"A Good Daughter and a Transformer of Nations": Hawa’s Story

03/27/18

When Hawa came to COTN–Sierra Leone at the age of twelve, she was struggling academically and spiritually.

By the time Hawa turned three, she had no father in her life. Her mother struggled to support four children with the meager money she made from petty trading.


Young Hawa
                                          At twelve, Hawa struggled in school.


When Hawa’s mother came to Ngolala in search of a better job, Hawa wanted to enter COTN’s primary school.

“I attended an interview to enter COTN Primary School, but my performance was not good because my academic background was very poor,” says Hawa.

Hawa also lacked any sort of spiritual life. In Sierra Leone, it’s assumed that you are either Muslim or Christian, but Hawa had no religious life at all, and no personal relationship with God.

Hawa says, “I can say that COTN has greatly impacted my life because, when I started attending the Mallory Jansen Primary School I began to see some improvement in my academic work. I sat to my National Primary School Examination (NPSE), and I got a very good result. I was very surprised at myself for getting [that] kind of result.”

But that wasn’t the only big change in Hawa’s life since attending COTN’s school. She explains: “This was the time I accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal savior. I began to attend church, and finally, I was baptized.”

Older Hawa
   At COTN, Hawa was able to receive the education and the tools she needed to succeed.


Hawa’s life continued to change for the better. “I was given an opportunity to be enrolled into the Village Partnership Program (VPP) and got sponsors who are helping with my holistic care,” she says.

Hawa continued studying and passing exams until she was able to enter university prep.

She says, “When I looked back from where I began and where I am now and saw all what God has done for me through COTN–Sierra Leone . . . I said to myself that I should start working for the Lord.

So Hawa started serving at her church as an usher. Hawa also served in COTN’s primary school library, helping students with their reading and spelling.


Hawa in the library
                                    Hawa worked well with the children at the library.


Many COTN students take on a gap assignment, which is usually a service project they complete during the time between finishing high school and starting university or vocational school (this can last a few months or a whole year). For her gap assignment, Hawa was invited to come back to the library and work with the children.

Sarah Kiess, COTN–Sierra Leone’s Education Specialist, worked with Hawa while she served the children. Sarah says, “Hawa was very hardworking and diligent in her work. She was really good with the kids—very kind and patient with them. She has a really quiet, sweet demeanor.”


Hawa with family
At Hawa’s graduation ceremony, proud friends and family members celebrated her accomplishment with gifts.


Hawa says, “I have really impacted a lot of children in the primary with reading and spelling words. Even though I am about to complete my gap year and go to the university, I pray that the children will learn more in Jesus's name.”

Hawa is now one of the 21 COTN–Sierra Leone students entering university this year. She will study banking and finance.

It’s not just her academic transformation that is remarkable; it’s her commitment to serving God and others.


Hawa in graduation gown
Hawa says, “I . . . am proud and thankful for COTN. . . . Because this was the place where I got salvation and the blessings [I] am receiving now.”


She says, “Without COTN, I would not have been where I am today. [I] am really blessed to have a wonderful family like this, and I promise to be a good daughter and a transformer of nations in a positive way.”

When you support children like Hawa, your gift has a ripple effect—transforming the life of a child who will grow up and transform others. Thank you for giving children a future and a hope in Jesus.