2014, Feb. 13 Banjulinding Handing Over Ceremony
We arrived at the tailors this morning in time to pick up our Handing Over dresses and rush to Banjulinding Primary School for the presentation. I hadn’t prepared a speech and so was using the travel time to mentally prepare something in my head.
The children, parents, school committees, and people of the village of Banjulinding were present and filled the school yard. The news crew arrived right after we were seated at the high table. Sitting along side us was the Chief of Banjulinding, the Headmaster of the school, the Head of the Village Development Committee, President of the Mother’s Club and others. Essa’s mother Binta Badjie, her sister, Joks Camara and other members of the core family were also present in front as contributing members.
We handed over 14 bicycles, backpacks, 14 boxes of books and paint supplies, yarn, slippers (flip-flops), pens and other educational materials. In addition to the supplies we paid school fees for 8 children. The fee payment included payment for two school uniforms, a daily school lunch, 2 pairs of shoes, books, a school badge, and test fees.
It was a wonderful day – full of promise and joy.
Shortly after the presentation, Adama, a reported from The Point newspaper interviewed me in the Headmaster’s office. Using a tape recorder he taped responses to his questions which covered many of the topics mentioned at the handing over. He told me that the report would be printed the very next day. The only thing he needed me to do was to send a photo for the article. I promised I would and he left with tape recorder in hand.