By PEL Koroma, Embassy of Sierra Leone, Washington, D.C
The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington, D.C on the 30th March hosted Mayor Al Ferro of Millstone City, New Jersey and Robert T. Healey, President and Founder of Healey International Relief Foundation. It was in recognition of Healey Foundation’s twenty years of humanitarian service in Sierra Leone.
In welcoming the Mayor of Millstone and the President of Healey Foundation and their delegation, Ambassador Sidique Abou- Bakarr Wai expressed gratitude to the President and Founder of Healey International Relief Foundation. “We are here this afternoon to show appreciation and gratitude to a very special individual whose generosity and thoughtfulness, dream and hope have impacted the people of Sierra Leone. I would like to also extend a special gratitude to my good friend, Honorable Mayor Al Ferro who is joined here by another good friend Mr. Paul Goldenberg”.
His Excellency Abou- Bakarr Wai dilated on the humanitarian work of Healey Foundation spanning over twenty years, addressing the challenges experienced by people that were adversely affected by the brutal war, providing support that could be described as life – saving. Ambassador Wai further noted that Healey Foundation is still in Sierra Leone transforming lives in many ways with interventions which have turned scars into stars.
“Additionally, this Foundation shipped over US$5.8 Million in medicines and medical supplies to Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic and made good its promise to build a clinic in Newton- a clinic that was opened in June, 2015. Currently, the Foundation focuses on three major program areas – strengthening health systems, orphan and vulnerable children and disaster relief support”, Ambassador Wai said. He noted that it is for these reasons and more that the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington, DC have thought it fit to invite the brain behind these great deeds, the dreamer himself to thank him on behalf of His Excellency President Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, the government and the people of Sierra Leone.
“Mr. Robert T. Healey, we have seen your hands and felt your heartbeat in the lives of our people for the past twenty years, now we look forward to what next,” Ambassador Wai concluded.
The Mayor of Millstone City, New Jersey said he deliberately brought together Ambassador Wai and Robert Healey of Healey International Relief Foundation so that there is a face and a human aspect, due to the fact that Ambassador Wai is a good man that cares about his people in Sierra Leone. “Robert Healey had no idea of the humanitarian efforts of Ambassador Sidique Wai so I decided to bring the two together to make things open and to plan the future together”, Mayor Al Ferro said.
According to Robert Healey, President of the Healey Foundation, his visit to Sierra Leone after the civil war changed his life. “I met very young ambitious people with bright smiles, talking about their hopes and dreams. Most of these young people were expressing determination after the war to go to college, while others were yearning for entrepreneurship. I was touched by the stories I heard from people, especially one from a woman who was in desperate need of help in order to find a way to support her family. It downed on me to support programs that will benefit people in Sierra Leone. And when you make other people happy, that makes you happy, that is real love”, Robert Healey said. And as a Christian, Robert said he learned to love everybody as the same and have decided to give services to Sierra Leone.
The Embassy honoured and decorated Mayor Al Ferro, Robert T. Healey, and Paul Goldenberg. Also present at the event were members of the Sierra Leone diaspora community.