On Monday, July 6th, board members of Impact Sierra Leone (ISL) donated 250 face masks, one dozen Veronica buckets and 10 bottles of hand sanitizer. This donation comes at a time when Covid-19 cases are still on the rise throughout Sierra Leone.
The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Sierra Leone on March 31, 2020. While there have been fewer deaths as compared to other pandemics that have occurred in Sierra Leone, the need to wear face masks is critical in minimizing the spread, especially in rural parts of the country. From 1 June, wearing of face masks became compulsory. This pandemic has devastated many African countries mostly because they lack many resources and medical supplies when compared to the diaspora. Sierra Leone, of course, is no stranger to pandemics—the country and its neighboring countries battled Ebola from 2014 to 2016.
At the announcement of students returning for exams in July, the biggest worry for faculty was knowing many students would not be prepared with proper protective gear. Impact Sierra Leone saw this great need and joined forces to help with keeping the students safe from Covid-19. Our mission to empower vulnerable populations in Sierra Leone was the focus of this effort.
The event began with opening remarks by the principal of the junior secondary school, introducing the staff of the school to Mr. Henry S. Kamara Impact Sierra Leone board members. The principal then briefed the pupils about the organization and their intentions for the school. ISL Board Member and former YSS student, Mr Alfred Turay was the first speaker and shared how happy he was to return to YSS in this capacity. He was proud to be able to give back to his alma mater.
He also reiterated ISL’s purpose of donating Covid-19 items was to safeguard them from the disease and to empower them as they take their exams. He then announced all of the items donated to the school. Mr. John Yoni Fofanah, another proud former student of YSS who recently joined the ISL board also provided remarks. He shared with the students that he graduated from YSS in 2009 and how the school gave him a lot of knowledge and impacted his future.
In keeping with ISL’s mission of empowerment, John Y Fofanah motivated the students by sharing how much YSS impacted him when he was a student and gave him a thirst to succeed. Mr. Fofanah also provided brief statements on ISL and its aims and objectives for the people of Sierra Leone. He echoed thanks to Adama Kalokoh and team for their concern and support over the welfare of the school.
Mr. Fofanah then proceeded with the official handoff to the school principals and YSS Board Chairlady/District Coordinator for United Missions, Rev. Elizabeth D. Kamara. She began by stating the school motto, “Only The Best Is Good Enough For Us”. She was very happy for the donations and extended her appreciation to ISL. She also encouraged our team to continue partnering with the school leadership to help improve YSS. The following statement was made by Principal of JSS, Henry Kamara: “Today is a remarkable time that we cannot talk history without this laudable assistance in the Yonibana Secondary School. On behalf of the Board of Governors, teachers, pupils, parents, the administration of this school is extending thanks and appreciation to Impact Sierra Leone for donating 250 facemasks, small hand sanitizers and some Veronica buckets to help keep teachers and pupils safe in school. Especially to God sent angel Adama Kalokoh who facilitated this gesture and others that contributed to make this a reality.