There’s no rest for the St Joseph’s staff and pupils.

Hello to everyone,

Here in Makeni we’ve been having a rather erratic weather, at least for me. One moment we have the usual blistering and humid weather, the next we have a pouring rain accompanied by extremely strong winds with thunder and lightning that go on for at least 45 minutes. Then everything returns to normal like there was never any rain or storm. But I have been told it’s getting cooler (which I disagree with because I am still sweating buckets) now as the rainy is at our doorsteps.

Anyway, I hope everyone is gearing up for Easter break or preparing for Spring vacation for those of you who are on the other side of the world. At St Joseph’s we have been busy as usual with lots of activities, renovations, graduations, book launches, etc. Please grap a cup of coffee or icy cold lemon water and enjoy our second edition of the newsletter.


University of Makeni (UNIMAK) had an Open Day on the 28 March. Since Sr Mary is the Director of the Institute of Special Needs Education (ISNE), St Joseph was invited to showcase the work done by our pupils. The teachers and pupils were up for this challenge. We displayed our work from the tailoring/sewing, woodwork centre and hairdressing units. The staff from the Audiology Department also brought their equipment to show how assessment is conducted, explained different types of impairments and disabilities. It was a great success because we were able to show that disability is not inability.

Ms Christian (right) sewing and tailoring teacher and her students.
Institute of Special Needs Education Team at St Joseph’s Sr Mary Sweeney, Andrew Dumbuya, Siddie Kanu and Samuel Sesay.

The Woodwork Centre students sitting on chairs that they had made.



Sinead Walsh, former Irish Ambassador in Sierra and now EU Ambassador in South Sudan and Dr Oliver wrote a book called “Getting to Zero” which gives details of the unfolding of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and two neighbouring countries. The book was launched in a packed UNIMAK quad and we were there to give her our support. The proceeds of the book sales are coming to us here at St Joseph’s. Thank you Sinead and Oliver, we are truly grateful for your contribution. The book is also available as an e-book at


What an exciting time for us here at St Joseph’s! 4 of our carpentry students have graduated from Sierra Leone Opportunity and Industrialisation Centre. They have a completed their 2 year Certificate Programme in Carpentry. Well done! We wish you all the best with your future endeavours. Remember these words as you go out there in the world
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.

Graduates and Mr Lavalier (the carpentry teacher in white shirt).


Our school hall has been looking rather sad with its roof falling apart and its walls looking extremely unattractive. Thanks to our donor, Friends of St Joseph’s, we are busy refurbishing it during these holidays. The work started on Monday and should be ready by the time school re-opens in two weeks’ time. Keep an eye out for the freshly paint walls and ceilings and cooler hall…

Also on the subject of renovations and refurbishment, we have many other projects lined up to make our school a clean and safe environment to stimulate teaching and learning for our pupils. Thanks to our donors!


We are happy to report that we have had smoke detectors, alarms and fire extinguishers installed throughout the school by the Makeni City Fire Force. On Tuesday, two senior fire officers conducted fire prevention training for all staff – night carers, watchmen/security, catering, administration and teachers, in total 56 staff attended. The training was very comprehensive and included theory and practice. You can see some videos on our Facebook page.

Staff taking turns on putting out fire.
Staff attending theory part of the training.


When the last day of approaches, our pupils are not only excited but are doing their chores, too. I was walking around the school and came across these hardworking pupils cleaning their dining hall and classrooms. So impressive! Well done boys and girls!

Thank you for reading our April edition of the newsletter which came out early due to holidays. Today is the last of the school for this term, we will be on Easter break for two weeks.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Easter with your loved ones. For those of you who are travelling, may you travel safely.

Also please do not forget to follow us on our Facebook Page, this is where we post more regularly of all the happenings in this vibey and never-a-dull-moment school-

If you would like to contact us, you can do so: +232 640 028 (office hours) or