Alton Bendu is once again being celebrated for contributing to nation building following his Prosperity Girls’ High School taking the second position in the 2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Southern Region.
This is the school’s first regional edge in BECE results. Last year was the fourth time it has led schools in the Moyamba District.
The school was opened in September 20, 2009, but it took its first BECE in 2012 and for the first time sealed its name by brandishing Rotifunk in a good light after topping the results of that year. Since then, it has made tremendous glory in academic pursuit, converting girls, who were potential breed to help on the farm, to meaningful citizens with brighter hope for the future.
When Proprietor Alton Bendu visited Rotifunk early in the 2000s, he was disappointed in many things. The most glaring of his dismay was the state in which girls were being impregnated and their dreams shattered. He was also frustrated to see the Rotifunk Government Hospital lying in ruins after being burnt down by rebels. It is on this grounds he resolved to open a girls’ school, securing funds from his Norwegian friends to help in the venture.
He renovated two schools in the Rotifunk Township, namely, Walterschultz Memorial School and Saint Albert Primary School. He provided Walterschultz with furniture including modern roofing shipped home from Norway.
Education experts say a favorable learning environment is key to better academic standing. The Prosperity School has a library, access to clean water, clean toilet facilities, a computer lab, modern furniture shipped from Norway, donated bicycles, standard boarding home to house forty girls and a modern assembly hall.
The school has created jobs for Rotifunk community, employing local teachers who are directly and solely being paid by Alton Bendu without government assistance.
The indigenes of Rotifunk were proud to get the first girls’ school in their chiefdom and are satisfied that the school is living up to expectations. But that was not all. Mr. Bendu renovated the Rotifunk Government Hospital and donated tons of surgical equipment to the hospital. He played a leading role in bringing Norwegian medical experts to train their local comrades.
“These are the kind of people Sierra Leone needs to embrace. The man is selfless and patriotic. He needs to be encouraged,” an indigene from Rotifunk told this reporter a day after the announcement of the 2016 BECE results was made.
In the Ebola scourge, he donated thousands of PPE and chlorine to dozens of health centers including the PCMH and 34 Military Hospital. Prior to the three-day lockdown, Alton Bendu offered his boat to convey relief items to nearby villages in Bumpeh Chiefdom Moyamba District.
He donated over one thousand bags of rice to quarantine homes during the Ebola scourge.
Since 2008, Mr. Bendu has been promoting tourism by bringing dozens of Norwegian students and friends every year to the country.
To boost learning and support government, Alton Bendu donated school materials to schools in Freetown and gave out over hundred scholarships to vulnerable children to keep them in school. He has also provided sporting gears to sporting associations in Freetown with the Sierra Leone Karate Association prominent among them.
For contributing to the development of the country, Lions Club International, the biggest humanitarian organization in the world, acknowledged Alton Bendu’s good work by giving him a prestigious award.
That is still not all; on the 26th September 2016 in Maryland, the Sierra Leone Ex Service Personnel Association gave him a certificate of appreciation in honour of his good work in the country.
For Albert Koroma, a civil society activist, Alton and the likes should be encouraged and honoured by both the local and central governments for the role they are playing in nation building. “They should be recognized,” he said.