As hardship hits Sierra Leone, Kabala Blind School in desperate need of help

Kabala school

“If you don’t help us, be ready to see us in the streets or prepare to bury us soon” Student Saio

By Abdul M Jalloh in Kabala

The Kabala School for the Blind is located at Katombo 2 village, three miles from Kabala town in the north. The school serves as a hostel for hundreds of visually impaired or blind community members from Koinadugu and Falaba districts and other parts of the country. The school lacked basic facilities to make it conducive for learning or even living there.

Emmanuel Amidu Mansaray, Head Teacher of the school, expressed dissatisfaction over the numerous challenges his school is facing. He said the only vehicle they had, stopped working over three years now, making life very difficult for the blind kids staying outside the school and those attending schools in Kabala town to commute. Mansaray said, the Vehicle needs ten million Leones to be fixed but that challenge is like ‘squeezing water from stone’.

Other constraints facing the school, he added, are; lack of a library, teaching and learning materials, late disbursement of subvention, no fence to ensure security, not enough clothing and shelter, insufficient staff quarters, lack of better access to medical services among others. Mr. Mansaray however spoke about his accomplishments as head teacher including the construction of hostels with support from Peter Bayukun Conteh and friends from Italy, securing a second vehicle though faulty, building a staff quarter with support from Nasarah and U.M.C., construction of a water well, kitchen, and the provision of teaching and learning Materials.

The Matron and care taker of the school, Aminata Sawdatu Njai, said, the blind children used to be fed there times a day, but now only gets food irregular less nutritious meals. “We used to feed them three times, enjoy electricity and water supply, but all of that stopped. How can we survive such a desperate situation, she asked? She described their current plight like living in hell while still breathing on earth.

One of the school pupils residing in the hostel, but attending school in Kabala, Saio Marah said, her aim of going to school is to be empowered to become a model in society. She said, she walks to school daily and usually faces discrimination from among her colleagues.

“We need soap, clothes, typewriters, teaching and learning materials, and other basic social amenities. We are sick and tired of this usual suffering. If you don’t help us urgently, prepare to hear our constant knocks on your doors or get ready to bury us all soon” Saio said.

She added that, other pressing things they need are; tape recorders, teaching and learning materials, dining hall, a fence to feel secure as thieves regularly break into their hostels to steal whatever they can find.

Francis Mara, a grade five pupil of the Kabala school for the blind noted problems of inadequate classrooms, food, transportation and others are affecting them so hard that, some of his colleagues have dropped out of school and some aren’t motivated to go to school anymore.

A former Pupil of the school, Isha Kumba Koroma, said she stopped schooling in S.S.S. 3 (senior high school level) due to numerous challenges and now decides to learn soap making help herself.

She re-echoed her ordeals of walking daily to school at the Kabala Secondary School and the sorrow of falling into gutters and the constant discrimination she faced from different people. She called on all to help the school because they are also part of society who are also voters.

Mountain Wanes News made a phone call to the current council chairman of the Koinadugu district council, Lawrence Teteh Kargbo, who said such challenges were not to his notice due to the numerous requests on his desk. He promised to do his best to address some of the concerns raised by the school pupils and officials and encouraged others from the district to assist them reduce their suffering.

As hardship hits Sierra Leone, Kabala Blind School in desperate need of help
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