On February 2, 2021, Yvette George of the Bo, Sierra Leone Rotary Club and Bill Krist, (Director of International Services) of the Rotary Club of West Springfield, Virginia spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about an International Project in Bo, Sierra Leone concerning the promoting of education in the Bo area. Pictured above from left to right are Yvette George and Bill Krist.
Yvette explained that both the Rotary Club of Bo and the Rotary Club of West Springfield worked together on the project that had the primary goal of making a long-term, measurable and sustainable difference in the quality of education in the Bo area. They project focused on the following:
  • Focus on three primary schools in the Bo area.
  • Send seven teachers for three year training to Njala University.
  • Provide the three schools with sophisticated latrines.
  • Install a basic solar power system in the schools to provide energy to lighting and cell phone charging stations.
  • Provide furniture to each school, including tables, chairs, and blackboards.
  • Provide school supplies including books, paper, pencils and book bags for each student each year.
  • Provide hand washing stations as well as a nurse to provide ongoing training in health and sanitation in each school.
The cell phone charging stations were set up to allow customers to pay for charging their phones so as to create a revenue stream for the schools that would provide maintenance and other needs over a long period of time. Because the project ran into some obstacles along the way (explained below) some additional Rotary Clubs were pulled in to provide additional funding when needed, Three of the obstacles were:
  • A concrete bridge had to be installed over a river in order to get the construction materials to the three Bo villages.
  • One of the schools had to be completely rebuilt.
  • New community wells had to be built.
The total of the original Grant was $101,000 where $25,000 was put up by the Rotary Club of West Springfield, $25,000 was put up from District Grant funds and Rotary International matched both the clubs funds and the districts funds and the remaining $1,000 came from individual Rotary members. The project was quite successful as can be seen from the photos below:
Three Teachers to Njala University
The Finished Latrines:
The Old and New Bridge:
Solar Energy and  Classroom Lighting
Barlie's (Local Village) New School
The Carpenter's Shop and School Furniture
Hand Washing Class and New Well
A photo of the people attending today's meeting can be seen below: