INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD: THE KADI SESAY GIRLS SECONDARY SCHOOL CREATES A BIG SOLUTION FOR EDUCATION IN SIERRA LEONE
October 11, 2020
_Port Loko, Northern Province, Sierra Leone: Thursday 8 October 2020_
The Kadi Sesay Girls Secondary School, was formally opened by The President of Sierra Leone; H.E Julius Maada Bio. This laudable venture bridges a generational divide between education and development in Sierra Leone. The state of the art facility was funded and built by Mercury International Sl; when it was decided that a girls school was to be the first project endorsed and fully initiated by The President. During the launch, The President was very thankful to Mercury but he wasn’t apologetic about being more thankful to Martin Michael in particular.
In his remarks, The President said that ” the occasion was even more auspicious because the person (Dr. Kadi Sesay) after whom the school was named dared to be and has been unique for her exemplary achievements in academia, her commitment and proficiency in public service, her humility in leadership, her belief in what is right and doing what is right, and her perpetual inspirational presence.
She is a veritable role model for me and for millions of Sierra Leonean boys and girls who believe that they can achieve the seemingly impossible and that ceilings are meant to be broken and barriers are meant to be breached, her assuring presence, counsel, and energy when the odds are stacked against her are the very stuff that success is made of. Her vision of education and for the education of women, in particular, cannot be captured in words. But she represents three things: that the girl child cannot and should no longer accept artificial cultural and other limitations; that education is transformative for women and that an educated woman is an agent of change for herself, her family, her community, and her nation; and that education is an opportunity for the girl child to be better, make her community and her country better, and give back to her country”.
Mercury’s gift to the development of Sierra Leone does not only target education and girls but it meets a global agenda where girls worldwide are encouraged to assert their powers as change-makers. This project amidst global COVID-19 lock- downs and economic instability met it’s structural target in record time. Within 7 months of launching the project to handing over strategically in observance of The International Day of the Girl Child.
This certainly aligns with The United Nations call : ‘Progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face today, and COVID-19 has reinforced many of these gaps. This year, under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, let’s seize the opportunity to be inspired by what adolescent girls see as the change they want, the solutions- big and small- they are leading and demanding across the globe’.
The newly constructed modern state of the art facility with labs; disability friendly bathrooms; resource center and library; solar powered with flowing water among other amenities proves to be a big solution not only to education and development but to social standing and well being for the residents of Port Loko and it’s immediate environs.
Dr. Moinina David Sengeh has said that the first cohort of girls were chosen by a computer system (65% who scored above 300; 25% who scored above 270; and 15% who scored above 230) from all over Port Loko. The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education will work with Teaching Service Commission and all stakeholders to ensure the school gets the right support to be a place for teaching and learning innovation. GoSL will provide furniture, teachers, etc. and take full responsibility of the school now that it’s been handed over to us by Mercury.
During the launch, Mr. Martin Michael said that since its inception in 2006, Mercury International has been synonymous with responsible corporate social responsibility that has delivered on its developmental commitments. From the football, cricket and volleyball playing fields to the wrestling mats; from the surgeon’s table in Freetown, Senegal, Accra and Delhi to classrooms across the country; from scholarships to annual donations to the Ballanta Academy of Music, Milton Margai School for the Blind and the National School for the Deaf and to the home for the Aged, Mercury International has extended its philanthropy to give back to society and contribute meaningfully.
However, we felt that notwithstanding all that we have been doing, we were missing out on leaving a tangible and concrete legacy for our company and the people of our beloved country. The flagship programme of Free Quality Education of the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio gave us that opportunity. We knew as individuals and as a company that there was a need for new schools and classrooms. Since education was now free, we utilized the funds we had allocated to a project that would create a lasting legacy for Mercury but, way more importantly, a project that would create an opportunity for our children – particularly girls – to have the best education possible in the best available classrooms and school.
Therefore, the decision to offer to build 90 classrooms and or equivalent in schools was the easiest decision we have ever had to make as a company. It is, without a doubt, the singular most important decision we have made for our country.
We salute the initiators of this initiative and call on more well meaning Sierra Leoneans to make significant contributions to Sierra Leone so that we can fulfil our promise of leaving no girl behind.