By Abdul Rahman Bedor
On Saturday, April 21 this year, the leading GSM operator in the country, Africell Lintel, sponsored the third annual national talent and cultural exhibition of the Kids Advocacy Network (KAN) on the theme, ‘Culture must prevail in our society,’ at the British Council Hall in Freetown.
In her remarks at the ceremony, Ms. Ngadi Josephine Kargbo, Africell’s Media Relations Officer, stated that the objective of the company is to provide quality and affordable communication service to the populace for which it has thrice clinched the All Works of Life (AWOL) award as the best telecommunication company in the country.
She further stated that Africell’s adherence to its corporate social responsibility has resulted to tremendous contributions being made to the development of individuals and institutions through its various promotions.
She gave as example the company’s transformation of a dealer in used clothing, Mr. Karim Brima of Pendebu to a billionaire, offering scholarships to Muslims to perform the Hajj in the holy land of Mecca, the beautification of the historic Freetown Cotton Tree, and the ultra-modern clock tower in Makeni among several other development projects.
She said the company has passion for education hence, “it is partnering with the Milton Margai School for the Blind and School for the Deaf and Dumb to enhance education, awarded scholarships to pupils of St. Joseph’s Secondary School and pupils whose parents died in the Shenge boat disaster.”
She recalled that recently, the company sponsored the Inter-Secondary Schools Quiz Competition organized by the Nigerian Students’ Union in Sierra Leone that saw the Sierra Leone Grammar School emerging as winner.
She said they have also partnered with KAN to empower young people to enable them to make informed career choices for which the company has been branded ‘pikin’ company, reiterating that Africell appreciates the fact that communication is important to everybody regardless of sex, status or age.
“Africell cares for the welfare of children and encourages students to study hard as the country relies on them for its future. ‘Salone na wi contri’ and Africell ‘Na wi network,’ Ngadi J. Kargbo concluded.
In his contribution, the Child Protection Officer at the British Council, Mr. Michael Dennis, lauded Africell and KAN for the sponsorship that enabled the children to display their talents, affirming that the British Council holds the view that children have potentials and that every child matters.
He further noted that children are a top priority to the company as they have a unique willingness to exchange knowledge that would meaningfully build trust and make sustainable difference in the country’s future.
In his statement, the National President of KAN, Mr. Edmond Alim Fornah, acclaimed Africell for the sponsorship, underscoring that the company has contributed immensely to the development of children’s education.
He disclosed that the network advocates for the development and welfare of children since they are the future leaders, urging them to stay away from violence, drugs, sex, and crime but focus on their education which he said is the key to their success and the advancement of the country.
He disclosed that 21st April, 2012 was the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Child Rights Act that should be implemented through the Children’s Advocacy Forum Network, underlining that “it is better to train up a child than to repair an adult.”
Cultural performances and presentation of certificates climaxed the ceremony.