Orange Sierra Leone, the undisputed leader in the telecoms industry of Sierra Leone, on Thursday 28th September, 2023 officially commissioned the newly Beamay Nursery and Preparatory School at the Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown.
This was part of the US$1.5million pledge Orange made to complement Government’s Free Quality School Education (FQSE) in different forms of educational support.
Speaking at the commissioning, Orange (SL) Chief Executive Officer, Sekou Amadu Bah, said they were happy that the refurbished school with seven classrooms would host about 280 pupils with better facilities for an effective learning environment that would nurture the leaders of the future.
“As a company we understand the essence of giving back to the communities in which we operate, giving back to the communities in which we operate. That is why we did not hesitate to provide the philanthropic support required to this local community school to create a positive impact on children’s lives and to foster educational sustainability,” he averred.
The CEO added that Orange will continue to play a key role in the ‘Five Big Game Changers’ of the Government through their Corporate Social Responsibility and Foundation Project to drive Human Capital Development and youth empowerment to contribute effectively to His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s vision for the country.
“When we received the request from the Armed Forces Wives Association to support with renovation of the school, we were compelled to take action to refurbish the school due to the deplorable state of its building that made it unfit for learning because we recognize that good facilities and infrastructures are important for producing good school outcomes,” CEO noted.
The CEO of Sonatel, Sekou Drame, said the project was a reflection of Sonatel and Orange Group’s commitment towards fostering sustainable development in education to build seeds for the future.
According to him, the objective of their group’s corporate social responsibility policy is to deploy sustainable development goals at the heart of all their affiliates across Africa and the Middle East that will be imbedded in four explicit areas: well-being of communities in which they operate; good governance; growth and economic development through investment; and preservation of the environment.
He said Orange is the first telecoms company to launch a partnership with government and that through their Foundation they have built five ultra-modern early learning development schools within three years in Port Loko, Kambia, Pujehun, Moyamba and Bonthe districts respectively.
Giving the keynote address, the First Lady, Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio, averred that education is the first pillar in President Bio’s agenda and he prioritized education because he wanted Sierra Leone to be part of the new Millennium.
She further expressed her profound thanks and appreciation to Orange and Sonatel for their support in helping the Armed Forces Wives Association to refurbish the school.
The First Lady underscored the importance of teachers and described them as precious people in moving society forward.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General P.K. Lavahun, said Beamay Nursery and Preparatory school is one of the oldest nursery and preparatory facilities across the Armed Forces.
He recalled that the Armed Forces Wives Association four decades ago conceived the idea of establishing the school that provide basic conducive learning environment for kids of serving personnel in Wilberforce barracks.
The Army Boss expressed gratitude to Orange Sierra Leone for its time CSR intervention to support the refurbishment of the school.