Today we have teacher conferences with Terry and Gwen. Gwen has been here in Sierra Leone for 7 years running an organization she started called Transformation Education. She wrote her own curriculum and goes to schools throughout the country training teachers how to properly implement discipline, keep order in the class room, use Bible stories in class every day, and how to be consistent with each student.
In Sierra Leone, there is a lot of beating that happens. Some teachers carry a stick in the class room and switch a child if they get the wrong answer. It is common for husbands beat their wives for small mistakes: in turn women will often beat children out of quick anger. This is the process which is just a known and accepted form of discipline. Many times is taken too far and is over abused. This doesn’t happen everywhere but it happens often and is culturally unacceptable to interfere unless you are family.
Life in Sierra Leone is very harsh and matter of fact. Nothing is sugar-coated it is said like it is and when tragedy happens it is a part of life; you pick up and move on. It is hard to break away from the cycle of normal life here. Children born to farmers are often not able to attend school. It is too far to walk to school, their parents cannot afford to send them to school, or the parents do not see the need to send the child to school since they are expected to work the farm and continue with the work when their parents cannot.
It has been interesting learning more about the culture and people here in Sierra Leone. There are so many people who have many needs.