Message from H.E. Ambassador Bockari Stevens, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States of America
At the Sierra Leone Arc of Hope’s firstÂ fundraiser Dinner and Dance held in Freetown on 18 December, Ambassador Bockari Stevens explained the background of the charity and gave his thanks to attendees for their support.Â Below is his message on the evening.
I have devoted a significant amount of my professional and personal life to charity work, and I often think from this perspective. As I was thinking of Sierra Leonean’s 50th birthday, I asked myself “how can we celebrate this birthday, and what birthday gift is appropriate for the country?”Â Prior to this rhetorical question to myself, the Washington Post in the United States had published an article about the worsening child and maternal health in Sierra Leone. As Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States I also thought aloud saying “what if Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of our differences could put country first and come together around a common purpose?” This is how the notion of a birthday gift for the country was born. So as I visited with friends and colleagues, I solicited their opinions, and every one I spoke with was enthusiastic about the idea.
I decided to call a purposeful meeting at the embassy on November 15, 2008. The meeting led to break-out sessions, and eventually Dr. John Sandy emerged as the leader of the organization. We have been blessed with Dr. Sandy’s commitment and leadership expertise as the Board Chairman, because Dr. Sandy has a doctorate in Organizational Leadership, and has really proven that not only to the Sierra Leone Arc of Hope, but for the country.Â He has shown tremendous love by putting country first and above all differences.
We also have very committed and dedicated individuals on the Board. One of them is Nanette Thomas who stops at nothing to support her country. Retired Colonel Lansana Turay and Mrs. Bernadette Kamara are the other board members. Other committed members of the organization include Wotey Dura-Savage, our head of chancery, Mrs. Rasie Kargbo, and Juliana Daboh who have also traveled from the US to be here.
At this point, I want to thank His Excellencies, the President and First Lady, the Vice President and his wife, all the ministers, all the supporters, and everyone here tonight. I hope we can continue to support this project until it becomes reality.
On behalf of my wife, and family, l wish you all Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.HE Bockari K. Stevens, Ambassador to the US, and SLAH Board Member
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