A new year always marks a time for reflection; reflecting over how far we’ve come together and where we still need to go.
2022 was a year of challenges faced and challenges overcome for a lot of people and we at Freedom Tree are no different. We have achieved many incredible things together! Our Girls Advocacy Movement (GAM) has seen over 100 girls successfully graduate from the program that teaches empowerment, new skills, and helps young girls break any kind of ceiling or limitation and aim their sights on higher goals. In the coming year, we will work with these students to help them achieve these goals, so every single person can fulfill their potential. But we will also look forward to more than 100 new girls in our GAM program in 2023.
We have successfully sponsored 50 student scholarships in Sierra Leone. A massive achievement that changes the lives of not just 50 individuals but their families and communities. And we are hoping to be able to sponsor even more scholarships in the coming year because education matters. Education matters to communities but it also matters to women’s health, every year a girl stays in school reduces the chances she will die in labour. That is the kind of change we are trying to build.
This past year we embarked together with four students as they started a two-year technical vocational education program. Employment can fundamentally alter the trajectory of an individual’s life but also impact their family’s entire future. In 2023, we will be working closely with these students as they grow closer to graduating and brightening the future of their families, communities, and even Sierra Leone.
In 2022, we served ten communities with our pre-natal curriculum program that provides education, information, and resources to pregnant women in rural Sierra Leone. In this coming year we are hoping to expand the pre-natal curriculum program to six new communities. This is a program that has a demonstrated and proven life-saving impact and we are seeking to share this with as many communities as we could.
Last summer we also created a team of teachers in Sierra Leone to support our education programs and the communities we serve. In 2023 we are looking to have a team of Canadian teachers share their expertise and train educators in Sierra Leone.
As the new year begins we are working to change the birthing journey for women in Sierra Leone so that it does not end in death but in new life. We are working to address as many of the underlying causes of the maternal mortality crisis as we can, from education and access to healthcare to improving cultural practices like eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and creating an inclusive culture where women are more empowered. With your help we are trying to build a new school in a remote village and also build our FOURTH birthing clinic in an area where it is desperately needed.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please visit: https://www.freedomtree.ca/get-involved/donate
2022 could not have been possible without all of you. A new year marks a time for gratitude and I can honestly say that we at Freedom Tree are so incredibly grateful for all of you and the amazing and generous support we’ve seen this past year. We sincerely hope that continues and we get to see you all and hear from you all in 2023.