Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sierra Leone. TBCS Interns: Who Are they??

1. Abdul Jamal Tarawalie, 26, International Institute of Islamic Studies, Yr 1

Abdul (originally from Lunsar) is a 26 year old first year Business Studies student at the International Institute of Islamic Studies in Freetown, SL. He graduated from the Government Rokel Secondary School where he won the Best Prefect Award for Academic Year 2004/2005. Abdul sees unemployment as one of the biggest national issues threatening Sierra Leone’s economic, social, and political stability. In his internship application essay Abdul discusses slum conditions at the Big Wharf Community.
“ This community has suffered from the adverse effects of poor drainage system which I believe are as a result of poor government policies on roads and housing. The gutters are so shallow and narrow that most of the time when there is rainfall; there is considerable overflow of water in the community. Also, the dumping of garbage in the gutters of that community contributes to the poor drainage system…as a result; cholera and malaria claim the lives of many within the community, especially women and children”

2. Noah Suluku, 21, Prince of Wales School, SSIII (Form 6)

Noah (originally from Kono) the second youngest intern at age 21 is at his final year at the Prince of Wales Secondary School. He sat out the two previous academic years due to financial difficulties. He spent three years on the Executive Board of the Literary & Debating Society and rose to the level of Representative for the entire Arts Stream. Noah also spent three months under going a computer training course at the International Education and Resource Network (IEARN). At IEARN Noah was able to join a global network of his peers to discuss issues ranging from human rights to HIV/AIDS. Noah would like to become “a human rights lawyer to advocate for the less fortunate in African societies and the world at large…to ensure that the voice of the voiceless is heard as they have a right to be treated equally”

3. Moses Augustine Brima, 26, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, BSSc Economics (Hons)

Moses (originally from Moyamba) is a recent graduate of the University of Sierra Leone with a degree in Social Science with Honors in Economics. He attended St. Edwards Secondary School where he was a school prefect. Moses has experience as an Enumerator with the Sierra Leone Population and Housing Census and the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) and he recently supervised a registration team for the National Electoral Commission.
“Many Sierra Leoneans are of the opinion that the only way to make it in life is to go abroad, which is wrong. Who then will develop our nation? Even those who stay [in the country] see corruption as a way to succeed in life. Pull Him Down Syndrome (PHD), selfishness, bad governance, illiteracy, and negative attitudes are all responsible for our under development”

4. Sumaila Banie Eillah-Seisay, 26, Njala University, 4th Year (Hons 1)

Somalia (originally from Kenema) final year honors student of Environmental and Development Studies at the Njala University. He’s interned with Defence for Children International-Sierra Leone and is president of the Kenema Old Student Association (KOSA) and the Accountability Now Chapter (established by the outreach section of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone) at Njala. Sumaila was selected to carry out a national public perception survey of the Special Court and a subsequent public awareness campaign. “There are three questions to ask when it comes to development: What’s the poverty level? What is the status of unemployment? What is the level of inequality? In Sierra Leone these are all issues of concern, hence our level of under development…The best way to overcome these is to effectively and efficiently implement the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and formulate employment schemes that will make adequate provisions for youth”

5. Didan Sankoh, 25, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Yr III

Didan (originally from Bo) is a third year student African History and Politics Student at the University of Sierra Leone Fourah Bay College (FBC). He is a 2003 graduate of Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School, Bo. Didan is a member of the Constitutional Review Committee of the Bo Ahmadiyya Old Students Association and the FBC Muslim Jamaat. Didan has attended several workshops and symposiums including Campaign Against Violent Events (CAVE) School Based Violence: How Can it be curbed, Fifty Fifty (50-50) Group’s Gender Based Violence: Of what importance is it to you, and Ostacles to Development in Developing Countries organized by the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning.
“Corruption is not a phenomenon that is not peculiar to Sierra Leone, but has affected countries worldwide irrespective of whether they are developed or developing, large or small…While corruption exists to varying degrees worldwide, its adverse effects on a fragile economy like ours are perhaps more profound”

6. Alhassan Conteh, 22 DES Institute of Business & Management, Yr I

Alhassan (originally from Port Loko) is a first year student of Business & Management. He comes from a family of ten children and has a twin brother. Alhassan is a 2006 graduate of the Sierra Leone Grammar School. He comes from a peaceful predominantly agrarian community called Kareneh in Lokomasama Chiefdom. “In my opinion, I would like to Sierra Leoneans to engage themselves in agriculture, education, and trade which will lead to rapid development and above all we should love one another, be corruption free, and work hard for positive outcomes.

7. Daniella Wilson, 19, Saint Joseph’s Secondary School, Final Year

Daniella (originally from Freetown) is a final year student at Saint Joseph’s Secondary School. She is the youngest of all the interns. She was a senior prefect, student counselor and is Head of the Sierra Leone Girls Guide Association. In her essay, Daniella highlighted Child Exploitation as an issue of national concern in Sierra Leone. “Today one needs only to go out into the streets and watch little boys and girls chasing vehicles to sell packets of water or enter a mini bus only to see that the driver’s mate is a boy who is supposed to be in class 4 or 5. Market places are no exemption as they have the highest number of child laborers. At night, clubs and certain strategic streets in the city such as Lumbley Beach and Garrison Street have so many girls from the age of 12 working as prostitutes”.

8. Sahr Emmanuel Joseph, 24, Njala University, Yr II

Sahr (originally from Kono) is a second year Economics student at Njala University. He graduated from Saint Edwards Secondary School in 2002 where he was the “Head Boy”. He was the Sierra Leone Youth Representative at the Pan African Leadership Training Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He won the Silver Medalist for the National Youth Award Scheme. He was a Peer Educator with Student Partnership Worldwide (SPW) Youth Empowerment Program and Planned Parenthood SL/UNICEF Breaking the Silence on HIV/AIDS. Sahr has won two out of three inter university competitions. In his essay Sahr discussed the problem of youth unemployment in Sierra Leone as an obstacle to national development.
“The central authority [GoSL] has not adequately prepared for our increasing youth population. The worst part of it is that the youth are not well trained and therefore lack the necessary skills for the limited available jobs…to release stress, many youth turn to ghettos where they involve themselves in drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and consequently a life of crime”

9. Abdul Konomanyi, 26, Fourah Bay College, BSSc Engineering ‘06

Abdul (originally from Kono) is a recent graduate of Fourah Bay College with a degree in Engineering. He graduated from the Prince of Wales School with a Division I in the O’Levels. He is head of Koidu Indigenous Youth Organization (KIYO), Club Majestic and was a member of FBC’s Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) Club. Abdul has a strong interest in Information Technology and sees computer education and training as necessary for Sierra Leone’s development. He hopes to one day establish businesses that would benefit the society by creating jobs and skill training. According to Abdul, “the development of our country has been hindered by several factors including bad governance and corruption, over-reliance of the citizenry on the government, inadequate infrastructure…”

10. Kadie Yata Kandeh, 28, Fourah Bay College, Insitute of Home Science, Yr III

Kadie (originally from Moyamba) is a third year student of Nutrition & Dietetics at Fourah Bay College. She has a 4.5/5.0 grade point average. Kadie gives free but necessary nutrition advice to those in her community. In her essay Kadie discussed the relationship between food production and poverty in post conflict Sierra Leone.
“Poverty in the rural areas is closely related or linked to agricultural production. Most households give farming as their main source of income. Although both men and women have important roles in the production of food there is considerable gender difference in the tasks undertaken. Men clear and plough the land, women weed and harvest. During and after the war more women have taken on the primary responsibility for food production because the men have either been killed or disabled or not returned to their villages. This has a detrimental impact on the women’s ability to carry out other domestic and child rearing responsibilities.”

11. Abu Harry Sesay, 23, Institute of Commercial Management, Business Studies Yr I

Abu (originally from Kambia) is a first year student at the Institute of commercial management. After leaving Sierra Leone for Guinea in 1997, he was repatriated back to Freetown in 2001. He is a graduate from Government Model Secondary school. Abu was an assistant registrar for the recent presidential election. He is also a part of the Foulah Town Youth for development organization that focuses on environmental preservation. “In my opinion, an issue for concern is the equitable distribution of school aid. Scholarships should help poor citizens who want to learn but lack financial support instead of the children of the over privileged…..if an individual has managed to reach the sixth form, but lacks the resources to further their education, , that will cause them to loose confidence in themselves and likely become a liability to society.

12. Noah Dauda, 25, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Financial Services, Yr 3

Noah (originally from Kenema) is a third year student at IPAM. He graduated from the Government secondary school in Kenema where he was assistant senior prefect. He is chairman of Kenema old student association (KOSA) IPAM branch. He was a field agent for the America Refugee Committee / Current Evangelism Ministry (ARC / CEM) micro credit program. “In my opinion the production sector is most important for sierra Leone’s social development. If we take a look at the financial sector, (the banking industry, government policies on financial regulations) is ongoing with much improvement. Sierra Leone can favorably influence GDP when her export is more than her import and this can only be achieved with an improvement in the production sector.”

13. Edward Komba Chaka, 23, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Pre – med, Yr 3

Edward (originally from Kono) is a second year pre-med student at COMAHS. He is a graduate of SOS Hermann Gmeiner Technical High School in The Gambia where he won a certificate of merit in Mathematics and Further Maths. At COMAHS, Edward participated on a project on medical waste management in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Sanitation. He served as supervisor of data processing and editing at the National Electoral Commission during the 2004 local government elections. “In my opinion the sector most important for Sierra Leones social development are the employment sector for the public and justice sector of the government. There is a philosophy which says knowing all parts of human body does not mean you are a medical doctor but the implementation of your know how makes you a medical doctor.”


Solana Larsen said...

Hello and congratulations to everyone (reading from New York). Your project is so important and exciting. Looking forward to reading more...

eduardo said...

Greetings from Bolivia. Thank you for introducing us to the interns. Good luck.

Nasratha said...

I was so shocked to see these comments...didnt realise anyone was reading yet. Thanks for the moral support :)

Álvaro Ramírez said...

I was very moved by the writings of each one of the participants and outraged at some of the stories told specially the one about child prostitution.
I live in Norway.
Keep on with the good work.

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