I feel like a father again, filled with joy, adoration and excitement at bringing a child into the world. Although not biological the bond I feel for this child is as strong as any father-child relationship. My second child ‘’Kuelimisha’’ Ki-Swahili for ‘to educate’ is the fruit of my ‘Educate Africa’ project. In typical African tradition the naming ceremony (official launch) took place over a delicious meal shared with friends and loved ones from across the globe. The event took place on May 22, 2012 at Madrid’s best kept secret the Kim Bu Mbu African Restaurant. In attendance were IE Students and friends of IE Business School from Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece, Brazil, Taiwan, USA, and Nicaragua and off course Sierra Leone. Friends who came not only to have a taste of mouth-watering African cuisine but also to support the start of an Initiative which hopes to make a difference in the lives of students across the African continent.
From ticket sales for the dinner and donations the Kuelimisha Initiative was able to raise € 300.00 (approx. $375) towards Phase 1 of the project. The first phase of the project aims to raise five thousand US dollars ($5,000). Two thousand three hundred ($2,300) to fund the purchase of chairs and desks for the girls section of the Holy Trinity Primary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which the Headmistress of the school has identified this as the most pressing need of the school as this time. The remaining two thousand seven hundred US Dollars ($2,700) will go towards a scholarship fund that will provide at least three scholarships to needing girls in Sierra Leone who perform the extremely well in the national primary schools exams for gaining admission to secondary school. Each Scholarship would be worth nine hundred US dollars ($ 900) and would cover the girls’ entire secondary school education ($150 a year for six years).
The funds raised so far represent baby steps for Kuelimisha but as a child so young I am very proud of this small accomplishment which I feel will definitely make a difference to at least to a class of girls at Holy Trinity. In addition these first small and gentle steps will no doubt serve as a foundation for the future growth of Kuelimisha and fulfillment of its vision. A vision which I feel like a child will continue to evolve as it grows but have at its core the desire to have an impact on Africa’s development process by investing in its future human capital, children.
In my earlier blogs I pointed to a belief that Africa’s sustainable development is pegged to improving the productivity of its workforce which in turns means investing in the education of its current and future labour pool. A fact that I am even more convinced about having started an Internship in Monrovia, Liberia and speaking to employers. Liberia is currently poised for rapid economic growth having benefited from the peace guaranteed by the UN and government reforms however, many employers complain about the difficulty they have at attracting and good and capable personnel. It is therefore clear that the development of the private sector which is the engine of growth for any economy would be impeded without the country addressing its human capital challenge.
As Kuelimisha grows and hopefully plays a role in developing the human capital in Africa I would like to thank all those that attended the African Dinner event or made a contribution the Holy Trinity School Fund.
Keep following the Sierra Leonean for more stories on my Internship experience in Liberia.
Written by Andrew