October 10, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
A philanthropist and businessman, who is also an alumnus of the University of Sierra Leone, Adonis Abboud, has donated computers and other office equipment to the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Secretariat in Freetown.
The donation ceremony took place last Friday at the IPRA Secretariat on Lamina Sankoh Street in Freetown.
Before handing over the items to Vice Chancellor of USL, Prof. Ekundayo Thompson, Mr. Abboud said health and education were fundamental to any country’s development, and that a nation would face serious challenges if the two sectors were not properly catered for.
“The peak of my contribution to USL was in 1991 when Mrs. Bernadette Cole and I made efforts to install a satellite dish on Fourah Bay College (FBC) campus. FBC became the first college in West Africa to get a satellite system,” he said.
He said he had been supportive to the college in diverse ways, including most recently when provided a canopy for the Ajayi Crowther Amphitheatre.
“There is a story behind giving canopy to the Amphitheatre. First of all, I have never missed a convocation ceremony of the University of Sierra Leone. During one of the convocations, someone nearly collapsed and people were giving him cold water to revive him. After that, we went for refreshment and I told H.E. Dr. Koroma that we should do something to cover it,” he said, adding that he decided to provide support because people used to sit in the sun to grace the ceremony.
He said the provision of computers and office items was just another modest contribution to USL that emanated from his conviction that the educational system must come back to its former glory.
“This is a blessed country because God has given us a lot of things. The beauty of our landscape is good. We hardly get earthquake, terrorism, and we should be grateful for that. But it pains me to see how divided we are at community, regional, college – between black and white,” he said.
He added that for 15 years he was adviser to the National Union of Students, adding “I resigned two years ago because politics was taken into students’ unionism. We should come together regardless of our tribes, region and religious differences.
He donated two computers and two printers to USL for the upcoming International Peace Research Association (IPRA) conference.
USL Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ekundayo Thompson, said Adonis Abboud has always shown interest in activities of the university and Sierra Leone as a whole, adding that the computers and printers would be very useful during the forthcoming conference.
He thanked Mr. Abboud for the donation, and expressed hope that the conference would be successful.
Mrs. Bernadette Cole disclosed that when she approached Adonis Abboud for the support, he wasted no time in accepting to help.
“These items will be very much important to USL after the conference because the Directorate of the Alumni and International Relations will be hosted at the IPRA Secretariat,” she said.
She noted that the support would go a long way to the organisation of the conference.
USL Registrar, Sorie N. Dumbuya, also thanked the donor for his support and stated that many other people have received honorary degrees from the university who have not come back to support the institution. He urged other alumni to contribute to the work of the university, so as to enhance its mandates.