Distinguished Grand Chief Patrons, Chief Patrons, Patrons, Guests, and members of UBSSL:
Good evening and Welcome! I bring you greetings from all of our scholarship recipients both here in the United States and in Sierra Leone, and from members of UBSSL. We are very pleased that you are here this evening to celebrate Sierra Leone’s 55th independence anniversary with us. We are also celebrating collectively as a community the WHO’s official declaration of an Ebola-free Sierra Leone announced back on November 7, 2015. Present among us is Dr. Matthew Waxman, a tropical disease specialist who worked at the Lunsar Ebola treatment unit. He will share his personal experiences in Sierra Leone with us and provide his views on how our beloved nation achieved Ebola-free status last year. Ebola is gone but it left behind many orphans who survive primarily from handouts.
Around this same time last year you were here again supporting us. At that event we raised about $18,000, and thank you once again. Out of that amount, about $8,500 was spent on dinner, $2,400.00 on hosting the event (advert, DJ, printing etc.). We donated about $900 to charities. We spent $5,600 on scholarships.
UBSSL is anticipating a more remarkable year in 2016 as we embark on doubling the number of scholarships (36) currently being awarded. We are also in the process of partnering with key sponsors who will assist us in transforming some of Sierra Leone’s schools, libraries and universities into modern institutions that serve the technological needs of students. We remain indebted to you, and we are very grateful for your continued financial and moral support. The demands of the student have increased tremendously.
UBSSL would like to remind you once again of our short and medium term objectives: Bridging the education and technology gap in Sierra Leone, Increase the financial assistance to help meet part of the students’ educational expenses here in Southern California and in Sierra Leone. Continue to provide support to some orphans of the recent “Ebola” crisis. Equipping schools and colleges in Sierra Leone with technology that should enable students to become competitive in the global workforce. Promoting and maintaining our culture in Southern California.
While we will hear from the following key sponsors later, it behooves me to personally thank them and applaud their laudable contributions to UBSSL: Mr. & Mrs. Paxton Gagnet of John Elway’s Crown Toyota Ontario (Grand Chief Patrons) – $2,500; Mr. Aftab Khan of Airlines Travel LLC (Chief Patron) – $1,000 and an airline ticket which will be auctioned later; Mr. & Mrs. Mahmood Timbo (Chief Patrons) – $500 and sponsors of the cultural dance performers; Mr. & Mrs. Ken Stewart (Chief Patrons) – $300; and Mrs. Isatu Timbo-Nwokedi (Chief Patron) – continuing sponsorship.
Your sacrifices and continuing commitment to make UBSSL the preeminent organization to partner with and to work for in our community is inspiring to me and appreciated. As always, I encourage you to visit www.ubssl.org and journey with us on this mission of providing the gift of education in Sierra Leone by nurturing hope one child at a time.
Let’s keep our momentum going strong. God bless Sierra Leone and God bless the United States of America.
Abdul Kassim, President
United Brothers and Sisters of Sierra Leone