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Latest News from Waterloo Schools Charity

Mr. Kenneth Kromanty, who was for many years the headmaster of Peninsula Junior Secondary School, has now returned to Waterloo and has agreed to take on the role of Trustee for us, working closely with our Trustee Mr. Morlai Kamara. Kenneth has just sent us a report describing the dreadful effect of the Ebola epidemic at the schools:

... I returned to Waterloo in February this year with mixed feelings. Feelings bordering on negative anticipation, expectations as well as hope; given the devastating effect of the ebola epidemic on the country.

I immediately visited the schools to see how they were affected in terms of their infrastructure, teaching staff and pupils; focusing on how these institutions are coping with the challenges, post ebola. I realized that like all government institutions the schools too were affected by the devastation the virus caused on the country’s development and the attendant effect on the people. Most marked was an exacerbation on poverty levels and susceptibility of the children, youth and women.

To contain the spread of the disease, the schools were closed down and temporarily used by security, medical and non-governmental organisations personnel, to quarantine communities and treat affected patients. Consequently, the schools lost property and suffered infrastructural damage. Lives were lost across the country and some pupils of the schools too were not spared. Some of them were orphaned as they lost their parents. Fortunately, no teachers’ life was lost even though two lost their spouses.

But against this background of desperation and despondency, I realized an emerging sense of hope and self-belief among the pupils and teachers...

As we told you recently, the charity has helped to rectify the damage caused during the Ebola period. We have repainted the primary school, supplied 50 desks made by local craftsmen and also installed security bars on the nursery school veranda. All of these were requested by the staff there and you have made this possible. We thank you for your continued support.

On 2nd July at St. Peter’s Church, Inkberrow, the TARANTARA MIXED VOICE CHOIR raised a staggering £570.00 for Waterloo Schools Charity and a similar amount for the church roof fund. Our sincere thanks go to the members of the choir and to Richard Savage who organised this enjoyable evening.

We are very pleased to introduce you to Eku Williams, Raymond Parsons and Christopher Cole. These three young men are recipients of the LAURIE READ BURSARY to enable them to complete their degrees at Fourah Bay University in Freetown and their testimonies are here for you to read. We believe that education is the only way forward for countries like Sierra Leone. If you would like to know more about setting up a bursary, please email Sue at

Kenneth Kromanty has recently reported that the socio-economic situation in Sierra Leone is now dire due to many adverse factors including the aftermath of Ebola.

... The average citizen is finding it difficult to make ends meet. The value of the local currency is at an all time low against the dollar and this has gravely affected the prices of commodities in the market. So the citizens purchasing power of such goods is grossly reduced...

As a result there is less food on the table and many children at the school bring an empty lunchbox. For this reason the Charity has decided to allocate a LUNCH SUPPLEMENT for the Nursery School children because it is at this young age that they need good nourishment. We will keep you updated on this programme.

It is your continuing support by standing order that enables us to continue to help the children at Waterloo Schools and we thank you all so much. If you haven’t already set up a standing order, perhaps you could consider just £5 per month, which makes a huge difference.

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Welcome to Waterloo Schools Charity

Forty years ago Laurie Read, founder of the Charity, worked as a teacher in Sierra Leone before returning to the UK to take up medicine. His love for this little African country never left him. At that time, newly independent Sierra Leone was developing and full of promise for the future.

However, the subsequent years of dictatorship and civil war brought the country to its knees and made it difficult for Laurie to keep in touch. Upon retiring from the NHS in 2005 he and his wife, Sue, made a visit to Sierra Leone to see whether he could work there as a surgeon. It also gave Laurie a chance to visit the Peninsula Secondary School where he had been principal and had taught science so many years earlier. He was horrified by what he found. As a direct result of that visit Waterloo Schools Charity was founded in 2005 and its aim is to co-operate with the people of Waterloo in restoring and developing nursery, primary and secondary school education.

Sadly, Laurie Read passed away in 2014 but his legacy lives on through the efforts of a committed group of trustees, here and in Sierra Leone, and ably led by Sue Read.  Thanks also go to our dedicated and hardworking team of fundraisers and all our donors who give so generously.

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