Saffa Koroma: Operation Classroom Sierra Leone Leader

The 'Glue' Between The USA And Sierra Leone OC Teams

Saffa Koroma was Principal of Kenema Secondary School for 14 years. He became Education Secretary for the Sierra Leone United Methodist Church Conference in 1994. As Education Secretary he oversees and manages 206 Elementary Schools and 20 Secondary Schools. He assists in hiring all the Headmasters and Principals of these schools and attempts to attend the Board of Governors meetings at each of the schools. In addition he is the liaison between the schools and the Ministry of Education.

Simultaneously with being the Education Secretary he serves as the Country Coordinator for Operation Classroom. He coordinates the needs of the 206 UMC Elementary Schools and 9 of the 20 UMC Secondary Schools with Rev. Joe and Carolyn Wagner of the Indiana International Office of Operation Classroom. Support comes from several United States UMC Conferences and individual Districts within some Conferences. He then coordinates and assists Work Teams visiting Sierra Leone from the U.S. throughout the year.

Operation Classroom was started in Indiana in 1987 by retired Missionaries and persons interested in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The program grew rapidly and continues to expand, celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. The mission of Operation Classroom is to be in Partnership with the United Methodist Church Conferences in Sierra Leone and Liberia to provide health and education services in a Christian environment.

Saffa with a young child in Makeni. This boy will eventually benefit from the improved education opportunities made possible by the OC projects at UMC schools in Makeni.

Saffa is dedicated to the goal that the children of Sierra Leone are the key to the future success of Sierrra Leone. On the above left Saffa is pictured with Fayia Francis Nyuma [L] a science teacher from Freetown and Daniel Kamanda [R] one of the science workshop leaders. The science teachers took a field trip to the Bumbuna Dam as part of their curriculum work in 2005.

Operation Classroom
UMC Secondary
School Project

The OC Team began a construction project in 2005 that was completed in 2006 and 2007. Six new classrooms were built at the UMC Secondary School in Makleni. The picture on the right shows the dedication in 2005 when the foundation was begun. Saffa is pictured in the center of row 1 as local leaders attend the dedication. UMC Principals A. O. Barzey and John Sesay, building contractor Mr. Kamara, Makeni teachers, local workers and the Operation Classroom U.S. Team combined to complete the project on schedule.

Left: Saffa with UMC Primary principal John Sesay [red hat] on the 2005 field trip to the Bumbuna Dam. Above: OC USA team member Judy Figi and Saffa at Yahara Elementary School in Edgerton, Wisconsin, in September 2007.

Operation Classroom will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of continual ministry in Liberia and Sierra Leone on October 28th at 5:00 pm at the Jonathan Byrd Cafeteria in Greenwood Indiana. Special speakers will include Dr. Randy Day, Bishops John Innis of Liberia, Bishop Joseph Humper of Sierra Leone and Bishop Michael Coyner of Indiana. Tickets are available through the OC office.

There will be a consultation on Sierra Leone Friday, October 26 and a consultation on Liberia on Saturday October 27. These consultations will be held in Indianapolis Indiana. Any person interested in the work of the UM Church in Liberia or Sierra Leone are invited to participate in the consultation and the 20th anniversary celebration.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration the OC Makeni team has sponsored Saffa's trip to the USA. Saffa will visit with OC members before attending the anniversary celebration. The pictures above show Saffa in Janesville, Wisconsin, on September 11 and 12, 2007. Saffa spoke to two sessions of the Janesville Academy for International Studies which is a charter school that is part of the Janesville, Wisconsin, school district. The picture [upper left] shows Saffa addressing students at the afternoon session of the academy. Saffa is also pictured [upper right] on his visit to the Rotary Gardens in Janesville.

Saffa is pictured at Belton [MO] High School. Belton is about 20 miles south of Kansas City. Saffa stayed with the Alice Law family before traveling to the Fraziers in Warrensburg, MO., during the week of September 16. From Warrensburg Saffa will travel to the Denver area on September 20.

Saffa flew from Freetown to Chicago via London on September 7. After arriving in Chicago on September 8 he traveled to Minneapolis before arriving in Janesville on Monday September 10. After spending time in Belton and Warrensburg , MO., Saffa will travel to Colorado on the 20th of September.

Saffa is pictured above at an African Studies class at the University of Central Missouri which is located in Warrensburg. Below right: Exploring Religions class at UCM.

OC gathering at the Fraziers on September 18th. Slide show of Saffa's USA travels.