"The College Try" in Madison's Isthmus

Madison, Wisconsin’s Isthmus magazine published a feature in their October issue covering the origin story behind Koinadugu College. The article begins as follows:

Not many students are like Abdulai A. Conteh. At least not in Sierra Leone’s Koinadugu District. He’s getting ready for college.

Conteh, now 20, did not see that coming just a few years ago: “I did not have that chance.”

For Conteh, and almost every other child growing up in the Koinadugu District, going to college isn’t realistic. Nestled in the northern portion of Sierra Leone, the country’s largest district is far away from any university. Freetown — which is a difficult full day of travel away — is simply out of reach for most residents. Tuition and housing costs put higher education even further out of reach.

“When you live in this district or another district or other part of the country, to educate you have a lot challenges along the line that will lead you to drop out,” Conteh says in a phone call with Isthmus.

But Conteh, and dozens of people who grew up in his district, are set to start classes at the University of Koinadugu, slated to open in January.

“If a university is in Koinadugu then people will have that interest and the courage to attend,” Conteh says.

You can read the full story here.

MediaSarah Fracek