March 21, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in its drive towards promoting slum communities and helping to make life easy for people living in those communities, has through its project titled, “Pull Slum Pa People”, commissioned community facilities worth millions of Leones in the Oloshoroh community in Freetown.
The event, which took place on Saturday, March 18th, 2017, saw the commissioning of four foot bridges, a community toilet, foot step, water pumps and the launch of Local Police Partnership Board (LPPB) in the Oloshoroh community.
Christian Martyn Kamara, National General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA in Sierra Leone, said their aim was to transform the lives of young people in the country.
“We are not politicians. We don’t go around giving money to people but we have been finding issues that are affecting the lives of people in communities. We find a way to solve those issues. We also train young people from deprived communities in different vocational skills that can help them transform their lives and communities,” he said.
According to him, YMCA will do more for the Oloshoroh community only, if beneficiaries take proper care of the facilities that have been provided.
Alusine Sesay, one of the beneficiaries of YMCA vocational skills training, said he was grateful for the opportunity to be useful in his community.
He recalled that previously, he was like a “black sheep” in the Oloshoroh community but since he was trained as an electrician, he was now a role model in that community. He noted that he has been able to buy a piece of land and that his life was no longer the same for him.
Mamaco Brown, another beneficiary of YMCA Vocational Centre, said she was never respected in the community, but that after she received training in catering from the YMCA Vocational Centre, her life has changed for the better.
She disclosed that she used to live in a single room apartment but now stays in a self-contained house.
Speaking on behalf of the community, Lawyer Osman Timbo, said the testimonies of Mamaco Brown and Alusine Sesay should serve as an eye-opener to transform many others in the community.
“I want to use this opportunity to encourage these two young people to replicate their acquired skills to others in the community. They should use their skills for the advancement of the community,” he urged them.
In his keynote address, Abdul Karim Marah, Development and Planning Officer at the Freetown City Council, said development is everybody’s business and that YMCA was complementing the work of the government in the country.
He said before YMCA embarks on any development, its officials would first consult the Freetown City Council in order to discuss how it should be implemented.