October 2020 Trip

Ken Diebner is a member of the Veritas Foundation’s Executive Committee. He is also the project manager of our work in Sierra Leone. Ken lived in Sierra Leone for a year, and he has visited Sierra Leone numerous other times. He was very excited to return to Sierra Leone and help the Paul School for the Blind with the support of the Veritas Foundation! 


When Ken arrived at the Blind School, he went for a walk on the Blind School grounds with Mohamed Conteh (evangelical Christian and director of the Blind School). As Ken walked with Mohamed, he heard beautiful music coming from one of the classrooms. Ken asked Mohamed about the music, and Mohamed responded, “Ah! We have a church service here three times a week!”

In addition to the church services, Pastor Peter (pictured with his wife Grace) asked the Blind School if he could teach Bible studies there every week in an effort to inspire the community of Bo and children at the Blind School to develop a relationship with God. The weekly Bible studies will begin next week! God works in ways we never would have thought. This is a beautiful reminder that God is the One who truly does the work!


Ken’s daughter, Gabrielle, volunteered her time to build an architectural model of the Blind School’s existing buildings. The model also included future buildings the Veritas Foundation hopes to help the Blind School build. Mohamed was able to touch this accurate scale model and can now describe his hopes for the Blind School’s “Master Plan”!


The Dining Hall benches were falling apart, so we had six new benches built so that everyone had a place at the table!

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Thanks to your generosity, the Veritas Foundation is now able to provide the children at the Blind School with 3 meals a day. Their teachers informed us the children now have energy to stay awake during class and excitement to learn their lessons!

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Pictured below, students at the Blind School are learning to write in Braille using the Marburg Braille Writing Slate. Satu (pictured below in the center photograph) records her school lectures using a small hand-held tape recorder. She then takes notes in Braille to help her study later.

The Blind School was only able to afford a few of these slates. Each slate costs $26 U.S. dollars, which is about 266,000 Leones. Our goal is to purchase another 50 slates so all of the children at the Blind School will have their own personal writing tablets!

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Learning Hard


With your support, the Veritas Foundation was able to purchase two bundles of clothes for the children! With much help (each of the bundles weighs about 200 pounds!), Ken was able to transport the clothing bundles from a nearby aid center to the Blind School. All 65 children at the Blind School received shoes and 6-8 pieces of clothing each. The children were giddy with excitement!

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Clothing Bundle
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The new kitchen is coming to life! Countertops and a sink were installed in the kitchen over the past couple of days while a cement finish was applied to the floor. The kitchen should be completed by the end of the month. 

Construction projects in Sierra Leone aren’t for the faint of heart. In the summer, the weather is 90+ degrees with 90% humidity every day. Workers also don’t have access to power tools, so everything is done in an old-fashioned way. In addition to the heat, rain comes with a fury. Often times, entire meals for all the children at the school are destroyed. With a covered kitchen, meals will never be lost to the rain again!

The Veritas Foundation recently negotiated a contract with GiLa Hospital (a German hospital located within walking distance from the Blind School) to provide healthcare to all the children and staff at the Blind School! No longer will the children have to delay care because they can’t afford it. From this point forward, they will have access to doctors and nurses 24/7.

The Veritas Foundation reached out to many other hospitals before we even heard of GiLa Hospital. These other hospitals required very expensive contracts and did not appear to care for disabled children’s well-being.

After meeting with some of the staff at GiLa Hospital, Ken found out that the manager at GiLa has a blind child who visited the Blind School years ago. The Blind School showed his child much kindness. Since then, the manager at GiLa has tried to find ways to help the Blind School. By partnering with the Veritas Foundation, the manager at GiLa finally has the resources to help the children!

While Ken visited Sierra Leone, a team of doctors and nurses from GiLa Hospital hosted a medical clinic at the Blind School to create a baseline medical record for each child. Should any of the children get sick, GiLa Hospital will be ready to care for them!


We are so happy to see the kids and staff members at the Blind School playing the drums, soccer, and jump rope despite being visually impaired!

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Playing Jump Rope Blind


The kids and staff iron their own clothes using an old-fashioned coal iron. Some even make their own clothes! The last picture to the right shows Alieu Sam, a teacher at the Blind School, teaching a student how to weave fabric.

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Ken is not looking forward to leaving Sierra Leone. He made many new friends, and they can’t wait for the Veritas Foundation to return next year!

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