Recently the staff of Me Against Poverty, Inc. (MAP), along with over sixty supporters gathered to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence in Washington, DC and raise money for the library and computer center for the Yonibana Secondary School in Sierra Leone.
The event was a huge success and was well attended by a diverse group with a genuine interest in supporting our cause. There were representatives from a number of organizations working to improve Sierra Leone, including, Yoni USA, the Tonkolili group, Leh We Talk group, APC group, Chief Editor of the Cocorioko Editorial, Jacob Conteh, Voice of America’s David Vandy and other notable guests. Also in attendance were members of the African Diaspora Roots and Culture Club.
Attendee Catyra Young noted, “The event was a lot of fun and quite informative!”
The evening began with a welcome from Map Chairman, Beresford Coker and was followed by an introduction of present MAP board members, Fatmatta Conteh, Adama Kalokoh, Yeabu Conteh, Andrew Mendy and Fred Anderson. People were able to hear personal testimonies from each member on why they joined the organization and a brief description of their roles. Chairman Coker did a great job informing guests of MAP’s overall mission, current goals and projects in Sierra Leone.
There was a spirit of unity during the night as the audience joined in singing the national anthems for both Sierra Leone and the United States of America. Guests sampled various dishes and drinks from Sierra Leone and were entertained with music from Sierra Leone native,
A total of five prizes (MAP calendars) were given to the winners. Raynold Mensah from State Farm held a raffle and one lucky attendee received a gift certificate to a local restaurant. covering the history of Sierra Leone was the highlight of the evening. Included were great pictures and facts about the country, most of which many people were unaware of. Later, there was a trivia contest where people answered various questions from the presentation.
The celebration continued with a beautifully decorated birthday cake made of fresh fruit which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. The evening ended with mingling and dancing to great music, including a few traditional songs from Yonibana. Lastly, guests were provided with an information brochure (pdf link here for people to download) and a Save the Date for our upcoming 2nd annual fundraiser on June 18, 2011 in Takoma Park Maryland.
Overall, the night was a thrill as we celebrated the beauty, culture and rich history of the “Lion Mountain” country we call Sierra Leone.