Dankawalie Secondary School at 5:
Badenya concluded the 5th year of Dankawalie Secondary School with much progress.
The Sierra Leone Ministry of Education has now given DSS full recognition as a secondary school with a scheduled allotment of five (5) qualified teachers (with Higher Teaching Certificate and above) starting with the 2012/2013 academic year. This is a huge step for the long-term sustainability of DSS. We look forward to the Ministry’s commencing support of these teachers’ salaries. Currently, Badenya, Inc. pays most of teachers’ salaries as school fees cover only two months’ salaries out of the DSS. In July 2012, thirty-three (33) students sat the end-of-junior-secondary school examination from DSS. The West African Examinations Council has not yet released the results.
New Board of Directors:
On my June 2012 trip to Sierra Leone DSS formalized its board of directors that comprises an inclusive representation of villagers, DSS alumni, village Diaspora and government officials and opened an account with the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank which makes direct international fund transfers to DSS in Sierra Leone possible.
New Toilet Facilities:
DSS also completed the construction of two new toilet facilities, one for boys and one for girls, with partial funding from Schools for Salone. Earlier facilities were too close to classrooms.
Earlier this year, Badenya had asked the Sentinel English Language Institute to organize the Dankawalie Community Library, housed at the school and comprising the school library but also serving the entire community. We have just learned that the Canada Fund will fund the setting up of this library. Current donated books are being catalogued but we continue to need additional donations.
Badenya Tax-exempt and Charity Status:
The biggest news on the Badenya front is the permanent extension of our 501(c) (3) status by the IRS with a Public Charities Status: 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi). This makes it certain that we will receive the New York and other states charities recognition we need to engage serious fundraising for our programs here in the United States and abroad. Our next steps are to finalize the Board of Directors and draw up a program of action, including fundraising and implementation.