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1 month ago

Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

Friendship Link Charity Ball a huge success
The Friendship Link’s Schools’ Sanitation Project received a major boost from the Charity Ball on Saturday 3rd November. Over 100 guests raised almost £3,000 as they dined to an amazing classical performance by Jada and Steven Marsh and danced the night away to the music of the renowned local band, the Kytes.
Lynn White, one of the Link Trustees who led the organisation of the event said: “We are delighted by the success of the event and by the amount raised for the Schools’ Sanitation Project. It has exceeded all our expectations. We are extremely grateful to all those people who gave their time making the event such a success or donated prizes for the raffle and auction on the night. Without their support we could not have achieved such a great result”
Richard Homewood, Chairman of the Friendship Link added: “We would also especially like to thank Dani and the team at the Montgomerie Suite for their service and support, and the Kytes and Jada and Steven (who gave their time and skills free of charge) to make the evening such a great success.”
Richard went on to say: “The Schools Sanitation Project is our latest initiative. Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. According to UNICEF, every day, over 800 children die, worldwide, from preventable diseases caused by the lack of these. It is acknowledged that Sub Saharan Africa, which includes Sierra Leone, lags far behind other continents in addressing the problem. In Sierra Leone the lack of these basic facilities in our twinned schools is impacting on their education and their futures. Children often miss out on education because they spend hours every day collecting water and are exhausted if and when they get to school. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. Whilst we can’t tackle the problem in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, we can improve the prospects for the future of children in the schools we are twinned with in Hastings, Sierra Leone by ensuring they have a sustainable water supply, good basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. We have already had a survey of the 14 schools undertaken to establish what facilities they currently have and we are now planning how we can improve the facilities and give the children a better chance for the future. The funds raised at the Charity Ball will help us start the process but we need to raise an estimated £45,000 to complete the project in all 14 schools”
Lynn concluded “We have a lot of work to do to raise more funds but the generosity of our patrons, members and the general public never ceases to amaze me. It is difficult to describe the impact these donations can have on the lives and health of children in Sierra Leone, but believe me, simple things like clean water, good sanitation and hygiene can really change their opportunities for learning and their prospects for the future. A good education is the key to a better future and breaking out of the cycle of poverty. If we can give that gift to just a few hundred children in Hastings, Sierra Leone then we will have had some success. People can still donate to the project by going on to our website, www.Hastingshastings.org.uk and using the My Donate button”
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Grand Charity Ball, 3rd November 2018. Montgomerie Suite, Bannatynes Hotel, The Ridge West, Hastings.

Three years ago the Charity Ball was a huge success and we are holding another due to popular demand. Come along and have a great evening of dining and entertainment with the locally renowned band the Kytes and supporting entertainment.

The Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link is launching a fundraising campaign in support of the Schools Sanitation Project Fund. Funds will be used to improve water supplies and sanitation in its established twinned schools in Sierra Leone and help ensure children of all ages and sexes get a better chance of a good education.
Most of the schools suffer from poor or no water supply and poor sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Chairman of the Link, Richard Homewood, explained that “children are often exhausted by the time they get to school, having had to fetch and carry water before they arrive and during the day. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of poor hygiene and sanitation facilities. As a consequence their education suffers.”
Richard went on to emphasise “education is the key to helping these children and their families out of the cycle of poverty and anything we can do to improve their chances of a good education is really important”
The Link has had a survey of the schools carried out to identify what is needed in each school and we are using this to identify the priorities for action in each school.
The funds raised from this year’s Charity Ball will go toward the sanitation fund which currently has a target of £45,000 Further fundraising activities are being planned and we would be delighted if people wish to take part in them or become more involved in the activities of the Link.

Tickets £40 which includes a 3 course meal and glass of bubbly, can be obtained by calling 01424 853356

Don't miss out book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
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Dreary British Winter exchanged for Tropical Heat
A large group, led by Isabel Hodger, one of the Hastings Friendship Link’s Education Liaison Officers, left for our Twin Town in Sierra Leone on February 9th for 10 days.
Thirteen teacher members of the group will be using their half-term break to work in African partner schools sharing experiences to bring back to their classrooms in the UK.
Two additional members of the group, local solicitors Richard Lane and Jenna French, have sporting expertise to share, eagerly anticipated by host schools.
In addition to the work of the Friendship Link in schools, support for the Health Centre in Hastings Village has been a long-term concern and Christine Boulton-Lane is travelling with the group to continue her work on this aspect. Our friends in Sierra Leone regularly express the view that Health and Education are their top national priorities.
Schools and Academies represented in the exchange are All Saints’, The Baird, Chantry (Bexhill) Christ Church, Hollington and Guestling Bradshaw Primaries and St Leonards Secondary Academy.
Classroom projects will be based around themes suggested by the British Council as part of its financial and educational support for the exchange.
Links between schools here and in Hastings Sierra Leone have been developing since the Twinning of the two towns in 2007. Roger Mitchell, who has been involved from the beginning, said, “It has been a real privilege to witness the impact these exchanges continue to make on teachers both here and in Sierra Leone and how the education of their pupils is enhanced as a result”.
Fay Jagot, from Battle and Langton School, has recently joined the partnership and commented, “I have worked with children for 20 years, yet have never previously witnessed such enthusiasm from children to find out, learn and correspond across the miles”. Corinne Harris from Dudley Infant School who has been involved for several years said, “Our link with Edest School has been an empowering project for pupils and teachers alike. Children both in the UK and in Africa have benefited greatly by meeting visitors from their partner schools
As well as time to relax with partners out of school, there will be a whole day Education Conference held at the headquarters of the British Council in Freetown.
Some members of the group will find time to see for themselves the devastation caused by the recent mud-slides in the hills between Hastings and Freetown. They will meet some of the surviving but displaced families being helped by generous donations from folk associated with the Link.
The group have returned safely and enthused by their experience. We will give reports from the teachers on their experiences and from Christine and Richard re the Health Centre and other work over the next few weeks.
It is hoped that a return party can visit the UK towards the end of the Summer Term.
Find out more about the Friendship Link and the work it is doing in Hastings, Sierra Leone at our website:
www.Hastingshastings.org.uk/about/
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Good evening to everyone who donated to our Sierra Leone Mudslide Appeal. All of the money you helped raise has been sent to the victims of the mudslide. The funds were initially used to provide food and water, bedding and shelter. Then funds were provided to individuals who had lost their homes, families and livelihoods to help them start to earn a living again. A builder was able to buy tools to start work and a seamstress able to buy a sewing machine and begin to make clothes to sell once more. Just two examples of the people you have helped us and our partner charity Build on Books help rebuild their lives. Thank you to you all. Our work in Hastings Sierra Leone will continue and you can continue to help if you wish by joining us or just keeping in touch through this page and donating through the BT my donate page. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 years ago

Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

Twinning Link recognised on tenth anniversary!
Visiting Teachers and Link Members were accompanied by the Mayor and the Leader of Hastings Council to unveil the new Twinning sign at the entrance to Hastings from Rye which now has Hastings, Sierra Leone added to it after ten years of fundraising, twinning activity and teacher exchanges. Link Members expressed their delight that the twinning link with Hastings, Sierra Leone and all of the humanitarian work that the funds raised have been able to achieve has at long last been recognised formally.
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