As the tragic spread of Ebola still dominates Sierra Leonean and international news The Dorothy Springer Trust continues to stay open, operating and even offering some fantastic opportunities for our students. Our Christmas newsletter focuses on some of the positive things that are going on in our Freetown offices and of course we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful 2015! Please download our Christmas 2014 Newsletter
The past few months have been eventful and challenging ones for The Dorothy Springer Trust and for the people of Sierra Leone: The Ebola Virus has devastated Sierra Leone's economic progress and has changed the way the whole country is operating. DST has managed, with the exception of a few weeks, to remain open and serving our disabled students but this has not come without its challenges. There has also been lots of positive news too though for DST with funding from The British High Commission enabling us to run a course for disabled women and a new partnership with Westcliff High School for Girls in the UK. To find out more about all of this news and how you can help DST at this time please download our Autumn 2014 Newsletter.
During 2013, DST Sierra Leone acquired, refurbished and fit out a state-of-the-art office in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It provides easy access and modern facilities for people with disabilities to be trained in basic and advanced Information Technology skills, as well as literacy, advocacy, coaching in employment skills, and fast Internet and business services.
The official opening of the new centre, located at at 8 Pultney Street, Freetown, took place on 7 February 2014. The event was chaired by former British High Commissioner, and DST Patron, PC Komrabai Peter Penfold, with other special guests to mark the occasion: the designated Presidential Representative, Hon. Mustapha Atila (Ministry of Social Welfare) and representatives from DST including Abs Dumbuya, Rob Lea and Mrs Margaret Atkins, Daughter of the Late Mrs Dorothy Springer. In all over 170 people attended the opening. Among these dignitaries was the chairman and chief commissioner of the National Commission for Persons with Disability, representatives from a number of embassies and High Commissions, a team of supporters from the UK and some of the successful students who had been helped by the charity.
The plaque at the new premises of the charity was unveiled by the deputy minister for social welfare, Hon Mustapha Bai Atilla.
Margaret Atkins, daughter of Dorothy Springer, cut the ribbon at the front entrance of the new office for the DST SL charity.
The picture below shows some of our past students: Sheka Conteh, Adonis Koroma and Sylvester Manasaray, with patron Peter Penfold (R).
The opening ceremony also included the presentation of bursary certificates to seven new students. Here they all are, receiving certificates:
From left to right: Alie Bangura, Alie Mansaray, Henry Tucker, Marawan Kamara, Momoh Mansaray, Neneh Kargbo and Osman Kamara
The UK Harborough Mail newspaper covered the story - see here for the article.