We led a project to rehabilitate the Regent Rural Primary School in Sierra Leone.
Regent is situated in the heart of the five mountain villages and has potential growth as its periphery has become very attractive to people who are trying to move away from the already congested city of Freetown. It is seven miles from the city centre. Being mountainous it experiences very heavy rainfall, fresh breezes and lush green vegetation. It supplies Freetown with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Regent Village, was founded in 1812 for the resettlement of freed slaves. Today Regent is a melting pot with a population of about five thousand. The main livelihood is agriculture and vegetable gardening.
The Regent Rural Primary School was founded by the Church Missionary Society of England in 1816. It has a student population of about 450. English is the medium of communication in the school. There are fifteen teachers. The condition of the school building is in a state of disrepair. The roof is leaking copiously; teaching and learning materials are easily damaged. The school building has not been refurbished for over twenty years and things are going from bad to worse. The desks and chairs need to be replaced.
The Main Building
The main building is in dire need of renovations. It needs to be painted, the floors need to be done, and new windows must be installed. The roofing C.I. sheets need to be replaced, new doors are required, and the entire electrical system needs to be done.
The Toilet Building
There currently is no toilet facilities at all. The pupils have to use the bush.
The New Home Economic Centre
This centre has to be built from the ground up. With this centre the teacher will use it as a teaching centre for computing, arts & crafts, cooking and dress making. The resource centre is a must in this age of globalization.
The Water Supply
There is a need for a reliable water supply to the school.
Supporting this project will take the Regent Rural Primary School from its present predicament into the twenty-first century. As of Summer 2011, the renovation work is progressing smoothly. Here are some pictures of our progress so far!
After having refurbished the Regent Primary School floors, walls and doors, we noticed that the students’ desks and chairs were in extreme disrepair. The desks were old and cracked, the chairs had missing backs and there were not enough desks and chairs for all students to sit properly – those who came late to class had to sit on the floor.
In March of 2013 Fort William Rotary, its Satellite Club, and Nipigon Rotary Club collaborated and signed the contract with Freetown Rotary in Sierra Leone to start building 350 new desks and chairs for Regent Rural Education and Committee School in Freetown. Our donation of $4224 US was doubled to $8875 by a Matching Grant from our Rotary District 5580.
A local carpenter built the 200 single desks and 150 double desks for 450 students. The wood used was cut legally from the local surrounding forest.
The progress of this project had some unforeseeable, unavoidable, uncontrollable challenges in that the Ebola Virus epidemic occurred from the fall of 2014 through the winter of 2015. Schools were closed, children were quarantined and there were many deaths. Communication was difficult at best. Fortunately the epidemic was contained and the dedicated Freetown Rotarians facilitated the completion of the building of the desks and chairs in October of 2015.
We now have a vibrant group of Regent School students with proper and sufficient desks and chairs. This will prevent overcrowding, enhance better learning and promote a positive feeling when going to school.
You can see pictures of the refurbished school in the Photo Album section of our website, by clicking this link.