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article imageSierra Leone school alumni hold convention

By Gibril Koroma     Sep 11, 2011 in World
It's almost a tradition in the West African country of Sierra Leone and indeed in many countries of the world for past students to give back to their alma mater.
But in Sierra Leone this tradition has a mjor significance because the country is still trying to recover from a brutal eleven-year civil war that not only destroyed human lives but also extensively damaged the infrastructure including schools, hospitals and bridges.
One of the schools that suffered horrendously was the Centennial Secondary school, a school for boys and girls in the south of the country. Past students of this school currently residing in the United States and Britain recently met in Maryland to save their school. Dr. Lauretta Will is the Secretary General of the US of Ceosa, the school's alumni association. Here are photos and a report she sent to me recently:
1 500 students on campus with no running water. Students fetch water from River Jong next to school.
1,500 students on campus with no running water. Students fetch water from River Jong next to school.
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The Paramount Chief of Jong Chiefdom  Hon. Allie Sherriff (middle) and a former student of Centennia...
The Paramount Chief of Jong Chiefdom, Hon. Allie Sherriff (middle) and a former student of Centennial Secondary School welcome the team (L-R) Rev. Joseph Abu, President, North America Chapter; Diana Dunn, Joan Schortz, PC Sherriff, Jamee Pemberton, Bill McNair and Mike Duncan.
lauretta will
North America CeOSA President Joe Abu accepts a sewing machine donation commitment from alumnus Naom...
North America CeOSA President Joe Abu accepts a sewing machine donation commitment from alumnus Naomi Dole Mannah, of Texas.
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EWB Lehigh Valley Chapter introduced by Dr. Lauretta Will  Secretary General of CeOSA North America ...
EWB Lehigh Valley Chapter introduced by Dr. Lauretta Will, Secretary General of CeOSA North America Chapter.
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Students assist in rebuilding their sanitation. Bailing 1 000 Gallons of Water for Cesspits (Feb 201...
Students assist in rebuilding their sanitation. Bailing 1,000 Gallons of Water for Cesspits (Feb 2011).
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2011 Fundraising Banquet with Engineer Jamee and CeOSA members.
2011 Fundraising Banquet with Engineer Jamee and CeOSA members.
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Engineer Jamee Pembleton (right) and Dr. Lauretta Will display Patchwork donation with 6 sewing mach...
Engineer Jamee Pembleton (right) and Dr. Lauretta Will display Patchwork donation with 6 sewing machines from Jamee’s Sewing Club in Pennsylvania to Centennial’s Domestic Science Lab.
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CeOSA North America Financial Secretary  Francis Mustapha (left) hands-over books to newly elected F...
CeOSA North America Financial Secretary, Francis Mustapha (left) hands-over books to newly elected Financial Secretary, Abdul Kamara. Francis has returned to Sierra Leone to build an elementary school in his hometown, Medina.
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American Missionary  Min. Marilyn Mixon ( first from left) with CeOSA members  Elizabeth Faley from ...
American Missionary, Min. Marilyn Mixon ( first from left) with CeOSA members, Elizabeth Faley from London, Hannah Brewah, Maryland, and Edwina Massaquoi, New Jersey.
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The Centennial Secondary School alumni, (Centennial Old Student Association (CeOSA) United States and United Kingdom branches held their 2011 Convention in Maryland, USA, August 1-3.
CeOSA members came from the United Kingdom and various states in the United States including Indiana, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland (see top photo).
The Association collaborated with their partners, EWB Lehigh Valley Professional Chapter. Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a non-profit, Humanitarian Organization. The EWB partners with developing communities worldwide to improve their quality of life through projects involving: Clean Water, Sanitation, Power and Education..
EWB LEHIGH VALLEY PROFESSIONAL CHAPTER has made a 5-year commitment to collaborate with the CeOSA to rebuild the school’s Water, Sanitation and Electricity infrastructures.
In November, 2011, EWB-LVP will be traveling to Sierra Leone to complete a
solar PV installation.
November Trip Travel Team will include the following engineers.
Tom Power – Electrical Engineer, Technical Lead
Diana Dunn – Chemical Engineer, Program Manager
John Cirucci– Chemical Engineer, Project Team Lead
Lori Cirucci – Science Teacher, Education Lead
Jim Butt – Electrical Engineer, Design Team
Sara Page Podolsky – Electrical Engineer, Design Team
Bill MacNair – Environmental Engineer; Water project, Technical Le
CeOSA and people on the ground can work with the community to ensure continuing support of the projects. CeOSA also provides, communication facilities, knowledge of construction practices used locally. Knowledge of Common Cultural Practices/Challenges/Taboos. CeOSA is also responsible for providing translators and transportation.
CONVENTION FEEDBACK AND REFLECTIONS
“It was wonderful to see and meet all of you who attended CSS in your younger days. It was so fun getting a high dose of Sierra Leonean Culture - very joyful! Thank you for all your support, it is such a wonderful adventure we are all working together on…”
Kindest Regards,
Jamee Pemberton, EWB Lehigh Valley Chapter
2011 CeOSA Annual Convention - United Kingdom Chapter Executives, Betty Faley Conteh and Mary Swarray Sesay make monetary donation on behalf of the UK Chapter
Centennial Secondary School In Mattru Jong,Southern Sierra Leone is set to rise to it’s noble days. CeOSA worldwide and the EWB America team have made a positive approach to make this dream come through. The outcome of the 2011 CeOSA North America convention was promising. There were actions than talking as the Sierra Leone musician puts it " no room for BURKOO TALK (endless talking, no action).
The donations kept flowing and appreciation shown by non CSS guests. The 2011 convention Organizers deserve a big THANK YOU. It was a woman power. The London delegates were well looked after and they compensated by inviting more guests to to dinner. The dinner and dance is memorable-the jokes,laughter,and school days teasing added years to our lives by relieving daily stressful lifestyles. The dancing competitions were fun. Above all we all looked younger so we are aging gracefully.
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