Empowering Women


Report by Abdulai Sankoh

As the Co-ordinator of the Adonkia Adults’ Educational Trust, which was formally opened by myself on May 18th 2018 and funded by the Alec Russell Educational Trust, I have been privileged to witness the progress a group of vulnerable adults have made in life skills and literacy skills. I have also been privileged to gain their trust and become for many a mentor and confidant. learn more

Meeting Mr Alpha Kallon

I first met Alpha at Heaven Homes School and Orphanage in Joetown, Western Rural Area of Sierra Leone. We kept in touch and I am very glad we did. Alpha is ‘the man on the ground’ for the building of Shieldra School and keeps ARET updated with the progress and needs. In my most recent trip I met up with him in his other role of Principal of the Junior Secondary School at Heaven Homes. One thing that strikes you about Alpha is his very gentle manner with the children many of whom are no stranger to trauma and abuse. The children obviously like and respect their tall, gentle Principal. Perhaps his empathy comes from his own experience as a child in the brutal war.

But here is Alpha who tells his own story. learn more

Visit to Adonkia Community Adults’ Education Class

I was not sure what to expect when we visited the Project. I had thought that perhaps we might slip into a class in action and quietly observe the teaching and learning and  perhaps we would have time to talk with the teachers and pupils. This did not happen. The class room we were directed to seemed quiet.  Perhaps the students were  engrossed in their latest learning. No, they were not. learn more

Abass from ‘The Place in the Forest’

Abass Ahmed Forna.

The first time I went to Rogbonko I had no idea what to expect. A village in the forest off the beaten track? If you came to visit me I would tell you I live in remote rural, somewhat off the beaten track. Being away from busy towns and cities is just fine. Rogbonko was just fine and the people so very friendly. Abass was my host. learn more


Sometimes when I am arranging a trip to Sierra Leone I think, ‘Why spend this money on flights and accommodation? Why don’t you just put these funds into the ARET fund?’ It would make a lot more sense but then communication with Sierra Leone can be as frustrating as trying to send money there and some topics of communication are just too important.  Kemohkai (Kemoh) is just too important. learn more

Shieldra School

I will always think of Shieldra School as ‘the school which started under the mango tree.’

ARET agreed to make funds available to help in the building of a modest school. As this was a concept so unfamiliar to us I was very apprehensive. Communication with the Amputee area near Joetown is not easy but once more we put our trust in the people concerned, Jane, Alpha and Abdulai. Land was acquired and legally became the property of the community. With the help of Abdulai money was transferred and the building began. Alpha ordered materials and supervised the building and kept us updated with photographs but these photographs did not and could not tell the whole story. learn more

Abdulai Sankoh. Ambassador ARET Sierra Leone.

My name is Abdulai Sankoh, I was born in a village called Babara Wallah, in the Lokomasama Chiefdom, Port Loko district in the northern region of Sierra Leone. I belonged to an extended family where typically there are a lot of children and many wives. In such a situation it is quite common for the individual to find him or herself with little or no educational background. At that time, as I was growing up, there was only one primary school in our village and no high school. learn more

The School Under The Mango Tree

Shieldra School Amputee Village

The first blog I ever wrote was given the title of ‘Under the Mango Tree’. It referred to my first visit to Sierra Leone and I wrote of sitting under the mango tree in the village of an evening listening to the chatter and laughter of the community.

ARET recently received an application for funding a seven classroom building in a village called Amputee. The phrase ‘under the mango tree’ came up in the application and I was intrigued. Here the mango tree was not a gathering place for exchanging news and general chat but was a shelter for learning. learn more