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Donna: When did you first become involved with the Center for the Promotion of Inclusive Education (CPIE)?

Mo: I first became involved with CPIE in the summer of 2013, three months after its inception. I believed in the organization’s mission to ensure an inclusive education for students with disabilities in Sierra Leone and Sub-Sahara West Africa.

It has always been my passion to give back to forgotten and underprivileged children in the community where I grew up. CPIE provided me with an opportunity to do so on a larger scale. When I was called upon by the Executive Director Dr. Christian F. Sesay Jr. to serve with him to deliver educational services in underprivileged communities in Sierra Leone and West Africa, it was like a dream come true.

Donna: What is your job function at K12?

Mo: I work in Facilities at K12, with a concentration in IT-related activities.

Donna: Did your work at K12 help inspire your passion for CPIE’s programs?

Mo: Having worked at K12 for eight years, I have been fortunate to know and work with a dedicated and diverse group of people who believe that every child is unique and should be given the opportunity to realize their potential through a high-quality education, irrespective of race, gender, or zip code.

What drew me to CPIE is their mission statement, which seemed very much in line with what K12 stands for. CPIE supports programs that establish classroom environments and school communities to provide an equitable education for students. My work at CPIE has been driven by a commitment to overcome barriers to learning and encourage participation for all children in Sierra Leone and West Africa.

Donna: Can you tell me about the scholarship program CPIE offers?

Mo: I have been privileged to help provide CPIE scholarships every year to over three hundred students across Sierra Leone. The scholarships include tuition, books and uniforms.

In 2018, I’ve also been tasked by the Board of Directors to help implement one of CPIE’s signature programs “Our Girls Matter”, which aims to increase the enrollment of girls in schools through mentorship. We have organized a group of mentors to guide and inspire them to achieve their goals. Through this venture, we hope to guide 175 female students from SS1 (or 10th Grade in the U.S.) to college level to help create positive change in a society confronted with challenges related to gender equity.

Donna: What is your role at CPIE?

Mo: I am the Assistant Executive Director to Dr. Christian Sesay Jr. I am also honored to have been overwhelmingly appointed by CPIE’s Board of Directors to serve as the Country Director to Sierra Leone. In this role, I have been fortunate to oversee the opening of ten computer labs at schools across Sierra Leone thanks to generous computer donations exclusively from K12.

Donna: Tell me more about the donations and support services K12 provides.

Mo: As of the time of the writing this piece, K12 has been the main donor of educational technological materials, such as computers and library books. Computers were used to open computer labs in a number of schools, including at Fouray Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Roman International Academy, Freetown Cheshire Home for children with Special needs and St. Edwards Secondary School for Boys. Computer labs were also opened in the towns of Segbema in East of Sierra Leone and Tambaka in the North of Sierra Leone.

Donna: What is your favorite part about being involved in CPIE?

Mo: Every year, in virtually all of West Africa, thousands of bright little children that are born with disabilities get left behind, as their able-bodied peers have the opportunity to pursue an education. They are some of the most beautiful, brilliant souls you will ever meet. So my favorite part is when I have the opportunity to meet and mingle with these sweet kids every year, who did not choose to be born with disabilities, or to suffer the horrific injuries and debilitating diseases that left them disabled. They are beautiful children who also deserve a quality education, just like their able-bodied peers and children elsewhere in the world.

Photo gallery below of Mo’s extraordinary work with CPIE.


About The Author

Donna Savarese

Donna Savarese is Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for K12. Savarese also manages executive speechwriting and internal communications for the company. Previously, she served as a Senior Media Relations Manager within Lockheed Martin’s Worldwide Media Relations (WMR) department. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and twice won the Edward R. Murrow Award for journalism while serving as the 6 pm nightly news anchor for five years at KMOV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri. Savarese is the recipient of seven Emmy nominations, including a nomination in Sports and as ‘Best On-Air Talent’.

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