Sam Campbell contracted cataracts at the age
of 9 and, as there was no access to advanced medical treatment
in Sierra Leone in the 1940s, by the age of 11 he was completely
However, this did not stop him from pursuing
his ambition to be a teacher. In 1959 his dream came true when,
after graduating from teacher training college in Ghana with the
highest mark in the country, he returned home to Sierra Leone
to take up a post as head of the Milton Margai School for the
Blind in Freetown.
The work of the school focuses on developing
students in 3 key areas. They learn to speak excellent English,
they learn to read Braille and they learn to touch type.
Given this right kind of training, the students
then have the opportunity to go on to achieve goals which would
otherwise be beyond them. Several students have gone on to become
teachers and one is currently studying to be a lawyer.
Music has always played a very important part
in the Milton Margai School for the Blind. When in 1998 rebel
soldiers stoel or destroyed the school's stock of musical instruments,
the full musical attention of the school was turned to the choir.
Every Sunday the school choir sings in a different
church and this in turn has led to the choir recently "going
on the road" to sing in Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Sam Campbell's contribution to the success
of the school and its recent international recognition cannot
be underestimated. He has been the inspiration behind the love
of music which has been so successfully developed at the school
over the years.