October 3, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
The Lifeline Nehemiah ‘Betteh Tumara’ Technical Vocation (TEC/VOC) in Kuntorloh, Wellington, in the east of Freetown has on last Friday admitted and orientated two hundred and thirty (230) young people between the ages of 18 and 25 for the 2017 /2018 academic session.
“This is a free training for all participants. This year’s admission of 230 youth has brought the number of trainees to one thousand and eighty nine (1089). Since the inception of the project in 2012, the trainees have been drawn from different communities in Freetown and its environs,” said Jabba Pessima, Head of TEC/VOC at the Lifeline Nehemiah project.
He said the training is all about building the middle-level man power of the country, which is absolutely lacking.
“The idea behind the free training of young people came after a research was done by the organization in 2011 within the Western Area to look into the utmost need of youth. It was the desire of young people to be trained in different skills which will help to eliminate the dependency syndrome, mostly associated with them,” he said.
He said the free one year certificates’ program included but not limited to Information Technology, hospitality, building and construction, auto mechanics, hair dressing, plumbing and electrical installation.
“After the training, students will be sent on internship for four months to different companies in the country. Most of them have gained employments through the internship scheme,” he stated.
The head of Lifeline Nehemiah Tec/Voc said his organization has built a state-of the-art kitchen with modern equipment which is available for rent at a minimal fee to the general public, noting that the kitchen was also being used by the Hospitality Department to do their practical.
Mr. Jabba Pessima said over five hundred (500) Bike Monitoring Officers (BMOs) and their executive members have been trained in Management and Leadership Skills in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Freetown. He noted that the training was in collaboration with Traffic Division of The Sierra Leone Police and Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), and that certificates were issued at the end of each training session.
Leonard Kamara, Finance Director of Lifeline Nehemiah TEC/VOC, who also doubles as chairman at last Friday’s orientation ceremony, said the organization partners with a number of both national and international partners.
He said his organization raises revenue for the free training of the trainees from the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and Lifeline Network International.
Deputy Director of the organization, Prince Tommy-Williams, said the organization was set up in 1996 during the war years in Sierra Leone by late Richard Mandewa-Cole and his wife as a home for child soldiers,who had escaped the conflict and needed a safe home.
He said the organization’s values are: “Serving the Community, Team work, Excellence, Don’t Turn a Blind Eye and Integrity (STEADI).”
He called on the young people to shape their attitudes and be mindful of their acts in society in line with the organization’s STEADI values, saying that most of the young people have lost their integrity today because of “petty violence” which they could not have involved in.
Prince Tommy-Williams said there are different components of the organization which included a school, a Leadership Training Home for boys and girls, and an Agricultural Projects in Kenema District.
He recalled that his organization contributed immensely during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone by supplying food and non-food items to quarantined homes in Freetown, adding that their attention is now focused on giving support to the flood and mudslide victims in Freetown.