In 2017 plans for The Roots Project were first shared at our TRS Gala in Franklin, Tennessee. It officially launched in 2018, when our very first group of young adults moved into the Roots House. Since then, we have expanded to two apartments, and we are currently serving eight young men and seven young women through the Roots Project. The Raining Season created The Roots Project to embrace children who are set to age out of the orphanage and transition to life on their own. The Roots Project was born out of the desire to help facilitate healthy transitions for older children into life outside of the center. One of the primary goals is to connect the young adults we serve to individualized opportunities to their interests and strengths. We are grateful to see the kids thriving in the Roots Home. We believe that every child deserves roots - the chance to be firmly planted within a community.
As we transition to a new Director of Roots, it seemed like the perfect time to share an update on what is happening in-country with The Roots Project.
Meet the Team
Our in-country Roots team includes our co-founder and in-country Director of Roots Osseh Kamara, In-Country Director and head of finance Sorie Kamara, Pastor Daniel, and Auntie Doris, who serves as the Roots Home Supervisor for both the boys and girls homes.
Each member of the Roots team plays an integral part in fulfilling our mission. They are passionate about serving and committed to their role. Since our last update, Pastor Daniel has continued to become more involved with the Roots Project. He has begun visiting the homes a combined three times a week for devotion time and bible study. He also meets with the kids one on one, not only discipling them but also discussing their futures with them.
In November, we shared the relaunch of Medix and The Raining Season’s partnership. When Medix launched their Talentomorrow Foundation, they named a mentorship program for kids in The Roots Project as their first initiative. Each young adult in The Roots Project has been assigned two mentors to meet virtually once a month. Their new mentors are doing an incredible job getting to know their mentees, building relationships, and facilitating conversations that help our kids focus on their futures. Our kids are building confidence and expanding their communication skills through this partnership. The kids are very excited about this new program and anxiously look forward to their monthly Medix meetings.
Some of our kids have had the opportunity to participate in two different internships. First, a relationship was established with a company at the seaport called Nectar Sierra Leone Bulk Terminal (NSBT). Through this relationship, Mary, Fatmata, and Alie had the opportunity to complete a three-month internship at the seaport. They were placed in the health, safety, and environment department and technical department. The internship was an opportunity to build their administrative skills. Our kids were well taken care of throughout the internship and had a great experience. Issa has also begun an apprenticeship as a tailor. Matching our kids to internships that they are interested in and also fit their needs is a continued desire of the Roots staff.
All of our kids returned for the second term of the school year in early January. Several of our kids are preparing for their exams that would allow them to enroll in university. This includes taking specific classes at school to help them prepare for the exam. TRS has also hired a tutor to help them study and prepare for this exam. While there is the opportunity to retake the exam, the goal of them passing on their first try is important because it is only offered once a year.
Some very exciting news to share is that Mary has passed the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination! Because she passed this exam, Mary is currently in the process of enrolling at Milton Margai College. We are very proud of Mary and her hard work. We have dreamed of the day our first child would enter university, and we know that she is the first of many.
We continue to vision what The Roots Project will look like as it grows and expands. The opportunity to expand internships, helping them discover their paths, and seeing our kids pass their exams and move on to college are only a few of the ways we continue to grow.
Will you join us in praying for The Roots Project? We pray for each young adult, their heart and passions and that they know they are loved and supported. Pray for them as they continue to study for their exams and for the community they are building with each other through The Roots Project. Finally, join us in praying for the staff that works directly with The Roots Project, that they are able to help guide the kids to discover the paths best for them.
Next week, we will share our final Roots update in this three part series as we take a closer look at the internship Mary, Fatmata, and Alie have just completed.
The Raining Season