Ponka Academy


It all started with a grandfather teaching children under the mango tree of his ancestral village. Ponka village was the home he'd never truly known growing up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. When he was a boy, his father had sent him away to live with an uncle so that he could get a good education. He had studied hard. Achieved his dreams. Had a successful career and a big, loving family. Then war. Chaos. And eventually a homecoming, a return to peace, and a deep desire to bring quality education home to Ponka. In the heart of the village, under the shade of the mango tree, he taught the children every day the sun was shining. He shared his dreams of building a school with his oldest son, Andrew, who, during the war, had emigrated to Connecticut. Together they bridged the distance and set out to build a school so that when it rained, no child would miss out on her bright future.



Building a bright future for all children


A grand opening

By 2018, Ponka Academy was fully transformed. Two classrooms became 11 classrooms. A playground, a basketball court, a library, and a state-of-the-art computer center made it a school unlike any other in the country. The hopes and dreams of the children who once sat under the mango tree to learn about the world would always flourish. 

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