Nanette Thomas – A Nation Building Woman of Substance
No country has maintained with an intensity akin to religious fervor, the aphorism that a woman’s place is behind the men as manifested in Sierra Leone, but through the works of the Sierra Leone Arc of Hope (SLAH), this seemingly accepted dictum is now a matter of the past as exemplified by the works of a nation builder and a woman who has been able to make the great strides from being in the kitchen to standing with the men to make changes in the make up of their nation’s existence. This great woman is Nanette Thomas. (Photo: Nanette Thomas, SLAH Board Secretary and nation builder)
For a country that has emerged from a war in which women have borne the brunt of the violence and the destruction, it stands to reason that women should stand among their men folk to bring the nation back among civilized nations of the world and this is just what Ms. Nannette Thomas is doing together with her compatriots in SLAH.
Originally, for those Sierra Leoneans in the United States, life has been a continuation of partying, merry making and when on holidays back home, in more partying! This system is still exist among some groups, but in the life and times of Ms. Nannette Thomas, life has a totally different aspect and meaning when it comes to putting in place modalities to ensure a better nation and a better life for the people back home.
Maybe Ms. Thomas’ concern for her community might be a reflection of the career she has chosen both when she was back in her native Sierra Leone and even when she is in the United states. It is this love for nation and a need to help provide the greater good for the greater number of her people that has seen her collaborate with like minded citizens in the formation ofÂ SLAH, an organization based on the principle of life lived for nation building and not just in personal aggrandizement.
Nanette Thomas plays a cardinal role as Board Member andÂ Secretary, Sierra Leone Arc of Hope. Nanette is the Employment Coordinator for the United States Regional Dallas Office of the International Rescue Committee. Charged with the great responsibility and challenge of working with newly resettled refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, she has shown her commitment not only to her native Sierra Leone but to humanity in general.
Before her present employment, Nanette Thomas was the Employment Services Case Manager for Catholic Charities Empowerment and Refugee Services. “Her strong passion and advocacy for the challenges facing refugees, and worldwide human trafficking led to her appointment to the United Nations (UN) Dallas Chapter Advisory Board,”’ a resume on her life states. She has also served on the Board as Vice-President for Education, and Liaison Officer in the Refugee Section.
In Sierra Leone, Nanette Thomas has worked with the Mano River Union, an international sub-regional organization for three West African Countries and has a sixteen year experience under her belt in that area. She was also founder & President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Sierra Leone (the first African Chapter).
In 1998, due to the political unrest in Sierra Leone, Nanette sought refuge in the United States of America where she quickly adapted, and brought over her 5 children. Working full-time and attending school part-time, Nanette earned her Associates Degree in Applied Sciences with a major in Social Work from Dallas’ East Field College and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Argosy University.
Ms. Nanette Thomas is a woman that needs to be emulated and a citizen that may well serve as the solution in the present government’s search for women of substance in governance. Nannette Thomas and other members of SLAH will soon be in the country to look into plans to set up a referral hospital as well as engage in other charity works.
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