Thousands celebrate at 2nd Annual Education Day in Kono, Sierra Leone
On January 16, 2020, Empower Africa sponsored Kono District’s 2nd Annual Education Day held in Koidu Town, Kono District, Sierra Leone. The festivities were organized by the Kono Artists’ Movement and hosted by Koidu Town’s mayor, Mayor Komba Sam.
The Annual Education Day brought together educators, artists, business leaders, government officials, parents and students to celebrate the transformative power that education can have on the district’s youth. Education expands the mind and opens children to their own potential, allowing them to begin envisioning a future different than their present. In a district where many primary-age children drop out of school to mine for diamonds, the annual Education Day is a chance to inspire students to stay in school and invest in their future.
Approximately 2000 people attended the event – twice the number of people present at the 2019 Education Day. Among those in attendance were participants from Empower Africa Delegation, including Edleen Elba, Women Leadership and Educator, and the Deputy Commissioner of National Youth Affairs Commission, Emmerson Kamara.
Key speakers at the event included Ezi Rapaport, Founder and CEO of Empower Africa; Victor T. Yopoi, Coordinator of Life Beyond Diamonds; Moiwa B. Gandi, Chairman of Head Teachers’ Council; Ibrahim Koroma, Deputy Chairman of Conference of Principals; Alpha Sessay, Assistant Director of Education; Augustine Sahr Sheku, Permanent Secretary of The Ministry of Information and Communication; Mathew Komba Sam, Mayor of Koidu city; Ammar Kamara, Empower Africa’s Country Representative and Simbakoro, Principal of Government Technical Institute.
The festivities featured a celebratory march through Koidu, musical performances by the Artist A-Boy and other members of the Kono Artist Movement, motivational speeches, and an awards ceremony recognizing three top students from the district:
Alimatu Sia Moigua of the “Free the Children” primary school: Best pupil in the national primary school exams.
Mariama Jalloh of the united methodist secondary school – yengema: best pupil in the west african senior certificate exams.
James Moses of the “Free the Children” junior secondary school: best pupil in the basic education certificate exams.
The annual Education Day celebrations are also in line with President Bio’s strategy of creating sustainable economic growth in Sierra Leone through human capital development by focusing on the three pillars of education, food security, and healthcare. Education benefits not just the students staying in school but the Sierra Leonean economy as a whole by giving the country’s youth the tools they need to innovate and grow the economy.
Around the festivities Empower Africa also brought a delegation of senior representatives to visit Koyardu village in the Kono district to see how development is continuing there since the 709 carat peace diamond was found and auctioned.
Children born in Kono deserve opportunities to succeed professionally beyond the diamond mines. Empower Africa is proud to take an active role in promoting education in Sierra Leone, and is excited to see the annual Education Day celebrations growing year after year.