It is no secret that our kids are simply amazing! They often come to the center with trauma, abandoned and hurt. However, this does not define them. Their pasts will not determine their futures because they are so much more than their pasts. They are intelligent, caring, determined, creative, and hardworking. Their unique experiences make them who they are and who they will become. They all have a voice and a story to tell.
In June and July, our kids had the opportunity to showcase their talents and thoughtfulness in a TRS writing competition. While they have kept many of the same routines over the past few months, this competition presented something outside of the daily routine, and it gave them a chance to think critically and express themselves. The competition was divided into four categories, primary boys and girls and secondary boys and girls. The submissions were so good that an overall winner was selected as well. The winner in each category received a new dress or tailored shirt as a prize.
For the first competition in June, each child was given the writing prompt, “Your voice is your superpower.” They could write a response, a short story, or a poem based on the prompt. The prompt reminded the kids that their voice, this superpower provided by God, is what separates humans from the rest of creation. Our bodies can be imprisoned, trampled, and abused, but nobody can take our voices. Not if you don’t let them.
Our children had fantastic, thoughtful responses to this prompt. They articulated how they use their voices as a superpower. The primary girl winner, Hawa Musa shared, “What I am is smart and what I am is brave. There’s nothing I can’t achieve.” Mary Kamara, the secondary female winner articulated that, “When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” Finally, our overall winner, Isatu Conteh, shared, “I would like to advise all young ladies that are coming up; let us stand up and pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One voice, one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” These voices are future leaders in Sierra Leone.
Then, in July, they were given a second prompt, “Should girls and boys be allowed to take the same classes in school?” Like the first prompt, the writing pieces the kids shared did not disappoint. Again, they were thoughtful and focused on articulating why.
Take our primary boy winner, Alford John, for example. He shared, “Education promotes gender equality, reduces child marriage, and promotes peace! Education is one of the most important investments a country can make for its people and its future.” The secondary female winner, Davida Bayoh, thoughtfully shared that boys and girls should be allowed to take the same classes because “Both boys and girls have the same thirst for knowledge.”
The opportunity to showcase their writing talent is not only a testament to the education they receive at TRS but also a chance for them to express themselves, share their thoughts, and tell their story.
Because of sponsorship, our children can focus on their education rather than working to help support their families. Your sponsorship dollars support the kids beyond their basic needs. They are learning how to use their voice to think critically and express themselves. They are learning how to use their voice to solve Sierra Leonean problems. We do not want them to survive, but thrive! We can’t do that without sponsorship. Thank you for pouring into our children.
The Raining Season