2020

January – Health Link & Planning visit to Bo
February – AGM for 2019, Teachers visit Bo
Restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns in the UK and Sierra Leone, prevented face-to-face meetings and visits from March to December

January – Health Link and Planning Visit to Bo

February – AGM for 2019, Teachers visit Bo

Restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns in the UK and Sierra Leone, prevented face-to-face meetings and visits from March to December

Newsletter January 2020

January 2020

  • Tribute to the late Maada Fobay, Chairman of Bo OWL
  • Four teachers from Bo visit the UK under the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms scheme
  • Visit to Bo by UK OWL Chairman , Richard Hall, Phil Clarke, WDC planner, and midwife, Helena White.
  • One World Link’s work with Bo City Council was “Highly Commended” by the Commonwealth Association of Planners in its 2019 Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement

Tribute to Alfred Maada Fobay

We are very sad to report the death of Alfred Maada Fobay, Chairman of Bo One World Link.
The shock of Maada’s death hit his family and community in Bo with a huge impact of sorrow and loss. The energy he put into the development of OWL made that loss all the more poignantly felt by his many friends in Warwick and Leamington in the UK, who knew him and admired him so much.

Tribute to Alfred Maada Fobay

Alfred Maada Fobay died in his sleep on Wednesday, 18th December, aged only 52, in Kono. The shock of Maada’s death hit his family and community in Bo with a huge impact of sorrow and loss. But it did not stop there, because the energy Maada put into the development of One World Link , made that sorrow and loss all the more poignantly felt by his many friends in Warwick and Leamington in the UK, who knew him and loved and admired him so much.

Johannes Mallah senior, one of the first OWL chairmen, worked with Maada at BKPS after the war, and recognised his potential in those far off days. Johannes guided him toward One World Link, and we all shared his admiration for this strong and visionary young man. He eventually became Chairman of One World Link and in that role won the respect and appreciation of us all.

Maada was always striving to absorb more information and ideas about development for his community, his country, about global relations and the environment. His vision and activities inspired us all. In the UK we relied on him to guide OWL activities, and the UK approach to development in Sierra Leone. He was quick to contradict us if he thought our ideas inappropriate, and he was also quick to take on new ideas.

The success of some of the projects with which One World Link has become involved, would not have happened without the energy and enthusiasm of Maada, and his guiding hand. Friends in One World Link were so proud of Maada’s involvement with the Waste Management project in Bo, which started from such small beginnings and our joint work. It led to him becoming the Project Leader with a consultancy, taking the project from Bo to three other towns in Sierra Leone and receiving recognition for his achievements outside the country.

We find it hard to believe he is no longer with us. we extend our deepest condolences to all in Bo, and especially to his family.

May God take care of this wonderful man and may his memory inspire us all to work harder for peace and harmony in our world to continue his brilliant work.

See also the press statement issued by UK OWL

June 2019 – a Month to Remember

In June 2019 we welcomed four teachers from Bo; John Sandi, Lucy Amara, Kula Fangawa and Francis Jusu. This was the second part of a British Council funded Connecting Classrooms project. For some of us it was like welcoming old friends, for others the excitement of having a ‘real person’ from Bo in their classrooms, where pupils had been learning about life in Sierra Leone.
The highlight of their visit for us was bringing together 550 children for the Day of the African Child, this year our 10th Anniversary. As usual the children were treated to six workshops throughout the action-packed day and saw the fruits of their labours as their ecobricks were made into a planter.

Bo teachers visit UK and join the Day of the African Child

In June 2019 we welcomed four teachers from Bo; John Sandi, Lucy Amara, Kula Fangawa and Francis Jusu. This was the second part of a British Council funded Connecting Classrooms project. For some of us it was like welcoming old friends, for others the excitement of having a ‘real person’ from Bo in their classrooms, where pupils had been learning about life in Sierra Leone, but now met with that life, face-to-face. Staff and pupils exchanged details about what they had been learning around Global Goal 13: Climate Action and about recycling and reusing waste. Ecobricking had very much become a feature of school life both here and in Bo, thanks to our project.

As well as visiting all 15 of our link schools in Warwick District, the four experienced as much of UK life as we could possibly fit into their three week visit; a trip to the RSC to see The Taming of the Shrew, visits to big cities Birmingham, Coventry and London, time with a foodbank in Leamington learning that not all of the west is affluent, an evening with Songlines Community Choir, spectating county athletics, fun at Ten Pin bowling and meals in many different friends’ homes. Sharing all this was an absolute pleasure for all involved and many of us have cemented professional friendships for life.

The highlight of their visit for us was bringing together 550 children for the Day of the African Child, this year our 10th Anniversary. As usual the children were treated to six workshops throughout the action-packed day.

Our four visitors told West African stories and ran Q&A sessions. Kwame from African Activities helped pupils produce printed fabric using Adinkra Symbols. Children burnt off some energy with dancing, learning an African playground game (Boys Norty) and drumming. Finally, in the huge marquee pupils sung their hearts out and danced to songs such as ‘Tem am tenki’ and ‘You are my brother.’

During the lunch break we fitted in a skype call with Bo where, despite technical problems, we could see lots of Bo school children gathered together at the OWL centre. We then paraded round the field with our banners and flags to the sounds of drumming.

We were delighted to welcome many VIPs, including Hayley Coyne and Mike McPaul from the British Council and Hannah Dixon, the Send My Friend to School campaigns manager. Others were: Bishop John of Warwick, April Gold representing the DBE, Chair of WDC Cllr George Illingworth, Deputy Mayor of Leamington Cllr Susan Rasmussen, Mayor of Warwick Cllr Neale Murphy and John Holland representing our MP Matt Western. They all spoke very highly of the children’s hard work in campaigning on important issues like the environment and children’s right to education – messages which came across powerfully in two pupil-led speeches in the Finale.

The day left no doubt in anyone’s minds that the school partnerships we sustain through OWL do a very powerful job in developing global citizens who care about each other and their planet.

OWL is very grateful to Leamington Town Council and the British Council, without whose funding these events would not have been possible.

Report by Liz Garrett

Day of the African Child - Final Session
Day of the African Child – Final Session

International award for OWL planners

One World Link has been recognised in a major international award for town planning work as “a model for others to follow”.
One World Link’s work was “Highly Commended” by the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in its 2019 Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth announced in Ghana on Saturday 9th November.  Entries for this award were received from around the world but One World Link was the only UK entry to be even shortlisted.

One World Link has been recognised in a major international award for town planning work as “a model for others to follow”.

One World Link’s work was “Highly Commended” by the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in its 2019 Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth announced in Ghana on Saturday 9th November.  Entries for this award were received from around the world but One World Link was the only UK entry to be even shortlisted.

One World Link, the friendship link between Warwick District and the city of Bo in Sierra Leone, has been working with Bo City Council for several years to develop a plan to guide the growth of the city.  Town planners from Warwick and Leamington teamed up with Prince Charles’ Prince’s Foundation and planning consultants Turley to deliver training and support for colleagues in Sierra Leone and have run several joint training workshops to help develop a plan for the city.  

Philip Clarke from One World Link said: “It is a great honour for our work to be recognised in this way.  Bo is currently a city of 175,000 people but, like many middle-sized African cities, is likely to grow massively in the next few years to three times this size by 2045.  Sierra Leone does not have an effective planning system, so developing any type of meaningful plan for the city is challenging to say the least.  We were, however, hugely encouraged by the way that local people in Bo, with no planning training, embraced the ideas behind developing their own plan.  It was really important that the ideas for how Bo should grow should come from them.  Hopefully the recognition from this award will give them further encouragement to take this important work forward.”

One World Link will be travelling to Sierra Leone in January to undertake further training and continue to support this work.

Clive Harridge, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and a Warwickshire resident, presented the Award to Philip Clarke and John Archer at the Town Hall, Leamington Spa and said:

The Commonwealth Association of Planners Awards champion the very best of planning from across the Commonwealth. The Award winners were selected by an eminent independent panel of judges and I am hugely delighted that the work One World Link and its partners have been undertaking in Bo has been Highly Commended.  It was a real privilege for me to present the Award in person to Philip Clarke and John Archer.  The planning work in Bo which is ongoing is of the highest standard and is being used as a model for others to follow across the Commonwealth.”

The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) represents over 40,000 town planners from 28 countries throughout the Commonwealth.  The annual CAP Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth champion the very best examples of planning practice in the Commonwealth.   

One World Link’s work was “Highly Commended” by the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in its 2019 Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth announced in Ghana on Saturday 9th November.  Entries for this award were received from around the world but One World Link was the only UK entry to be even shortlisted.

The photos above show:
– Members of One World Link together with councillors and officers of Bo City Council at the end of the Planning workshop
– Clive Harridge (Secretary-General, Commonwealth Association of Planners and Warwickshire resident) presents the Award certificate to John Archer and Philip Clarke from One World Link at the Town Hall, Leamington Spa.
– Prince Charles with Tom Perry (Prince’s Foundation) and John Archer and Philip Clarke (One World Link) discussing One World Link’s work in Bo

One World Link, the friendship link between Warwick District and the city of Bo in Sierra Leone, has been working with Bo City Council for several years to develop a plan to guide the growth of the city.  Town planners from Warwick and Leamington teamed up with Prince Charles’ Prince’s Foundation and planning consultants Turley to deliver training and support for colleagues in Sierra Leone and have run several joint training workshops to help develop a plan for the city.  

Philip Clarke from One World Link said: “It is a great honour for our work to be recognised in this way.  Bo is currently a city of 175,000 people but, like many middle-sized African cities, is likely to grow massively in the next few years to three times this size by 2045.  Sierra Leone does not have an effective planning system, so developing any type of meaningful plan for the city is challenging to say the least.  We were, however, hugely encouraged by the way that local people in Bo, with no planning training, embraced the ideas behind developing their own plan.  It was really important that the ideas for how Bo should grow should come from them.  Hopefully the recognition from this award will give them further encouragement to take this important work forward.”

One World Link will be travelling to Sierra Leone in January to undertake further training and continue to support this work.

Clive Harridge, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and a Warwickshire resident, presented the Award to Philip Clarke and John Archer at the Town Hall, Leamington Spa and said:

The Commonwealth Association of Planners Awards champion the very best of planning from across the Commonwealth. The Award winners were selected by an eminent independent panel of judges and I am hugely delighted that the work One World Link and its partners have been undertaking in Bo has been Highly Commended.  It was a real privilege for me to present the Award in person to Philip Clarke and John Archer.  The planning work in Bo which is ongoing is of the highest standard and is being used as a model for others to follow across the Commonwealth.”

The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) represents over 40,000 town planners from 28 countries throughout the Commonwealth.  The annual CAP Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth champion the very best examples of planning practice in the Commonwealth.   

Turning Bags to Bricks

Turning Bags to Bricks

The Ecobricks campaign and the waste management project in Bo have featured prominently in the International Solid Waste Association President’s blog, with an article by Alfred Maada Fobay, the Chairman of Bo One World Link. The Ecobricks campaign is the product of the collaboration between schools in the UK and in Bo. The waste management project is a partnership of Bo Council, Welthungerhilfe (a German NGO) and One World Link. The article explains how the actions of schoolchildren are helping the local authority to clean the environment.

New Ecobricks Wine Bar at OWL Centre

Bo OWL have built a wine bar with walls constructed entirely of Ecobricks. It is estimated that some 900 plastic bottles filled with 150kg of plastic waste have gone into the construction. Ecobricks are made by stuffing used plastic bottles tightly with plastic waste that cannot be recycled.

Bo OWL have built a wine bar with walls constructed entirely of Ecobricks.
Ecobricks are made by stuffing used plastic bottles tightly with plastic waste that cannot be recycled. It is estimated that some 900 plastic bottles filled with 150kg of plastic waste have gone into the construction. Schools in Bo have taken up the Ecobricks scheme with great enthusiasm.

Local teachers connecting classrooms with Bo

In February 2019, three teachers from local primary schools took part in a Connecting Classrooms schools exchange programme, visiting and teaching in their linked schools in Bo.
The theme for project work was based around one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Climate Action and they ran a series of workshops focusing on ‘Critical Thinking and Problem Solving’,

Local teachers connecting classrooms with Bo

In February 2019, three teachers from local primary schools, Maureen Greyson of All Saints, Leek Wootton, Louise Letchford of Emscote Infants, Warwick and Helen Newbold of St. Paul’s, Leamington took part in a Connecting Classrooms schools exchange programme, visiting and teaching in their linked schools in Bo.  The team were accompanied by Paul Atkins from the OWL committee.

Although Maureen had considerable experience working in Africa, this was a first time for the other two. It was a challenging experience, working in class sizes of up to 100, in excessive heat and without any of the modern facilities that they are used to. However, this was offset by the welcome and support from their host schools and our long-established friends in Bo. The teachers also ran a series of workshops focusing on ‘Critical Thinking and Problem Solving’, one of the core skills being championed by the British Council who helped fund the trip.

Our theme for the project work was based around one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Climate Action and the workshop looked at ways in which plastic can be reduced and spreading this message to teachers and pupils in the schools in Bo. In addition, a field trip was organised involving two pupils and one teacher from each of the partner schools and they visited a variety of waste management and recycling sites in Bo.

They also managed to see something of the country, visiting a rural community that was the home to our, then chairman, Maada Fobay, where they were welcomed in a most overwhelming manner. For the teachers, this was a life enhancing experience that will have a profound effect on both their personal and professional lives.

A multi-purpose visit to Bo

When Mair Evans and Phil Clarke went to Bo in January-February 2019 they made a lot of visits to good friends of OWL as well as participating in a planning workshop (see News from Bo). They met with: Department for International Development in Freetown, Home Leone project “Destiny Village”, The Chair of Bo District Council, Yemoh Town Clinic and Bo Childrens Hospital. They also linked up with the visiting teachers, visiting linked schools and St Pauls School for the Blind

When Mair Evans and Phil Clarke went to Bo in January-February 2019 they made a lot of visits to good friends of OWL as well as participating in a planning workshop (see News from Bo). They met with:

  • Department for International Development in Freetown who are please with the progress of the waste project
  • Home Leone project “Destiny Village”, a sustainable movement that envisages the end of slum living in Sierra Leone
  • The Chair of Bo District Council, to discuss developments in local government
  • Yemoh Town Clinic and Bo Childrens Hospital, to see the progress they are both making
  • They also linked up with the visiting teachers, visiting linked schools and St Pauls School for the Blind

See their report

OWL-sponsored planning workshop in Bo

Mair Evans and Philip Clarke visited Bo between January and February 2019. The main purpose and focus of the visit was to deliver some further training and support in urban planning for Bo City Council (BCC) as part of the One World Link’s support for the wider work being undertaken on behalf of the Prince’s Foundation “Rapid Urbanisation Toolkit”.

Mair Evans and Philip Clarke visited Bo between January and February 2019. The main purpose and focus of the visit was to deliver some further training and support in urban planning for Bo City Council (BCC) as part of the One World Link’s support for the wider work being undertaken on behalf of the Prince’s Foundation “Rapid Urbanisation Toolkit”.

The aim of the three-day workshop was to:-

  1. Review the SE cluster “consistency” of five Wards in Bo including the Eastern Police barracks and the town expansion area.
  2. Understand and bring together the planned interventions and identification of land for community uses:-
    (A) Within built-up areas and
    (B) On land for possible future expansion.
  3. Identify both short term objectives (quick wins) and longer term strategic objectives for the development of this area.
  4. Map out and prepare action plans to safeguard land for development

See the report on the workshop