The story of PK Memorial Primary School in Magbaikoli Village is one of resilience, compassion, and a shared commitment to improving the lives of its students and teachers. For years, the school's old bathroom had been a symbol of neglect and danger, constantly threatening those who used it. However, thanks to the proactive efforts of I, Chief Correspondent Justice Abdul Kamara, CEO Gibril Sorie Mansaray MBA, Proprietor Professor Mohamed Sorie Mansaray, and generous donors in the United States of America, this dilapidated structure has now been replaced with a brand new bathroom, alongside a much-needed school repainting project.
A Dangerous Past:
Since 2021, the old bathroom at PK Memorial Primary School had fallen into disrepair. It was outdated and unsafe, making it a potential danger to students and teachers. The fear of the bathroom collapsing while in use forced students and teachers to resort to using the surrounding bushes to relieve themselves. This dire situation needed immediate attention and a transformative solution.
A Call to Action:
In response to the alarming conditions at the school, I took the initiative to alert Mr. Gibril and Professor Mohamed about the urgent need for a new bathroom. Together with their generous donors in the United States of America, they pledged to fund the construction of a new bathroom and the repainting of the school. Their vision was to provide the students and teachers of PK Memorial Primary School with a safe and welcoming environment for learning.
On January 15, 2024, I brought a team of hired contractors from Freetown to begin the construction of the new bathroom and school repainting project. What made this endeavor truly remarkable was the active involvement of the students, teachers, and several youths from the village who eagerly provided their labor. Their collective efforts significantly expedited the project, resulting in a completion time of just one week and three days, far less than the initially estimated three weeks.
Despite the project's overall success, there were challenges along the way. Some members of the village, particularly the youths and elders, initially expected to have control over the project and its materials. However, recalling past difficulties in 2022, the choice was not to grant them this authority. This decision was driven by the project's strict timeline and the need to prevent misuse or delays. Regrettably, this led to a lack of participation from those individuals.
A Reconciliation and a New Beginning:
Upon the project's completion, I called for a general meeting with the youths and elders. I also adhered to tradition by offering gifts to the village chief and youth leader. I also inquired about their reluctance to participate. Their response was unexpected, as they admitted that I had not wronged them in any way. Instead, they had been occupied with other work. They expressed willingness to participate in future projects and apologized for their limited involvement in this endeavor. The meeting concluded amicably, fostering unity within the community.
A Joyful Handover:
On January 25, 2024, I gathered all community members to officially hand over the finished project. The sense of gratitude and happiness among the community was palpable. They expressed their heartfelt thanks to the PK Memorial Foundation and its generous donors for their compassion and assistance. This was a momentous occasion for the students and teachers, who had endured two years without a decent bathroom. They no longer needed to use the bushes; instead, they could now access a safe and dignified bathroom facility.
The continuous transformation of PK Memorial Primary School is a testament to the power of collaboration, resilience, and community spirit. It serves as a shining example of how individuals and organizations can come together to make a profound and positive impact on the lives of others. Through their efforts, I, Chief Correspondent Abdul Kamara, CEO Gibril Sorie Mansaray MBA, and Proprietor Professor Mohamed Sorie Mansaray MBA, in partnership with our generous donors, have not only provided essential infrastructure but also restored dignity and hope to the students and teachers of PK Memorial Primary School. Our next major step is to build a junior secondary school, which can be completed for USD 35,000. Our junior secondary students still in our village have to walk 14 miles a day to receive their education. Part of this journey includes the potentially dangerous crossing of a river. This school will be an education center for youth from six additional villages within 2 miles of Magbaikoli. Combined with the senior secondary school project, it will positively impact over 1,000 students annually. To support our initiatives, click here.
Thank you for your time,
Justice A. Kamara
Chief Correspondent, Pa Karim Memorial Foundation