Hello Freedom Tree supporters, friends, and partners!
We are excited this month to highlight another key member of our team on the ground in Sierra Leone, Annie Yeabu Mansaray!
Annie has been partnered with Freedom Tree since the beginning and helps us maintain connections with our education sector – specifically working with the children in the country, and now, our sponsorship programme. She’s offered a bit more insight into her role on the ground.
Hi Annie! Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role when teams from Freedom Tree come to the country?
Hello, my name is Annie Yeabu Mansaray. I am currently heading the child protection sector with New Harvest Ministries, the main organization Freedom Tree partners with here. When teams from Freedom Tree come to Bo, my role is basically to be a help and support to them. When sponsors come, it is my duty to take them around to see or visit a sponsored child if they so desire. I also give updates on some of the activities that have been completed. The team is always eager to know how the children are doing in their social life and academic work in school. If there is any issue on a need-to-know basis, I inform them.
In your opinion, what has the partnership with Freedom Tree done in Sierra Leone over the past few years?
A lot. Sierra Leone is a small country and the illiteracy rate is high. Before, so many kids were unable to go to school because a) either their parents couldn’t afford to send the children to school because of poverty or b) specifically for the girl child, our traditional leaders thought that a girl should not be educated and they should be at home doing household chores and not going to school.
When Freedom Tree came, so many of these children can now go to school. Freedom Tree does not only pay their school fees, but also provide school materials which includes pens, pencils, mathematical sets, exercise books, text books, school bags, uniforms…the list goes on. So in a nutshell, Freedom Tree has helped in promoting education in Sierra Leone, thereby building up the future leaders of our beloved country.
One thing I like about Freedom Tree is that they do not focus on helping children in big town or cities. They also help those in the villages where the road network is so bad and bumpy. So that’s another thing I can say about Freedom Tree.
What is your favourite Freedom Tree story?
I remember when I first visited the village Bomborhun in the Kailahun district. Seeing them for the first time, the children were all so sad. Infact, the road is so deplorable that vehicles do not go through. Motor bikes are their means of transportation. When the children saw our vehicle coming, some of them were running away so fast due to fear. When we stopped by the Chief’s compound, they went to the chief saying thieves had entered the village to take them away. We laughed, as it was so interesting and funny. But now, these kids are transformed. Seeing us now, they will come near the vehicle and we play. So that’s one of my favorite stories.
What do you hope to see change in your country?
I hope that Freedom Tree will continue to help more children in dire need. So many children are out in the streets. Some have no parents, as they may have died during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. I hope to see more children going to school and well catered for. I know there is hope for my country and little by little we are achieving progress.
Stay tuned for new testimonials each month, highlighting the People Movement that is in motion with Freedom Tree! Want to join the movement? Contact Us