The Byseee School and Community Project
Since 2020, Catholic Women Speak has been supporting the Byseee School and community project in Freetown, Sierra Leone, run by CWS members Yema Jusufu and Edita Fofana. We are committed to sending £300 every month, which helps to provide the children with one school lunch a week, as well as contributing towards salaries, maintenance, supplies, and running costs.
Latest News from the Byseee Project
April 2023 - Yema sent photos of the children enjoying their school lunches.
March 2023 - a video update about the project.
Watch a video of the school's activities and the projects we support
Yema was interviewed during our CWS gathering in Rome in October 2018
A holistic Catholic education for girls
The school, which comes under the auspices of St Peter the Rock Parish in Calaba town in Freetown, offers a wide range of educational and care facilities to women and children, particularly orphans, girls from broken homes, and single mothers. While the school takes some boys as well as girls, its main focus is on educating girls to give them a sense of personal dignity and self-esteem after the traumas of war and amidst the ongoing challenges of poverty, violence and abuse.
When asked to explain the puzzling spelling of the name "Byseee", Yema wrote that their late mother was asked to start a girls' school by parents in the community. She had six children - three girls and three boys - and she used the initials of each of her children to name the school:
Bernadette - Yema - Sydney - Edward - Elis - Edita = Byseee
A well for drinking water
In addition to helping with salaries, maintenance, and learning materials, our monthly contributions have funded the digging of a well that provides clean drinking water to the school and the community.
The children often arrive at school without having eaten. We fund one free school lunch a week. If we could attract more donations, we would increase this to two lunches a week.
Our Partnership with Ursuline High School, Wimbledon
Thanks to generous funding from Ursuline High School in London, Wimbledon, we have been able to provide the school with computers so that girls can learn IT skills before going to high school. The picture shows the cramped space with only a few computers for all the students. The facilities are currently being updated.