Following the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the late Geoffrey Freind became aware of families who were quarantined and he sent some financial support from his book funds. This led to an invitation to support a new school that was being established in the area of Dwarzak, Freetown for children otherwise unable to receive education.
The Geoff and Lyn Freind Christian School was established with a first intake of 80 students from the community in April 2015. Two years on, the school has doubled in size and now offers classes from Kinder to year 6 for 160 children from the community. In a recent meeting with a local NGO provider from Sierra Leone, the forecast for the school is to grow to 300 students at full capacity.
Most recently the school's lease had finished at its original site. This was a chance to move to land that would allow for purpose built premises where the students would have enough room to receive their education. The school now has 4 classrooms and there is room for the children to play.
In April 2017, the school celebrated its 2nd birthday. This was a great celebration for the whole community and the school staff and children lead a parade through the main streets of Dwarzak, where many parents and community members enjoyed the achievements the school had made. The Foundation hope to visit the school and the community early in 2018.
June 2017 has seen the newest initiative of the Enjoy the Journey Foundation begin. In partnership with the Fervent Academy and Fervent Church, Cebu, we have commenced a 5 year strategic plan which will see 35 students from a local slum community receive an education. The start of this project sees 15 of the students attending private education at Fervent Academy, and the other 20 students attending school at 3 separate public schools. The hope is that within 18 months all students will be able to attend Fervent Academy, where they will be able to excel in their education.
Along with this initiative there will be a feeding program happening twice a week in the local slum community, feeding in excess of 150 people, including family members and children involved in the sponsorship. This has already had an impact on the community, as they meet twice a week for a communal meal, where they share and enjoy dinner together.
The last part of this project is the support of transport. We assist in the payments for a driver and vehicle running costs which allows the students to be picked up to school so they can arrive safely.
This initiative is only new, but on a recent trip by Lyn, Steven and Samuel Freind to the Phillipines the Foundation has seen first hand what impact this project is already having on the community.