USA Based Sierra Leoneans Boost Deaf Association
The occasion, sponsored by friends from the United States of America (USA), including Sylvester, Jonathan, Linda and Alusine brought together hundreds of deaf people from Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and across the four corners of Sierra Leone was organized at the Women’s Training Centre Hall, Kingharman Road in Freetown on January 5th 2019.
In her opening remarks, Chairperson of the event, Dr. Sarian Kamara who is former Deputy Chief Medical Officer welcomed all attendees on behalf of the sponsors and expressed happiness over the large turnout of members of the association. She emphasized on the essence for deaf people to live in peace and share love among them.
She deliberated that the sponsors decided to organize such a party not only to bring deaf people together but to also demonstrate that there are people who always think about transforming their lives and discussed that deaf people are living vulnerable lives in Sierra Leone.
She advised members of the association to avoid dispute and work as one for progress and pledged to give her personal support to the union if they remain united. “I know there are challenges but we must praise God to keep us alive and gone through 2018”, she told audience and invoked the power of God to resolve all difficult problems faced by the deaf.
She demonstrated gratitude to all that were present for their ability to attend the merriment and paid tribute to all the people who lost their lives.
Delivering the keynote address, President for SLeNAD, Alhaji Mohamed Rahman buttressed that she was happy to see large turnout of colleagues to the program. He thanked sponsors for bringing together large number of deaf people for the first time in the history of the country.
He encouraged colleagues to unite and love one another as God loves us for development.
In a worrisome mood, Mr. Rahman explained that majority of the deaf are sleeping in the streets because they lack access to quality housing and mentioned that many of them have dropped out of school because they lack the necessary support. He said they have been advocating to government to give them piece of land to construct dwelling homes but all fell in deaf ears.
He complained that there are only three schools constructed for the deaf all over the country and narrated that SLeNAD has established many years ago and it is operating nationwide. He encouraged colleagues to learn vocational trainings like tailoring, hair dressing, gara tie dying among the lots to earn their living and be self reliance. He called on all members to always dialogue and resolve problems amicably for the good of all.
In his statement, Alhaji Lahai Vangahun thanked God to be part of the process and described the event as a big day for the deaf to meet and enjoy together. He welcomed all international and local guests to the program and spoke on the importance of deaf people to an umbrella organization.
By Alhassan Bangura
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