The school started as the Mary Sowers Home for Girls in Rotifunk in 1887. The home was sponsored by the Women’s Missionary Association of the United Brethren Church (UBC) Mission in America.
During the ‘1898 Hut Tax War’ against the British colonial government, the buildings were destroyed, the missionaries were killed, and the 17 pupils left, never to be seen or heard of again. In 1900, Madam Yoko Gulama, the Paramount Chief of the Kayamba Chiefdom, responded to a request by the UBC by giving 11 acres of land to the Mission to relocate the school to Moyamba, its current home.
The new school opened its doors in August 1900. The first eight girls were housed in a mud hut.
By 1921, the school had become very famous, especially in what was then the protectorate – the hinterland of Sierra Leone under the British government. Noblemen, especially chiefs, sent their daughters to the school. As a result of the school’s popularity, the administrative authorities and the Sierra Leone Government decided to put up a concrete building to house the 100 pupils. The building was completed in 1925. That same year, the school was re-named HARFORD in honour of the longest-serving president of the Women’s Missionary Association – Mrs Lilian Ressler Harford, who worked tirelessly for the school.
In 1952, the Government of Sierra Leone under the Colonial Development Welfare Scheme raised the standard of the school to a secondary status.
Harford, like many institutions in Sierra Leone during the civil war, did not escape the rebels’ indignation. Between 1991 and 2000, the school was relocated to Circular Road in Freetown for the safety of the pupils and staff.
In 2001, Harford school returned to Moyamba, and now has over 700 pupils.
We donated 1200 books to Harford School for Girls. In addition, we donated a set of science lab equipment in chemistry, biology, and physics to complement the books. We also donated five computers.
We aim to support the school for the next two years with additional resources. We are also taking the responsibility of managing the supervision of the resources.
We have been working with the school for three years, donating large numbers of new textbooks. In addition, we have delivered a set of science lab equipment (chemistry, biology and physics) to accompany the science textbooks. We have also delivered computers for the lab and twenty sewing machines for the school’s Home Economics department.
This intervention has jump-started the school’s performance, increasing the academic output of girls. What was truly moving was that almost none of the girls doing biology had ever even seen a microscope before! Now they have their very own microscopes, which is encouraging more girls to switch to the sciences.