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Alan Wolstencroft raised £3,975 from 76 supporters


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Closed 23/07/2023

raised of £4,100 target by 76 supporters

    Weʼve raised £3,975 to Build a new school in Konno Town, Sierra Leone which will be life-changing for hundreds of secondary age children in this community.

    Funded on Sunday, 23rd July 2023

    Don't have time to donate right now?


    Why does Konno Town need a new school?

    Konno Town is in the Western Rural District approximately 20 miles east of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. In this area, although there are several junior schools, when children graduate to secondary school they currently have to walk up to 5 miles (each way) to the nearest available secondary school. In a place without the 'school run', with no school buses, high poverty, low bike (bicycle) ownership, this is tough on the students, particularly if their walk to school is through unsafe areas. This is a serious barrier to accessing secondary level schooling.

    Statistics from UNICEF in 2022 show that only 64% of children finish primary school (age 11); 44% lower secondary; and only 22% complete upper secondary education. 30% of women (girls) are married before the age of 18.

    How will it be built and run?

    'Alan's Africa' has just purchased half an acre of land in Konno Town to build the new secondary school. The cost of the plots, surveys, documents and provision of essential tools for the contractor has come to £3,200 which has already been funded. The community, in recognition of the work we are doing building a school for them, have donated a further half acre of land, giving us an acre in total, which we will develop in due course to provide additional facilities.

    The picture above shows our plot, with the wooden posts you can see marking out the boundary.

    Solomon Kamara, who I have known for 10 years, is the former headteacher of Liverpool Secondary School (Freetown) and Solomon has decided to move on to this exciting challenge of setting up the new school and will be the school's General Manager, as well as being the project manager of the building programme for me. We have a headteacher and several staff who have already expressed interest in taking positions at the school.

    What is a community school?

    The school will be a community school and will therefore receive NO government funding. In Sierra Leone there are government schools (where students receive free tuition and staff are paid by the government) and there are community schools. There are not enough government schools, or school places, for children in Sierra Leone so community schools are ESSENTIAL in providing access to education. Parents have to pay for their children to attend classes (generally about £10 a term) and teachers are paid from the tuition fees.

    The build

    The school will be developed in 3 phases initially to provide the core facilities:

    1. Phase 1 (this fundraiser) - to build a single block containing 2 classrooms and a small office / staffroom.

    2. Phase 2 - to build a toilet block.

    3. Phase 3 - to extend the block by adding an additional 2 classrooms.

    The build cost for the WHOLE project, completing the 3 phases, is £15,500, of which we need to raise £7,250 for this initial phase 1. I have already raised £3,150, with immense thanks to The Doris Field Charitable Trust for their very generous £2,000 grant, so we are now looking to URGENTLY raise the remaining £4,100 needed to get Phase 1 built. The rainy season in this area starts in May and rainfall is significant so this phase needs to be finished by the middle of May and if funds permit and we are able to move onto Phase 2 it would be very beneficial to also complete the toilet block (£2,500).

    If we surpass our fundraising target the surplus will be carried over to Phase 2, and then Phase 3.

    EVERY £ raised will go directly to the project. I have NO admin or other support costs. (Just Giving takes a very small card processing fee but I have a donor who will kindly fund this cost).

    What will the school be called?

    The school will be named Westminster International Community School in recognition of all the support I have received over the last 10 years from Westminster Group PLC and their charitable foundation . The Westminster name additionally has a personal significance for me as I attended Westminster College, Oxford - now the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University - for my teacher training. Although I left teaching to pursue other goals the importance of education has been of primary importance in all of my projects in Sierra Leone and I always remember a Nelson Mandela quote, "Education is the first step out of poverty".

    I would like to say:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support. Together we are making a real difference to people's lives in Sierra Leone. - Alan W.

    About 'Alan's Africa'

    'Alan's Africa' is an approved project of the Rotary Club of Banbury but is very much my personal project. Since 2007 when I started working directly with community schools, 'Alan's Africa' has funded the building and equipping of 41 classrooms, many together with accompanying facilities such as toilet blocks, water harvesting, handwash stations. We have also built a basic science lab, a library, 9 classrooms have been fitted with electricity, school textbooks supplied, sanitary products to help girls access school, we have sunk and refurbished wells (6 in total), distributed countless uniforms and football kit, built accessible accommodation for a severely disabled teenager and his carer, and more.

    If you have any questions please get in touch . I'm also available for talks about all of the work I have undertaken in Sierra Leone. You can find me on twitter @alansafrica

    Finally, the photo below shows a classroom block we built at Banbury International Community School in Freetown, to show what our new school is going to look like.



    • Alan Wolstencroft11 months ago
      Alan Wolstencroft

      Alan Wolstencroft

      11 months ago

      It's a few days since I put up an update - you can catch up with all the updates on my twitter account @alansafrica We're on Day 22 of fundraising - and we're just over a 3rd of the way to our target - THANK YOU! - but still a long way to go, so please keep spreading the word! Here's a photo from yesterday. The builders are well on the way to reaching roof height. Everything is done manually and the progress in just 3 weeks is really impressive.

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Alan Wolstencroft1 year ago
      Alan Wolstencroft

      Alan Wolstencroft

      1 year ago

      Day 11 today and we had GREAT progress yesterday - things are really starting to take shape. Soon we will see 2 classrooms The start of a new school. Please spread the word to help us make our target and keep the build going before the rains come in May. THANK YOU!

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Alan Wolstencroft1 year ago
      Alan Wolstencroft

      Alan Wolstencroft

      1 year ago

      On Day 10 the builders had just started laying the foundations for the two classrooms! On twitter I did a post to say that in Sierra Leone a 25 kilo bag of cement costs around £7.50 - the same as it costs in the UK... To put that in perspective, in 2022 the minimum wage in Sierra Leone was £24.00 a MONTH and the average, or typical wage was £30.26. MONTH... now that £7.50 bag of cement looks very expensive!

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    1 year ago

    Alan Wolstencroft started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 7/11/2023 18.13



    • Jennifer Brooks

      Jennifer Brooks

      Jul 11, 2023


    • George


      Jul 8, 2023

      Hi Alan, Fantastic work.

    • Ken Brazier

      Ken Brazier

      Jul 5, 2023

      Hi Alan, That's an impressive list of achievements. Well done as always. Ken.


    • Rob Tunnicliff

      Rob Tunnicliff

      Jul 1, 2023

      Great work Alan


    • Keith and Anne

      Keith and Anne

      Jun 25, 2023

      Alan: Well done, as always.


    • Christine Bott

      Christine Bott

      Jun 24, 2023

      You are doing great work Alan.


    • Karen Meehan

      Karen Meehan

      Jun 24, 2023

      You are a remarkable person doing what you do Alan! 👏x

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