Sherbro Foundation is proud to launch the Saa Chakporna Scholarship Program, awarding university scholarships to deserving Bumpeh Chiefdom young people.
The program honors the memory of Professor George Tucker Childs, an internationally recognized African linguist (called Saa Chakporma in Kissi language), who over 40 years worked to preserve endangered languages of Sierra Leone and Liberia. He sadly passed away in January 2021, still studying and documenting the Sherbro language while professor of Linguistics at Portland State University.
In Professor Childs’ name, the Saa Chakporma Scholarship Program each year will start deserving Bumpeh Chiefdom students on a four-year path to a bachelor’s degree.
The scholarships provide unique opportunities for students from rural areas without means for higher education. Four students at a time receive awards covering tuition, fees and living expenses. Candidates from low-income families and without extended family or friend support get first consideration, especially young women.
We are grateful for scholarship program funding by The Beaman – Childs Family Fund, family members honoring Professor Childs, his life’s work and his love of West Africa. To help sponsor a student, please donate here.
Legacy of preserving West African languages and cultures
Professor Childs began his lifelong work in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English in Liberia, near the Sierra Leone border.
He became an internationally known anthropological linguist, studying and publishing on the endangered Kissi, Kim and Sherbro languages in Sierra Leone.
Read more here about Professor Child’s long and distinguished career as a linguist, teaching in universities around the world.
Developing traditional communities today through education
To preserve language and culture today, native speakers need options that allow them to remain and thrive in their own communities. Instead of fleeing for better opportunities, they need education and skills to develop their communities into economically viable ones.
The Saa Chakporna scholarships are awarded for degree programs that contribute to the development of rural Bumpeh Chiefdom and preservation of its cultural heritage.
Awardees are required to return to Bumpeh Chiefdom and work in a development-oriented job at least one year for every year of scholarship support they receive.
The scholarship program’s first priority is developing bachelors’ level teachers who return to teach at the senior secondary level. The initial focus is developing the chiefdom’s first B. S. degree science and agriculture teachers
The Saa Chakporma scholarships start a pipeline of 4-year degree teachers the chiefdom has not had since long before its devastating rebel war.
We’re pleased to announce the first three scholarship recipients:
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker’s driving mission has been creating education programs to develop and transform Bumpeh Chiefdom.
“I don’t have words to express how good this scholarship program makes me feel. It fulfills my dream of education for Bumpeh Chiefdom.”
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker, above/left.
For more information on the Saa Chakporna Scholarship Program, contact Sherbrofoundation@gmail.com.