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Sierra Leone Arc of Hope fundraising dance extravaganza

Sierra Leone Arc of Hope fundraising dance extravaganza

It was a night of amusement, excitement, and merriment at the Mirage Hall in University Boulevard, Maryland.  The Sierra Leone Arc of Hope (SLAH), a humanitarian organization based in the United States held its second annual fundraising dance on October 2, 2010.  The occasion was graced with dignitaries from the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of various political parties (APC, SLPP, PMDC, etc.,) and a record crowd of Sierra Leoneans and supporters from various segments of the American society.

The occasion started with a word of prayer by Rev. Kabbs Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, followed by a Muslim prayer conducted by Retired Col. Turay.  The young and American born promising superstar Janet Lagah-Bonah gave a rendition of the national anthems of Sierra Leone and the United States that made the audience give a loud applause.

In his opening statement, Dr. Sandy, Chairman of SLAH welcomed the audience to the fundraising dance and highlighted the plans the organization plan to participate in in the development of Sierra Leone.  He said, “The Sierra Leone Arc of Hope is geared towards contributing to the improvement of the health sector in Sierra Leone.  It is in this venture that the organization has acquired vast land in Waterloo to build a Children’s Hospital.”  Dr. Sandy called on all patriotic Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone to support this worthwhile cause.  He also took the opportunity to recognize and hand awards to personalities who have made a remarkable contribution in support of the SLAH.

Taking the floor, the founding member of SLAH, His Excellency, Ambassador Bockari Stevens said, “The Sierra Leone Arc of Hope is a non political, non-sectarian organization, it is a humanitarian organization established to alleviate the suffering of our children in Sierra Leone.” He stressed that development of a nation entails an increase in the efficiency of the health sector of a society, the satisfaction of the population’s basic needs and the attainment of the objectives sought by various groups in a society in which certain conditions prevail for human beings. Therefore, poor development means being unable to attain the standards mentioned above or in other words it means being unable to move from a simple primitive stage to a complex modern and advanced one.  It is in this light that Ambassador Stevens is calling on all Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone to come on board and make the project a success.

The hilarious and eloquent star of VOA, David Vandy and Dr. Noahlene Betts were the MCs for the fundraising dance.  Their sense of humor and tact to captivate the audience into giving support for this worthwhile cause was beyond imagination.  The soul touching music from the 60s and 70s sent the audience spellbound as they danced to the ecstasies and melodious tunes.

Indeed, the SLAH fundraising program was a success because this great humanitarian venture reminds me of what Aldous Huxley said “that a child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.”

by Joseph S. Sherman, Washington, DC

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