West African Medical Center Fundraising Dance Extravaganza
The West African Medical Center, a nonprofit organization established in the United States and sponsored by Global Health Foundation whose mission is to establish a medical center in Sierra Leone, held its first annual fundraising dance on November 18, 2011 at the Days Inn Hotel at New York Avenue in Washington, DC. Gracing the occasion were His Excellency Bockarie Stephens, Ambassador of Sierra Leone in Washington DC, Deputy Ambassador of Sierra Leone, Ibrahim Conteh and Deputy Ambassador to Sierra Leone Mission in New York Mrs. Rasie Timbo-Kargbo (Photo: Dr. Augustine A. Kamara, Deputy Director)
The fundraising program commenced with the display of artistic songs by Soulja Twin who rendered melodious rap songs followed by King M.B. Attila and Lady Felecia, King of Sierra Leone Soul Music who moved the audience with fantastic and heart rending melodious Sierra Leoneans songs. Contributing to the display of melodious songs also were Giileh and Jaycool.
The MC for the fundraising program was Aminata Johnson and former broadcaster and comedian Saidu Kabbah. Mr. Saidu Kabbah entertained the audience with a lot of comical vibes about the Sierra Leonean culture in the United States that made the audience laugh out their lungs. He also urged the audience to give their unflinching support to the West African Medical Center because the West African Medical Center will not only cater to the health needs of Sierra Leoneans but will boost the transportation industry in Sierra Leone by encouraging other nationals to fly to Sierra Leone on weekly basis to seek medical treatment. Besides boosting the transportation industry, Mr. Saidu Kabbah said, with the establishment of the West African Medical Center, the rate of unemployment will be minimized.
Giving his opening remarks, Dr. Augustine A. Kamara, Deputy Director of Operations in Sierra Leone for the West African Medical Center said, on behalf of Dr. Herry, CEO of Global Health Services Foundation and Director of Operations in Sierra Leone, Dr. Sidikie Bangura, thanked His Excellencies, members of the diplomatic core, colleagues, medical providers, comrades, youths, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen for responding to the invitation and he extends his hearty welcome to all to this august gathering. He said, we are blessed that our experience, knowledge, and dedication to our countries, our region, and the world has borne much good fruit. But it is time for it to bear a new kind of fruit. To bear fruit in dealing with our health care crisis. To bear fruit in dealing with this crisis that has resulted in the needless suffering of our people, and that has hobbled our economic development.
“I do not intend to bore you with a long speech”, Dr. Kamara said because you all know why we are here – to raise funds for the projected West African Medical Center to be established inSierra Leone. The medical facilities inSierra Leoneand neighboring countries are poor. But looking at the statistics, over fifty percent of those of us in the Sierra Leonean Diaspora are medical providers. Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters – the means to lift up the health of our people and our nations is in our hands.
What are we waiting for then? As President Kennedy said a long ago – “we need to ask NOT what our countries can do for us, but what WE can do for our countries.” This is the answer. This is the orientation. This is the belief in ourselves and our ability to take real control of our lives, our providential destiny that is to become the real engine of our victory. Let us then face the challenge and do what is needed. Our hopes and desires – yes, and our expectations – should not be depressed, but completely optimistic. “We can do this. Yes, we can.”
Our inaugural project in the development of the West African Medical Center is the Diagnostic Health Care Center. We and other medical professionals inSierra Leonesee this as the first step in meeting the region’s medical emergency. It is a vital part of the foundation of the West African Medical Center that will be a key part of the coming health care transformation of the nation and region. It will meet the urgent needs of medical practitioners inSierra Leoneand neighboring countries for diagnostic services that have become routine in many other places in the world. Without this, these practitioners have been laboring with a severe handicap. No matter how competent and dedicated they may be, without these services they practice their craft in the dark with no knowledge of the unseen nature of many of the maladies and injuries confronting them day by day, hour by hour, even moment by moment.
When the Diagnostic Health Care Center becomes operational – God willing within a year, the quality of health care in Sierra Leone and the West African region will begin to improve almost immediately in the positive resolution of many medical emergencies, the more successful treatment of chronic ailments, and the improvement of the health of mothers and young children.
This is a bold project, a long overdue project, a crucial project for all of our people. Tonight we ask that you give your moral, physical, and financial support to speed up its progress. I leave you with this encouraging statement from Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the one you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore! Dream! Discover!
Indeed, it was a remarkable and fun-loving fundraising program that sent attendees dancing to their heels with fantastic melodious music rendered by D.J. Alhaji Sulaiman Kamara. In her closing remarks, Nenebah Jalloh, thanked officials of the West African Medical Center for such a great vision forSierra Leone, she said, it doesn’t matter the number of attendees but the quality of people represented in the fundraising program and prays the great vision forSierra Leonecomes to reality. The program was terminated at approximately 3:00 AM.
By Joseph Sherman and Dr. Augustine Kamara WAMC
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