By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
Since when Sierra Leone became independent in 1961 efforts to bring together Sierra Leoneans to work together in the interest of development and national cohesion have always proved futile. If it’s not about tribal differences, it will be regional, or the lack of trust about the level of corruption in the government and public offices, a trend that continues to deny our nation the full compliance of most of the people to contribute to efforts to national development.
However, despite these challenges, there has always been a united front when the nation is facing a crisis, such as the 1991-2002 rebellion unleashed by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the Ebola epidemic, and the recent environmental disaster in Freetown which resulted in the deaths of hundreds and displacing thousands.
In no way have Sierra Leoneans believed in donating monies to a blind trust to help their country until now. The fear of corrupt people pilfering monies meant for people in need scare good people away; fortunately, the efforts of few Sierra Leoneans to rally around their brothers and sisters to take a risk in the interest of their people have paid positive results.
Progressive Sierra Leoneans, a social media platform created a few months back has proven to the country that Sierra Leoneans are always ready and willing to contribute to nation building when the authorities assure them of transparency and accountability. The membership of the group which comprised of people from different ethnic tribes, regions, religions, and political affiliations responded to a single call from the administrator of the platform, Mouhammed K. Jabbie, for the members to donate to support children affected by the mudslide in Freetown, changes everything.
In just a few weeks, millions of Leones was raised and the money sent to members in Sierra Leone who diligently presented the donation to the Don Bosco Fambul for the affected children. Today, over 100 children have received packages of stationary materials that include books, school bags, and also foodstuff, because the membership believes in the leadership of the administrator.
The most important aspect of this novel venture is that the membership spreads worldwide and only a few people knowing each other, yet the response to the call of the rallying team, which also comprises of Amadu Bangura, Med Kamara, and Mohamed Bangura, is a positive sign that Sierra Leoneans once again believe they can step in and lift up their land from the economic malaise it is struggling in.
Building Sierra Leone is a responsibility of every Sierra Leone regardless of which political party one belongs. Tribalism and regionalism are only habitats for corruption and economic degradation and in no way should we allow these negative anecdotes to sway us from taking positive decisions in the interest of our country. We should not allow our ability to contribute to national development to be influenced by negative divisions, a reason why Progressive Sierra Leoneans was formed so that we can all have a neutral platform to communicate, engage, and proffer ideas to address our social and political challenges.
Time is running after us. Our people are suffering and crying, and dying of curable diseases, and it is only when we rally around each other and put our resources together will we be able to help ease our country from the suffering it is going through.