Virginia Canales first arrived at Magbenteh Community Hospital from Spain April 2016, and for six months she was tasked with the duty of building a school which would host 240 students from the most deprived areas of Makeni, Sierra Leone, and who had suffered terrible loses during the Ebola outbreak.
After having completed the school, and the 2016-2017 scholar year had begun, SSLDF gave her the opportunity to extend her agreement with the organization by building a boarding house. The boarding aspect is aimed to be the children’s housing accommodation located next to the school and feeling that her work in Sierra Leone was unfinished, she thankfully accepted this new challenge to build a two-floor boarding house for the 240 students attending the school.
Once these facilities were completed, she went back to Spain December 2017, however she felt that her time with the organization and with the children wasn’t finished.
“I felt that my compromise with the organization and with these children will not finish there and at this time. This is how, before having left what was my home for almost two years with the organization, I planned a personal fundraising project back home in Spain, promising the SSLDF country director a return to finish some of the uncompleted tasks.”
Ten months later she came back to Sierra Leone with one of her friends who helped with the fundraising program in Spain, which is how she was able to implement the library at the school; canteen furniture; maintenance for the school; helping with the feeding program, and the coming year new uniforms, that were handed to the students in January 2019.
“Constructions and buildings are strong structures that remain over the time offering service to people. A school, builds opportunities for children, offering them a happier childhood, and the chance to erect a better future for themselves. I was grateful of being able to use my personal and professional skills as a building engineer to shape opportunities for those children, under a strong belief that a countries first step of development must be based on Education, giving the children the tools to improve their society and their own future. I hope this synergy between SSLDF, and I will bring more opportunities to the students at Magbenteh Community Boarding School.”
Thank you, Virginia Canales, SSLDF appreciates everything you do and have done. Because of your hard work and generous contributions, the young children of Makeni have a safe place learn and grow.