Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

American Education Non-profit Has Built 44 Schools Over 19 Years In Sierra Leone

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Schools for Salone (SfS), a Seattle-based education non-profit founded in 2005, has built and opened a new school in Musaia, Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone.

Cross-section of SfS board and partners with the Paramount Chief and Retired Lieutenant General Brima Sesay

The community established the Movement of Faith primary school in Musaia in 2006, but there was no building. Teachers held classes inside the town’s agriculture building, where they kept produce. The commitment to education was there; what was missing was the funds. The Musaia used their makeshift schools for two decades until their fortunes changed.

In 2023, the community approached SfS and appealed for a school. They passed the American non-profit’s needs assessment, and construction began in Musaia.

Six months after the turning of the sod, Cindy Nofziger, SfS Executive Director, was back in Sierra Leone with her team from Washington state to officially open Musaia’s new school building.

New Movement of Faith School Building

The former Peace Corps volunteer and SfS Founder has been making these trips for over two decades. Movement of Faith primary school building is SfS’s forty-sixth building in twenty-one years of service.

As she cut the ribbon on SfS’s latest school, Nofziger reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to expanding access to quality education in Sierra Leone.

Cutting of the ribbon From left to right: Cindy Nofziger, Paramount Chief Manga Sorie Jawara II, and Allison

“Our priority is to ensure that the schools we have built are thriving and well-maintained, especially regarding water wells and latrines.”

The new school building in Musaia is fully furnished with tables, benches, and equipped with solar power panels. SfS also donated learning materials including notebooks, textbooks, pens, pencils, erasers, and chalk.

Before any school is built, local SfS partners check and verify that there is a demonstrated need.

“I visit the community unannounced after they submit their request for a school,” said Clinton Caulker,  program coordinator in the Northern Province.

“I check existing facilities and student attendance.”

Clinton Caulker, program coordinator in the Northern Province

Schools for Salone evaluates the request and considers the community’s readiness. Before a community gets a school from SfS, they must provide the land and agree to support construction. Once the local requirements are met, SfS mobilizes resources from American donors.

Musaia’s school was funded by Howard Langeveld, an American advocate for education.

“I believe education is a gift that lasts a lifetime. My goal is to build 30 schools around the world,” said Langeveld.

“Schools for Salone met all my criteria for building and managing schools and making sure the schools were successful.”

On the school opening day, the entire community was there: students, parents, and traditional leaders.

Praise singer

Parents at the Movement of Faith School Opening Ceremony

Pupils at the Movement of Faith welcome Cindy

Pupils at the Movement of Faith

Movement of Faith Pupils at the school’s opening

“This new building is a significant milestone for our chiefdom and community,” said Paramount Chief Manga Sorie Jawara II.

“A part of the previous building was dilapidated to a point the parents were worried whenever the children sat in it to take classes because they feared the building might fall down.”

Paramount Chief Manga Sorie Jawara II

The unveiling of the Movement of Faith Primary School is a new chapter for Musaia. Children have a safe and comfortable place to learn.

But for Cindy Nofziger and the Schools for Salone team, the demand for new school buildings and learning materials continues to grow fast, so it’s on to the next community.

The foundation and pillars for school number 45 are already going up, financed by American generosity.

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