Thursday, September 6, 2007

Please see the posts below for background information on the Sierra Leone project, funding, and school twinning.

In Memory Of Dora
This morning my heart was broken to learn of the death of Dora Tullah, daughter of Bassay, sister of Michael, predeceased by her mother. Dora was a delightfully charming child with an infectious sense of humour. She had recently left Mapaki to live with relatives in a bigger town, where she took ill and died. Dora's death follows that of Margaret Conteh, primary school teacher, adult literacy worker, mother, and only female teacher in the chiefdom, whom I had hoped to work closely with. The deep sadness I feel about these deaths is tempered with some bitterness as I think about their senselessness. It seems that every time I hear news from Mapaki, I hear of another death. This reflects, I suppose, the fact that despite its rich natural resources Sierra Leone has one of the highest mortality rates in the world, especially for infants and mothers. As I think about the people I've come to know and love, I also reflect on the structures that have created and maintain this state of affairs, which we all have a role in addressing (see global issues link). I also realize how crucial it is to take a holistic approach to the work we do, linking health, education, agriculture, trade, global relations, etc. One of my first stops will be to see Theresa, the village health worker. Take a detailed look at Sierra Leone's standing (second last) in the United Nations Human Development Report. Meet Dora's big brother, Michael, in this video.