New cultural links
Mair Evans and Paul Atkins are in Bo to restore school links and plan for new cultural activities
As 2016 begins, and now that Sierra Leone has been officially declared Ebola free, it is time reconnect with our friends in Bo and to reestablish some of One World Link’s activities there.
It is therefore with a sense of optimism, tinged with reality, that Mair Evans and Paul Atkins are making a trip in January (as this newsletter goes to press they have just arrived safely).
Initially, they will make contact with as many link schools as possible as part of the ‘connecting classrooms’ programme as well to establish the current needs of teachers and to share this with our partner schools the district. They have taken teaching materials with them as well as ideas for shared projects between the institutions with a hope to help them start working together again.
In addition to this, they have a plan to make cultural connections with arts groups and Mair Evans and Paul Atkins are in Bo to restore school links and plan for new cultural activities with an aim to share ideas with similar creative people in the local district in the UK. It is very much an exploratory visit to explore the possibilities and much will depend on the response given the recent crisis and the predicted raw nature of current feelings following the disaster, but it is also a time for rebuilding and artistic expression can be an effective way of helping that process.
Although most of the 16 days will be spent in Bo, it is also hoped that a short time will be spent in Freetown, Makeni and Kenema talking with our friends there. Both Mair and Paul are excited by the visit but understand that the success of their aims will depend on how quickly the country has recovered and picked itself up after the recent Ebola epidemic and realise that although much can be planned, many ideas will only be sowing seeds for the future.