July 11, 2107 By Joseph S. Margai
One of the financial institutions in Sierra Leone, First Bank of Nigeria (FBNBank) was one of the gold sponsors of the Rotary Club’s annual induction of president and officers last Friday at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex, Kingtom in Freetown.
Many notable Sierra Leoneans and institutions including the Managing Director of FBNBank Sierra Leone, Adekunle Amujo, were in attendance.
In his statement, in-coming president of the Rotary Club of Freetown, who also doubles as FBNBank’s Chairman, Board of Directors in Sierra Leone, Samuel P.O. Itam, said the task is enormous and that he would not be able to accomplish much without the participation, guidance, and cooperation of the entire membership, including all their guests worldwide.
“The greatest asset of the Rotary Club of Freetown is the keen awareness of the membership that the club belongs to all and not individuals or cliques,” he said.
He said Rotary Club of Freetown has achieved greater things over its 54 years of existence.
“In the coming years, there will be increased focus on the flagship of Rotary International which is the eradication of polio worldwide,” he anticipated.
“In Sierra Leone, the objective will be not just reporting no new cases, but ensuring that any possibility of polio recurrence is eliminated now and forever.”
He said with the help of government, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary Club in Freetown shall be in the forefront to eradicate polio in the country.
“Education has been an important pillar of the Rotary Club of Freetown; it will be strengthened through increased support to girls in the country. We shall aim to increase the number of scholarships, provide more materials such as desks and chairs and assist with in the provision of facilities such as toilets,” he noted.
He said the ‘Water for Life’ project has been a sensational success story, with additional 30 boreholes completed last year.
Out-gone president, George Taylor-Lewis, said they expanded their outreach and brand through Facebook, WhatsApp and bulletins, thus making their communications and exchange of news, issues and fun more real-time, adding that their Thursday business lunches continued to attract very high-level guest speakers and visitors.
“We partnered with World Hope International to feed over 100 disabled children on a beautiful sunny day at the Lumley beach. We shared Christmas gifts and quality time with residents at the King George VI Memorial Home, as part of the many humanitarian services we rendered during my tenure,” he stated. He added that they funded scholarships in 12 schools.
He said that their traditional “Water is Life” project, which has completed a total of 115 boreholes, is serving over 106, 000 Sierra Leoneans in nine districts with safe drinking water.
“Together with the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, they were advising the Centre for Community Empowerment and Transformation in the Bumpeh chiefdom in the implementation of agriculture project that will move subsistence farmers out of poverty onto as path to self-reliance,” he revealed.