Keep Calm: Renovations are in progress at St Josephs!

Dear Friends and Supporters of St Joseph’s

The rainy season is upon us. The saying “when it rains it pours” fits in perfectly with the situation in Makeni. After months and months of oven baking temperatures, the rains are here. Now the interesting about the rain here, at least at the moment, is that when it rains it cools down but then suddenly the next day or at night the heat comes back with such intensity that you end forgetting that it actually rained. My take is that rain is a curse and a blessing in this part of the world. Poor us (the volunteers) both of us are just recovering from cold, so we are sneezing and sniffling now, I guess we are finally settling in here.

So what’s been happening in our school? There is a lot going on including klamping and clomping sound that you will notice as you move around the school, we are demolishing, renovating, refurbishing different parts of the school. Oh we are also harvesting!

Thank you to all our donors who are supporting all the work/renovations taking place.

Conference Hall

We are happy to announce that our hall has been repainted and the grotty, leaking roof has been repaired and repainted. The walls have been painted in the oceanic blue colour that will make any boring workshop a sea breeze. We have also bought new fans to add a bit of coolness.

Freshly painted hall

Soccer Goalposts

Do you feel like kicking a ball, have no fear, our goal posts have been newly repainted by one of our very own talented student, Sidikie Peter. Come and kick the stress away!

Fire Safety Training for Students

Last term, we ended with all our staff being trained on fire safety in case of fire breakout. Well, this term we went ahead and had our last leg of the training, where our students got to experience how to handle fire hazards, it was a great success. Thank you again to the Makeni Fire Force for a job well done.

Makeni Marathon 2019

This was no ordinary marathon especially for our students. We woke up in the wee hours of Sunday. This was quiet a challenge for those of us who are not used to waking up late to early afternoon of Sunday. But all was not wasted because we had loads of fun. We were dancing and taking photos before we knew it, we were fully awake and ready to take on anyone who dare stands in our way.We are proud to say that one of our students beat all 521 (total of 523 entries) runners by becoming number 3 in the full marathon. Thank you who participated and well done Sallieu Jalloh for presenting our school. A special thanks to Teacher Esshaka Kargbo (right photo blue shorts) who fervently and single-handedly put the team together and has been doing so for the past eight years.

The team at 6 am
He cannot contain his joy. Well done, Sallieu Jalloh!!!

Irish Ambassador Visits St Joseph at Disco Noon

We had a pleasure of being visited by the current Irish Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Catherine Campbell. She officiated our Disco Noon by buying the trophy and presenting it to Sallieu Jalloh who was overwhelmed by all the excitement. Thank you Catherine, it has been great working and we acknowledge all the support you have been offering to the school during the past two years in your post. We would like to wish a safe return home and all the best for your future endeavours! We will definitely miss you!

To see more photos of the Disco Noon, visit our Facebook Page.

Sallieu & Amb Catherine
Right: Carmel, Sallieu, Catherine, Sr Mary, Andrew (Headteacher)

Pumping Dance Floor….

National School for the Deaf comes St Josephs

Some of you may know that St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired in Makeni is the only school in the country that offers assessment and testing for hearing aid. On Friday, we welcomed teachers and parents who brought eight of their students to be assessed. At the end of the testing by the Audiology Department, they were all fitted with hearing aids. The jubilation was written all over students’ faces and parents who could not believe that their students could hear now. What was more exciting was seeing our students interacting with them, the mood was just electric!

Audiology Team at work.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors who contributed in making this a success. Our thanks goes to the Friends of St Josephs and partners (for the vision and construction of the café), Trocaire (contribution in the refurbishment of the café) and our dedicated team led by our ever am smiling Carmel.

The Café is open from 7:00 to 15:00 – Monday to Friday. If you are ever in Makeni and you want a taste of local food such as cassava leaves, potato leaves, ground nuts soup served with rice and fish, be sure to stop by our café. We also serve tea and café and local cakes and sweet potatoe chips. Since Carmel is running the show maybe a pint of Guinness but don’t quote me on that 🙂

Visit by Afrika-Jugend-Bildung, our Swiss Donors.

Ana and Beda paid us a visit to see how we are doing. They are the donors who helped us build the Woodwork Centre, the kitchen and the chimney. They are currently sponsoring the electrification of dorm rooms outside the school, the treatment and vaccination against Hepatitis, refurbishment of the woodwork centre, food supplies for our boarders, etc. Thank you very for your support.

Visited by Street Child, the organisers of the Makeni Marathon.

A round of applause for these ladies who came all the way from the UK and US to organise this big event. Not only did they do that, they also invited our school to be part of the craft night where we had an opportunity to sell the work of our students. Thank you ladies, we really appreciate you and we hope you had safe journey back home!

Guests from the University of Fraservalley, Canada.

We had a pleasure of hosting 16 staff and students from Fraservalley University, who were placed in various hospitals around Makeni. They stayed in the school guesthouse for 2 weeks. Thank you for visiting and supporting our Getting to Zero” booksale. We do hope you enjoyed your stay despite the hiccups with power outages in the last two nights. Have a safe journey back to Canada!

Lilian Foundation Fund

We had a surprise visit from Lilian Foundation Fund who came with gifts for our students in the form of school bags and stationery .
The goods were presented by Mustapha Bawoh and his team and received by the Head Teacher, Andrew Dumbuya.

The Raining Season NGO

Almost four years ago, Sr Mary was travelling and happened to have a chat with Susan Blakenship on the plane, about the school and the work she is doing here in Makeni. Fastforward to 30th May 2019, Susan and her team which included deaf students from Tennessee, US, decided to visit our school while on trip here in Sierra Leone. They came bearing gifts such as school, linen for our guesthouse, stationery and desperately needed office equipment. Thank you very much especially the lamination machine. We can finally store our documents and school certificates without worrying about them getting spoiled!

Thank you for shopping at our tailoring department and supporting the sale of the book “Getting to Zero”.

That’s all for now. It has been a rather busy month. I hope you all enjoyed reading about all the happenings at the school.

Remember, if you happen to be in Makeni and do not have anywhere to stay, you can stay at our air-conditioned guesthouse. All you have to do is send us an email in advance and specify whether you need double or single room.

To stay updated with everything going in the school, please LIKE our Facebook Page: This is where you get update on a day to day basiss.

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