The Sierra Leone Education and Development (SLED) on Thursday 29th August 2019 observed its 15th anniversary with the presentation of over 34 scholarships to underprivileged pupils in primary, secondary and university institutions at the Buxton Methodist Church Hall, Charles Street, Freetown.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of SLED, Mr. Alphonso Williams, said that his vision to educate and empower the needy has come to fruition as some of the beneficiaries have graduated from university and are now working in renowned institutions in the country thus contributing to national development.
He furthered that since its establishment in 2004, SLED has consistently awarded scholarships to underprivileged children, thanking God Almighty for making the provision while affirming that the scholarships are in line with government’s free quality education and human resource development.
According to Mr. Williams, when he conceived the idea at the time when the civil war was raging in the country and people experienced hardship, he contacted some sponsors in Europe and America, especially the Baptist Church in the United Kingdom, who consented to help the less fortunate.
He recalled that initially it was not an easy task to convince sponsors but underscored that with the help of God Almighty, they came onboard. He disclosed that most of the funds are provided by sponsors, saying he is proud of the beneficiaries who are creating impact and contributing to the development of the country as well as serving as role models for others in society.
Three of the beneficiaries, including Bockarie Sannoh, a teacher and pastor, and Ilene Nylender, a nurse, said that without the scholarships they would not have attended university and commended the organization for the invaluable support.
Highlights of the ceremony were the offering of prayers for continued success of the organization, presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries, cutting of the 15th anniversary cake and distribution of used clothing to the beneficiaries.
Pupils in primary schools received Le160, 000; secondary Le250, 000 and university between Le1.5 and 2 million depending on the area of study.