June 18, 2018
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Life By Design, a registered company in Sierra Leone providing entrepreneurial support to young innovative minds and recognising academic achievements through annual educational awards, on Friday, 15th June, hosted their National Youth Festival themed ‘My Choices, My Life: Better Choices for Better Life’ at the Miatta Conference Hall, Youyi Building in Freetown.
The festival was organised with the aim of celebrating youth excellence in academia, innovation, entrepreneurship and creative arts.
Joe Abass Bangura, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Life-By-Design, said every year his organisation brings people from all-walks-of-life to celebrate young people who have achieved excellence in education, innovation, entrepreneurship and other creative endeavours.
He said the engagement was in line with his organisation’s vision of helping young people create the future they wish to experience.
“As we continue to support and empower young people to take charge of their future and their nation’s development, we also find it extremely important to recognise and celebrate those who demonstrate the greatest example of the principle we have been sharing over the last 7-8 years,” he said.
Bangura said this year’s celebration was based on the theme “My choices, My life, a better choice for a better life” which according to him was already expressed in their regular broadcast.
“We believe that who we are in life is not dependent on where we are born, or the kind of parents we have; it’s down to the choices we make each day, each moments,” Joe Abbas said, adding that there are people from successful background failing in life and vice versa, which he believed the outcome was a direct consequence of the quality of choices a person makes in life.
Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki Sawyer, told the young people that the choices they make would determine the journey they will embark on.
She said young people go through several challenges, from money, school fees, among others, whilst seeking education.
“There is always a solution; it might not be easy or straight forward and that’s what life by design has done,” she said, adding that young people need support.
The Freetown Mayor said nothing worthwhile in life is easy to get, but with hard work and determination one would overcome.
“One of the things you need to succeed is have faith in God and be willing to make sacrifices and choices,” she said and urged them to take the opportunity life by design was providing.
The Programme was climaxed by awarding the Best West African Senior Secondary School Examinations (WASSCE) student for 2016, Mohamed Fofana of Christ The King College, Bo; Best National Primary School Examinations pupil for 2016, Ibrahim Alpha Wurie and Binta Bah; Best Basic Education Certificate Examinations for 2016 & 2017, Gideon Miracle Johnson and Alex Bumble John Kanu, respectively.
Two life time awards were given also the awards to Mrs. Grace Williams, former Principal Annie Walsh Memorial School and Mr. Akiwande Lasite of the Sierra Leone Grammar School for their contribution in the field of education.
The festival was moderated by Africell’s Manager, John Konteh, and Radio Democracy 98.1 FM Station Manager Asmaa Kamara-James.