CWS member Gertrude Yema Jusufu runs the school, which was started by her mother. It comes under the auspices of St Peter the Rock Parish in Calaba town in Freetown.
Extra-curricular training and support services include:
- Workshops on Christian moral attitudinal behavioural changes, involving teachers from others chools and parental involvement to help with effective parenting in the home.
- Home visits with other female teachers to provide psychological support.
- Help for parents who cannot provide the basic necessities that their children need.
- Visits to disabled children and their families to help them to discover an appreciation of their lives as wonderfully created by God.
Explaining her decision to leave her religious order in the United States and return to Sierra Leone to work for the education of marginalised and under-priviliged girls, Gertrude says: “Since the war our country has lost the value of education. So we are giving these girls quality education that will help them develop themselves, raise up their self-esteem and let them have their human dignity again.”
Gertrude struggles to raise sufficient funds to run the school, particularly during this global crisis caused by the Covid19 pandemic when the school is closed but staff still need their salaries to live on. Income comes exclusively from school fees, but even in normal times Gertrude often has to borrow money at high interest rates when parents cannot afford to pay fees. The annual running cost of the school is about le. 148,000,000 in Sierre Leone currency (about £12,200 or 13,900 euros). This includes salaries for 8 teachers, a care giver, cleaner, security guard, administrator and head teacher, as well as annual scholarship fees for 10 girls
Our first aim is to provide support to enable Gertrude to continue to pay salaries while the school is closed because of the pandemic. After that, we plan to set in place a regular funding scheme to contribute to her work, and we are currently in discussion with Fidel Götz Foundation about possible support for this. We believe that the holistic education and support offered by Bysee School, which is rooted in the Catholic tradition but informed by the particular challenges and struggles createrd by gender-based inequality and violence against women and girls, expresses the ideals and visions of our global network. While we are not a fund-raising or charitable enterprise, we seek to express our commitment to the promotion of the human dignity of all by offering practical support to Gertrude.