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Through the support of the EU funded ’Betteh Lan Bok’’ (Learning is good!) project of Bo District Council 10-year-old Hawa Lamina has been equipped with a school uniform and learning materials which allow her to attend school without being mocked and stigmatised for her poor background.
10-year-old Hawa Lamina is raised by her widowed mother who finds it extremely difficult to cater for her family of six dependants.
Hawa has been attending the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Primary School, Damballa Town, Selenga Chiefdom, Bo District.
Living in poverty, Hawa in the past was frequently teased and mocked by other pupils, for coming late to school and for her poor school uniform, lack of school shoes, a school bag and learning materials. While in school Hawa often isolated herself from her classmates, for fear of being singled out by others. Recently, she has received support from the Damballa Mothers’ club, which was established by the European Union funded ‘’Betteh Lan Bok’’ project, implemented by Bo District Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and the NGO Peoples’ Development Organization.
The ‘’Betteh Lan Bok’’ project is boosting school enrolment and retention in Sierra Leone's Bo district, breaking traditional barriers to girl child education and identifying vulnerable pupils in targeted communities. Hawa herself has now been supported with a school uniform, shoes, bags, exercise books, and pencils.
“I am so excited by my new school materials and no longer get mocked" says Hawa. "I can now go to school proudly and pay attention in class.’’
According to her teacher Hawa is doing very well. Her ambition is to become a nurse.
Supported with €681,347.00, the project of Bo District Council will run for three years and provide assistance to 1000 excluded and marginalised children (mainly girls). Through teacher training and institutional support to schools, the aim is to significantly raise the percentage of pupils who pass in class exams and public exams.