We raise funds to educate and support children in Africa, principally Liberia. In March 2018 one of our trustees, Mark Chatterton, visited Liberia and reported back below.
Spring 2018, Liberia.
I set off from a snowy Heathrow and arrived in hot and humid Monrovia at 9pm the same evening;the climate was not the only stark contrast as we travelled through the chaotic streets full of overcrowded cars and motorcycles, street traders and failed traffic lights.
My busy schedule had been arranged by our amazing team of three, John, Cletus and Amadu.It is these guys, ably supported by a team of volunteers, who ensure that your precious funds are delivering real benefits to our students.
From my first visit to Matadi school to the final emotional trip to Tapeta (9 hours of treachorous mud roads), I saw first hand the hundreds of children who are attending school every day, directly as a result of SDCF funding. This included Brewerville where a committed teaching staff are educating over 100 of our sponsored children and Eighth Street, a Salesian school where we also have sponsored children.
The overriding impression from my all too short stay in Liberia is that undoubtedly your financial support is directly benefitting hundreds of children and their families; They truly value education and the legacy of Sean is really appreciated. My secondary impression is that there is still so much more we can do, from direct help like providing more books and equipment for the schools to helping with basic sanitation and lighting projects to provide conditions in which children can continue to benefit from school. Finally, the strength, humour and resilience of the Liberian people was apparent in every minute of every day, from our superb team through to every child, parent and grandparent that I met.
It was my privilege to follow in Sean's footsteps as a representative of every SDCF supporter and it makes me even more determined to build further his legacy in Liberia.
(A more detailed report,including an interview with Mark, will be loaded to this site shortly).
SDCF could not achieve any of our aims in Liberia without our fantastic team led by John, Amadu and Cletus. We are hugely grateful for their dedication and efforts!
I first met Sean through his friend Mike Emery. Mike and myself were standing on the campus of the erstwhile St. Patrick’s High School in Monrovia when Sean walked up to see Mike. This was in 1991 and three weeks after meeting him, he (Sean) contacted another friend of ours, Joe Hena, to ask me if I wanted to work on one of the UN WFP food trucks to help distribute essential food items to hungry people. I agreed and joined Sean’s team. He was not only a team builder, he was also a team manager, humanitarian and sporting genius who showed us the way. I saw him organize several sporting events, paid fees and tuition, and did many other humanitarian works. When he was killed in Somalia, we teamed up and our first motto was “Volunteering Like Sean”. We are all unpaid volunteers supporting poor people in vocational and academic education, agriculture/food security, community outreach services, advocacy, human rights awareness-raising, and peacebuilding
Amadu is the Executive Director for the Sean Devereux Education and Agriculture Programme.
I met Sean Devereux in 1991 when I started working with the Don Bosco Rehabilitation Program for Street Children. Sean arrived on campus in a jubilant mood, smiling and joking with the kids in the carpentry workshop later he entered in our office and arranged with us to put together wooden ballot boxes for zonal elections. He awarded the contract to the carpentry workshop pupils to hammer or prepare 1000 pieces of ballot boxes. Sean was the first to introduce democracy during the Liberia civil crisis.
We have recently supported a project to supply solar-powered lanterns to families in Kismayo, Somalia
The fund supplied funds to repair these storm damaged properties in 2017. Tappita is one of the original areas in Liberia where Sean first worked and was very special to him.