Eco-Tourism Boosted As Tribe Wanted Intervenes
The once deprived and neglected fishing community of John Obey situated along the Western Area Peninsular, has become a centre of attraction courtesy of the timely intervention of a non profit organization called Tribe Wanted Family.
Giving the background of Tribe Wanted Family at the launching of the Sierra Leone Chapter in October 2010, one of the Co-founders of the organization, Fillipo Bozotti, explained that it all started in October 2006 when the organization was launched in the small Fijian Island of Vorovoro, by Ben Keene.
Since its inception, Mr. Fillipo Bozotti said the organization has recorded scores of success stories, principal among which is the investment of over One Million Dollars into the local economy in northern Fiji and the building of an effective social network involving over ten thousands tribes members across the world. The success stories, Mr. Fillipo Bozotti went on, also include the generation of 20 full-time jobs and raising funds to enhance the livelihood of hundreds of beneficiaries in four villages.
Speaking further, Mr. Fillipo Bozotti expressed delight over the establishment of a Sierra Leone Chapter which he said was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Tribe Wanted Family and the John Obey community.
According to Mr. Fillipo Bozotti, the idea to establish a local chapter came about during a working visit to Sierra Leone by himself and Ben Keene (who also serves in another capacity with the Craig Belamy Foundation), to explore the possibility of establishing a branch of the organization in one of the beautiful beaches in the country.
During the said visit, Mr. Fillipo Bozotti said the John Obey Beach captured their attention because of its spectacular nature.
So far, he said a total of 30 tourists who happen to be Tribes Members have visited the John Obey Beach and spent between a week and two there. All 30 tourists and other personalities that have visited the beach refer to it as spectacular and one with a high potential of boosting the tourism sector in the country.
Mr. Fillipo Bozotti goes on to explain that Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter, since its inception, has been working in close collaboration with the land owners and residents of the John Obey community, the Government of Sierra Leone and other stakeholders to ensure the smooth running of the organization, and has also been engaging various partners on the need for an establishment of an Eco Village in the years ahead. Having an Eco Village, according to Mr. Fillipo Bozotti, will help consolidate the peace in the country and promote peaceful coexistence among ECOWAS citizens, while at the same time ushering in much needed development and economic rejuvenation.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter has set itself an agenda to fulfill, and the impact of the activities or the organization have been carefully tailored to reflect positively on tourism development, education, health care, job creation, skills training, micro financing, cultural and social awakening, to name a few.
Since the organization is a non profit venture, profits accrued along the line would be ploughed back into the John Obey community through development projects such as the face-lifting of the community in order to make it much more attractive to tourists and other guests.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter will also play a pivotal role in inculcating the culture of peace and oneness to all Sierra Leoneans especially school going pupils and youths who are mostly involved in acts of violence. Sessions are intended to be held in non-violence communication.
By way of helping address the perennial problem of youth unemployment in the country, Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter has employed an initial 30 youths within the John Obey community, while at the same time providing skills training to other youths in the community. The intention according to Mr. Fillipo Bozotti, is to make them become self reliant and devoid of violent and criminal thoughts in a bid to eke a living.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter has already embarked on series of developmental initiatives within the John Obey community, among which is the construction of composed toilets, hand pump wells, solar energy supply, training of community members in perma culture, kitchen management, refuse disposal and training of youths in earth bags buildings; which would be replicated in to the communities across the country.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter has also undertaken the construction of an eco dome, the supply of learning and teaching materials and the payment of the salaries of John Obey community school teachers.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter is currently constructing two ventilated or improved pit latrines for both residential and fishing communities around the John Obey general area, and is also working on plans to renovate the existing school building in the community. The organization has also undertaken to supply the school with the needed furniture such as benches, desks and blackboards.
To augment its operations, Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter presently operates a small accommodation facility at the John Obey Beach, with guests required to pay a minimum fee of $50 per night.
Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone Chapter works in concert with SHINE Sierra Leone, a non governmental organization that has operated in the country over the past five years and has contributed in no small way to the enhancement of education, computer and adult literacy and the construction of earth bag school buildings in target communities such as Bongemadon in Nimikoro Chiefdom, Kono District, and Kamathuduku in Biriwa Chiefdom, Bombali District. SHINE Sierra Leone is also providing well over six thousand mostly rural women with micro finance loans.
In his remarks, Chief Hassan Marrah of John Obey community, referred to Tribe Wanted Family as a God-sent redeemer. He expressed thanks and appreciation to the organization for bringing development to their foot step. He pledged his unflinching support to the organization and called on other well meaning organizations to emulate the positive steps being taken by Tribe Wanted Sierra Leone to change their plight from a state of depression and depravity to a state of hopefulness and joy.
By Abdul Razaqq Kamara & Theophilus S. Gbenda
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