Distribution of face masks at schools in Freetown highlights the values of cooperation and love
Living Values Education - Sierra Leone (LVE-SL) joined the National Civic Education and Development in creating awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world in general and in Sierra Leone in particular. Our main purpose was to educate school children and teachers about the values of cooperation and love in the prevention of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone - cooperation in complying with what the health experts advised the public to do (wearing face masks) and love in abiding by the law of social distancing. It is through cooperation and love that we will prevent transferring the virus to others. If we all cooperate, and love ourselves, others and the country, we can together defeat COVID-19.
During a number of weeks, from 5 October (the day schools reopened), members of LVE-SL visited several schools in the East end of the capital city of Freetown to distribute face masks along with T-shirts carrying the association’s logo. In each school pupils and teachers were assembled for a presentation about the use of face masks and about social distancing, encouraging all to use the values of cooperation and love in the fight against COVID-19. Photographers from Sierra Leone Broadcasting Company (SLBC) covered the presentation, and it was aired on national television the same day under the programme ‘The Podium’.
1. Bishop Johnson Memorial School (Junior and Senior Secondary School)
2. Ansarul Islamic Junior and Senior Secondary School
3. Henry Ferguson Junior and Senior Secondary School
4. Yamakai Comprehensive Junior Secondary School
Principals, teachers and pupils at the schools we visited appreciated our gesture and responded positively. At first the school's administration and pupils thought it was the government that had sent us. We explained that the programme was funded by members of LVE-SL in collaboration with Sierra Leone’s National Council for Civic Education. Some of the schools highlighted the importance of teaching values to pupils in school and at home. They were amazed that they already have such values within themselves that can be used to create a positive outcome in any situation. The visits ended with votes of thanks and appreciation from schools, and some teachers willingly gave their names to join LVE-SL.
RECOMMENDATIONS from the schools:
- Principals recommended that Values Based Education should be introduced in their schools
- LVE-SL should cater for schools throughout Sierra Leone
- LVE-SL should educate staff and pupils about the use of face masks in schools throughout Sierra Leone
Report faithfully written by Sheka Conteh, Secretary General, Living Values Education - Sierra Leone
The history of LVE in Sierra Leone dates back to 2004 when a few teachers were given a training workshop by Mr. Alhaji Kamara, a Sierra Leonean who had travelled from Banjul, the Gambia, where he had been trained in LVE. A Focal Point for LVE was appointed a few years later but for various reasons activities tailed off until ….
In November 2019 a group of teachers met Mr. Alhaji Kamara and shared information about Living Values Education that one of them had come across on the internet. Mr. Kamara told them he had been trained in the Gambia but had encountered problems in establishing an association that could fulfil his vision for LVE in Sierra Leone. With enthusiasm, the teachers offered their cooperation and asked him to conduct a training workshop for them. This was the beginning of a new chapter for LVE in the country!
On 7-8 November 2019, educator workshops were conducted, sponsored jointly by the participating teachers and Alhaji Kamara. This was followed on 29 November by a workshop for teachers from a number of different schools that was sponsored by the participants and a new executive group of teachers who helped conduct the workshop. At the end of the day, all felt inspired to put into practice what they had learned and experienced and the group got together and established Living Values Education Sierra Leone, a Community Based Organisation (CBO) that has been registered with the Freetown City Council and now applied for membership of ALIVE. LVE is on the move again in Sierra Leone!
Above: Executive committee, Living Values Education Sierra Leone
Active listening exercise by the executive committee of Living Values Education Sierra Leone, November 2019