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Education and Partnership Success

Crosby’s Soroptimists welcomed Mary Corbett of the Waterloo Partnership at a recent meeting.

Soroptimists with speaker from Waterloo PartnershipMary gave an update to club members, This local charity is based in Waterloo (Merseyside) and supports sustainable development projects in its namesake community Waterloo (Sierra Leone).

The original project was to fund the building of a library. Since then, the two-way contacts have enabled the community to express and itemise its own needs. The Sierra Leonean committee members liaise with their British counterparts to agree each initiative.

This partnership working has, for example, enabled the community to build simple bridges to connect local facilities; to dig and maintain wells; and to set up a bakery and a motor mechanic service. It supplies seeds, tools and protective footwear to 150 women who farm on the ‘margins’.

The Soroptimists know that education has been a core value of Waterloo Partnership. Mary explained that specific educational assistance – uniforms, fees, etc – has enabled a steady stream of children to pass through primary and secondary schooling. Now three young women have completed their tertiary studies. They have qualified as nurses and are working back in their home community.

A small investment in solar lights now enables children to study at night. Such a simple provision – yet lifelong consequences.

The Partnership has supported children at school who were orphaned during the Ebola epidemic (2014-16). The families that care for them are also helped with food during the ‘hungry season’. Lessons learned with Ebola have been followed under Covid.

Terry Francis,  SI Crosby’s ‘lead’ on Programme Action, thanked Mary for the update. “Our club has had links with the charity for many years. We have always admired the considerable impact that this small local organisation has had on Waterloo in Sierra Leone. It punches well above its weight!”