The Jimmy Asher Foundation recently returned from an amazing trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone. It had been a lifelong dream for JAF Co-Founder Joseph Maye to visit Sierra Leone. His late father Jimmy Asher Maye had visited Freetown in the 80’s to undertake some community work and had loved it so much that he extended his visit for a year! The stories of Sierra Leone that Joseph heard from his father intrigued him through his growing years, so he finally decided to take a trip there for himself.
Although the visit was personal, Joseph used the opportunity to visit Fatima Preparatory School which JAF have been supporting for the past 2 years with the help of our friends and followers. We’ve collected books, stationery, children’s clothing and other useful goods on their behalf.
JAF have developed a wonderful relationship with the school Founder Zainab Deen, so it was nice to finally visit the school and meet the pupils and staff in person. On arrival at the school, Joseph was met by School Manager Mr. Peters, and a special welcome song was performed by some of the older pupils. Joseph presented Mr. Peters with a laptop for the school office, pre-loaded with programmes to help manage school admin efficiently.
As our Founder made his way through the building, pupils sang, cheered and recited positive quotes on education by famous philosophers. Joseph gave a speech to the children, encouraging them to study well and pledged to continue supporting them through the Foundation. He also distributed more clothing, books and stationery amongst the pupils.
The teachers at Fatima Preparatory School work hard to give the children a high standard of education with minimal resources. Lessons are engaging and a positive attitude to learning is a recurrent theme.
After spending time at Fatima Preparatory, Mr Peters took Joseph to visit their new secondary school - Fatima Polytechnic School for Disadvantaged Children, in Allen Town. Although the building is not yet finished, the school opened in September 2017 with a handful of pupils. In time children from Fatima Preparatory School will move up to Fatima Polytechnic.
On his travels around Freetown, Joseph was introduced to locals at Baw Baw village, adjacent to a fishing beach of the same name, and took some clothing for the babies and children of the small village. He was given a tour of the area and explanation of the dynamics of the village community.
Other notable visits around Freetown included the beautiful River No.2 Beach and the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary where endangered Primates that have often been ill-treated as pets or captured to be sold for bushmeat are rescued and rehabilitated to return back to a safe and natural habitat. The sanctuary also works to protect the natural rainforest environment and provide educational community outreach programmes. Definitely a must see when in Sierra Leone!
For more photos and video of JAF in Sierra Leone, please visit our Instagram page: www.instagram.com/jimmyasherfoundation