done and the walls were rising by Jan. 17th, 2011. By early Feb. 2011, the roof was on.
In September, 2011, CopperPot producers Dave LaMattina, Chad Walker and Clay Frost returned to Sierra Leone to attend the grand opening of the school. Here is the video they produced:
Copper Pot Pictures is currently focused on raising money to help the Aunties purchase land adjacent to the school to build a home for the orphaned children. A December 2012 fundraiser in Kansas City brought in about $5,000.
The producers are aslo actively soliciting donors to sponsor students at the Children in Crisis School. For $250 per year, a Donor can provide school fees, books & supplies, uniforms & shoes, plus a small living allowance, so the student can stay in school and not have to drop out to work. When possible, Donors will be assigned a student with similar interests. We hope to be able to send progress reports from the school and occasional letters from their student to each Donor, however, these things can be difficult to arrange in Sierra Leone.
The Student Scholarship program, like our School Construction program, is supervised and managed by Masanga Children’s Fund in Sierra Leone as part of their non-profit mission.