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Festival of Hope dinner on Friday will raise funds for Sierra Leone’s Hope Academy for Girls

A school in Sierra Leone could open its doors in September, thanks to a global fundraising effort that started in Bermuda.

The Hope Academy for Girls has been a project long in the making, according to organiser Ngadi Kamara, daughter of the fundraiser founder, Aliea Kamara.

A Festival of Hope dinner at the Landfall Restaurant will be held on Friday evening to help a cause that has come to have “a special place in the hearts of Bermudians”, Ms Kamara said.

“Bermudians have been very generous in supporting this over the years.”

The West African nation, which emerged from civil war in 2002, continues to rebuild. Illiteracy is rampant, and Ms Kamara said 60 percent of girls from primary school don’t make it to middle school.

Victor Scott Primary School, which has faced its own financial challenges in refurbishing its library, was able to contribute books and stationery.

“The books were in great condition and they were sufficient for the number of girls,” Ms Kamara said, explaining the books were no longer required by the Pembroke school because of curriculum changes.

English is the official language of Sierra Leone, a former British colony.

Support for the Hope Academy started in Bermuda almost ten years ago and fundraising is now taking place in six other countries around the world.

Ms Kamara said the dinner and entertainment at Landfall could be joined by her mother in London, via Skype.

A final $22,000 is being raised to complete building the academy in time for the start of the school year in September.

Friday’s dinner will include performances by Princess Black, Gavin (Djata) Smith, the Bermuda African Dance Company and Melodye Micere Van Putten.

Tickets, at $60, are available at BdaTix.bm, at Pulp and Circumstance, and Fabulous Fashions in the Heron Bay Plaza.