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A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa Foundation (BTA) was created in 2005 to support programs for women and children of Sierra Leone , West Africa - a country at the bottom of the Human Development Index according to the United Nations. BTA founder Sarah Armstrong chose to work with community-based organizations because the help provided goes directly to the people who need it, not through some large agency or government function. Over twenty organizations were initially interviewed by Ms. Armstrong in Sierra Leone and then five were selected because she knew that - by working with these organizations - she could have the most immediate impact on the health and future of the country. Children of the Nations, Children's Learning Services, National Accountability Group, FreeTong Players International and The Market Women's Association were the five organizations chosen: detailed information on each can be found on the Foundation's website (www.brighterafrica.org ).
A Brighter Tomorrow for Africa Foundation (BTA)is working with Children of the Nations, Children's Learning Services, National Accountability Group, FreeTong Players International and The Market Women's Association on a variety of programs in-country including:
a program for malnourished preschoolers. Each month we bring twenty children into the program. We provide therapeutic feeding - up to four times a day - and teach their mothers how to properly feed them. These young children added an average of 2 pounds to their weight in just the first month of the program. Also: a program that now feeds well over 300 kids every school day - kids who have never known what a nutritious meal looks like. The children in the program have gained an average of 25% of their original weight in just six months. They come to school every day and on time. They are more alert, energetic and doing much better academically. And one other example: are launching "Peace Clubs" in the secondary schools of the Northern Provinces as part of a conflict-management program. The centerpiece is an education module that teaches the children how to resolve conflict in nonviolent ways. These are very necessary skills after so many years of a brutal rebel war in Sierra Leone . Our objective is to install this program in all 86 secondary schools, reaching a total of 41,000 students. BTA was able to fund the study to establish the interest and need as well as fund the development of the materials for the "Peace Clubs." We are also trying to start a program to educate women to read and write as the illiteracy rate in Sierra Leone among women is 85%.
- Sarah Armstrong
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