Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Parents Meeting

We had a meeting with the parents and guardians of the sponsored students at the weekend, it's the first one we've been able to have since before the Ebola outbreak because until recently there was a ban on public gatherings in place throughout Sierra Leone.
Since the last meeting two of our more outspoken parents have sadly passed away, and we missed them. They were both good parents who were passionate about ensuring that their children got a good education and they both participated fully in all parents meetings.
As usual we started with prayers - Christian and Muslim then launched into the meeting.
Time keeping isn't always top priority here so people kept arriving throughout the meeting and even just as we were finishing up but most families were represented and those that weren't I'm seeing individually this week.
I told the families that I'd like them to get more involved in the sponsorship and continue to encourage the students to study at home. Some of the children help their families by selling water, food or clothing and I've asked that they be excused from selling during term time so they can concentrate fully on their studies.
We have introduced a new system for discussing individual sponsorship issues and requests, the student and guardian will book an appointment with us to discuss their issue at a time chosen by them......if they are not there at the time they selected they will have to reschedule for another day. Too often we arrange to see people throughout the day, and then they all show up at the same time and all want to be heard straight away.....I'm hoping a couple of wasted meetings might encourage people to be more timely - it worked today, two people who were late yesterday were early for their rescheduled appointments today!! The only downside to this I can think of is I have to be on time otherwise I can't enforce this for others.....and to be honest timeliness isn't one of my strongest qualities, so it's something I need to work on as well!!
The general consensus of the parents, guardians and students is that they want us to open a's a lovely dream and who knows what might happen in the future - something to be prayed about I think!!

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