September 21, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
Reach In For The Stars (RIFTS) Foundation club has been launched at the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) main campus at Kissy Dockyard in Freetown.
Founder, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, told students the foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that was founded primarily to provide support to female university students who are often victims of predatory sexual blackmail by some university lecturers.
She said RIFTS clubs have been launched in seven tertiary institutions across the country, and urged students to reach into their inner spirit and bring out their God-given talents and skills, adding that she was overwhelmed by the progress of the IAMTECH RIFTS club.
Lecturer and Dean of the School of Technology at IAMTECH, Sulaiman Koroma, said he appreciated and welcomed the club on campus, noting that the institution is yet to record any reported sexual harassment of female students by any lecturer for the past 20 years.
Former principal and founder of IAMTECH, Dr. Abie Paula Kamara, explained that the college closely monitors the process of training and lecturing to produce middle level manpower.
“Modules were designed meaningfully to match the market needs [and] to avoid mismatch, so that our graduates would be professionally integrated into the workforce. Statistics has shown that IAMTECH has contributed a lot to girl-child education,” said Dr. Kamara.
Delivering his keynote address, Principal of IAMTECH, Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah, said the foundation is aimed at utilising trainings and empowerment of women, especially female students.
“The center is now hosting this dynamic RIFTS Foundation and we are addressing major challenges facing our ladies, including their academic lives, domestic, personal, marital, parental responsibilities, financial and social aspects,” she said.
According to Dr. Sillah, the confidence of Dr. Thorpe and the RIFTS Foundation would impact positively on the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone, as well as morality and a prosperous, democratic country.
“Therefore, the talents and voices of the nation’s women who happen to constitute the majority of the population should be represented intellectually, politically, socially and economically,” she urged.
She admonished the female students about self-empowerment through inner motivation as every woman is loaded with untouched potential of gifts, talents, and an ability to excel.