When you think of Sierra Leone, you may think of desperate poverty and now thanks to 2014, the Ebola outbreak, but that isn't what the country has to be defined by in the future. Sam Whitaker, a good friend of mine, visited Freetown, which is one of the places twinned with Kingston Upon Hull - where both myself and Sam live. He came back with tonnes of photos and I couldn't wait to see each and every one of them. The smiling faces of the children and the wonderful, inspirational people who were helping to set up schools and provide education for as many of Freetown's children as possible.
The economic and social situation in Sierra Leone means that generally one or two children from every family receives an education, the brightest children, which in itself is an absolute injustice. During Sam's trip to Freetown, he met an incredible man who was responsible for setting up the Empowering Children School - Ibrahim Kamara. The school currently has 200 children and 13 members of staff but this man and many others like him, believe that every child has the right to an education.
Sam's idea was initially to set up an app which provided learning resources to teachers and possibly directly to the children in Freetown, sharing lesson plans, learning packs and resources between teachers and professionals in Kingston Upon Hull and the people of Freetown. Sam updated his blog telling us that he had the go ahead and outlined what the app would be able to do 'I am pleased to say that we are launching an Online Learning Platform that will be made available to all schools throughout the country. It's an App with bells and whistles on! It will hold learning materials for both teachers and students on a central website. It will also collate all of the radio lessons that have been recorded as well as have the capability for students to take online tests and exams while having their progress recorded.'
Not only will this app be available to the people of Freetown, but to the entire country. Education is the absolute groundwork for every society. The correct education will provide these children with the knowledge on how to live healthily and provide sanitation - which will essentially help to control the outbreak of any future diseases - and to provide the people of Sierra Leone with a route out of poverty. Better opportunities for as many children as possible, a better, brighter future.
I for one, am particularly proud of what my friend has achieved and very excited about what it will mean for the children of Sierra Leone. Sam's work is a vital addition to all of the hard work already going on within the country to provide the next generation with the education they have a right to.
To follow the development of the project online, follow @EduSierraLeone on Twitter.