Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Wishes 2008

[click on photo to see a larger version]

The Kposowa Foundation would like to wish everyone
Happy Holidays!!

We'll see you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Julie Veronica Anne Basu (Part II)

Last week we introduced you to Julie Veronica Anne Basu, a student at Bumpe High School. She is 19 years old, loves studying government, and dreams of becoming a lawyer. Watch the video to learn what a typical day is like for her. Continue reading to learn more about Julie's inspiration- Christina Thorpe.

You may not be familiar with Christina Thorpe, but in Sierra Leone- a country with a female youth literacy rate of 37% (in comparison to a 60% literacy rate for male youth)- she is a hero for many girls like Julie.

Ms. Thorpe has spent her life educating many in Sierra Leone. She began as headmistress at a Catholic secondary school (and also was a nun), later became Minister of Education and the only woman in a government cabinet of 19, and went on to found Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), which raises awareness about the impact of education for women and works with NGOs to promote access, retention and performance of girls in schools.

In Sierra Leone, women with even a few years of basic education have smaller, healthier families; are more likely to be able to work their way out of poverty and are more likely to send their own children- girls and boys- to school.

BBC article on Christina Thorpe (click here)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meet Our Bumpe High School Student

We are excited to introduce Julie Veronica Anne Basu. She is 19 years old and attends Bumpe High School. Watch the video to learn about her dreams for the future.

Some of you may be wondering why some of the students we have featured on the blog are older than 18, as in the U.S. nearly all students have graduated by that age. As most schools were closed during the 11 year war, it is common for high schools in Sierra Leone to have students as old as 20.

Holiday Gift Idea: Make a donation to The Kposowa Foundation on behalf of a loved one this year. Click the PayPal icon below to donate today.

Q&A: How do you say "Kposowa"?

Thank you to everyone who visited our blog and to those who gave us feedback!

We hope this blog will provide all of you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about The Kposowa Foundation and let us know what you think about the foundation and topics presented here on the blog. We also hope to feature some Q&As on here in the near future.

One of the questions we frequently receive is: How do you pronounce "Kposowa" and what does it mean?

PA-SOW-AH. The trick to correctly pronouncing "Kposowa" is remembering that the "K" is silent.

The name Kposowa was chosen for the foundation because it is Sarah's family name in Sierra Leone. The Kposowa Foundation was founded with the intention of rebuilding Bumpe High School. Sarah's grandfather, Paramount Chief Francis Kposowa, was a co-founder of Bumpe High School and today Sarah's father, Joseph Konia Kposowa is the principal.

Holiday Gift Idea: Make it count! Make a donation to The Kposowa Foundation on behalf of a loved one this year. Click the PayPal icon below to donate today.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome to The Kposowa Foundation Blog

Sarah Culberson co-founded The Kposowa Foundation after her trip to Sierra Leone to meet her birth father.

The Kposowa Foundation is dedicated to building viable communities in Sierra Leone by providing education, clean water, and sustainable economic opportunities. Currently, the foundation is focusing on completing construction of Bumpe High Schol in Bumpe, Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Kposowa Club

[photo of The Kposowa Club @ Long Beach Polytechnic High School]

This past summer the Foundation had two high school interns, Sasanka Jinadasa and Samantha Liberman, regularly helping out at the office. The girls helped with everything from stuffing envelopes for our July appeal to inputting data entry to making lunch runs for everyone in the office. In addition to helping our office run like a well oiled machine, the girls were inspired to start The Kposowa Club at their high school to help raise awareness about The Kposowa Foundation and its work in Sierra Leone.

Sasanka, founder and president of The Kposowa Club, provided us with the picture above and updated us about a recent fundraiser in which the club was able to raise funds for its upcoming activities. The foundation is excited to have such a dedicated group of young people on board.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mining an Education

This video pod from Current.com focuses on children who work in diamond mines to pay their school fees. Despite the efforts of the Sierra Leonean government to protect children, including the passage of The Child Right Act of 2007, which sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years, many children must work to support themselves and their families.

To watch video, press the green play button above to watch video. Note that an advertisement may pop up over the video. To close it click the "X" in the upper right corner.

[video pod from Current.com]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life In Sierra Leone

The Foundation receives many questions about what life is like in Sierra Leone now that the war is over. One of the goals of this blog is to provide answers and information that will give you a better sense of the current situation in Sierra Leone.

This video pod from Current takes a look at the 2007 Presidential Election in Sierra Leone.

To watch video, press the green play button above to watch video. Note that an advertisement may pop up over the video. To close it click the "X" in the upper right corner.

[video pod from Current.com]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Students Making A Difference

[Student group Institute for Human Dignity at the Culberson's home]

The Kposowa Foundation would like to graciously thank the West Virginia University chapter of Institute for Human Dignity (IHD) for raising funds for the foundation. The funds will be used for rebuilding the dining hall and kitchen on the Bumpe High School campus.

Jim and Judy Culberson, Sarah's parents, hosted a picnic for the student group at their home in Morgantown, West Virginia. A check was presented to Kposowa Foundation Board Members Judy Culberson and Jerry McGonigle, who accepted on behalf of the foundation. Also present at the event was David Stewart, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at West Virgnia Univeristy.

Institute for Human Dignity (IHD) is a student group that is committed to making a difference on campus by building awareness of global issues. They are currently focusing on Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa and Sierra Leone. IHD is also involved in Emergency, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides free of charge medical and surgical care in war-torn areas. They have programs in Sierra Leone including the only physical therapy department in the country.

One member shared his interest in issues facing developing African countries and his recent attendance of a speech forum sponsored by a student chapter of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMRF). He said that through all of this he has acquired an even deeper passion for what IHD is doing in Morgantown and The Kposowa Foundation in Sierra Leone.

IHD has an impressive agenda mapped out for 2008-2009. The foundation is looking forward to these events and more opportunities to interact with these impressive students.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heifer International in Sierra Leone

[photo from November/ December 2008 issue of World Ark]

Heifer International recently featured an article on their work in Sierra Leone. Heifer International is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. It provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially disadvantaged families around the world.

In April 2008 Heifer International opened a country office in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Heifer International worked in Sierra Leone prior to the 11-year civil war, but operations ceased during the war.

One of the most valuable resources lost during the war was livestock. There is hope that with aid from Heifer International, projects focused on redeveloping the areas of livestock and agriculture will provide the opportunity for people in Sierra Leone to begin providing for themselves again.

Facts from the article:
- Sierra Leone ranks last on the 2007/2008 United Nations Human Development Index, a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life, being educated and having a decent standard of living.

- Agriculture accounts for 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Click here to read the full article

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Mother's Anguish in Sierra Leone

[image from Washington Post article]

The Washington Post examines high maternal and infant mortality rates in Sierra Leone as the country has one of the highest fertility rates in the world.

Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world.
1 in 8 mothers has a chance of dying from childbirth. In contrast, women in the US have a 1 in 4,800 lifetime chance of dying from childbirth.