Distinguished patrons, guests and members of UBSSL, Good Evening
We the membership of the United Brothers and Sisters of Sierra Leone (U.B.S.S.L.) are happy to see you and we want to take this opportunity to thank you all very much for joining us tonight. This year marks 20 years since the inauguration of this organization, and 57 years since Sierra Leone gained independence from Britain. Welcome to the climax of the joint celebrations. We started the celebrations with interfaith prayers on Sunday 04/08/2018 followed by a family picnic on 04/14/2018 and thanks to all those who gave us their fullest support especially Pastor Betty King and Mr. Alpha Timbo who officiated the Christian service and Muslim prayers respectively. Both Christians and Muslims who attended the interfaith prayers prayed fervently, among other things, for Allah to guide the newly elected government of our beloved Sierra Leone for the love of country over personal gains. We cried and asked God to not only hear our prayers, but to accept them and ease the suffering of our people, especially in Sierra Leone. We are asking our Lord God for the same blessings tonight.
We have here in our midst, some founding members of U.B.S.S.L and we would like to thank and recognize them for their wisdom in forming this organization and for their hard work over those years. I must mention two very important founding members- Mr. Benedict Gbondo who, unfortunately could not be here today. He was the life-blood of U.B.S.S.L until some of us were fortunate to step in his shoes. Sadly, one highly celebrated member (Late Michael kijan) who came up with the name for this organization is no longer with us. He is surely at the righthand side of the lord in Heaven. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in perfect peace.
Total transparency is still the way UBSSL operates. Last year our gross income from our fundraising event was $ 25, 272, with an expenditure of $11,434 to host the event leaving us with a net income of $13,837.
At this point, we would like to recognize and thank our two leading sponsors- Mr. & Mrs. Paxton Gagnet of Crown Toyota who donated $3,000.00 and Mr. & Mrs. Mahmoud Timbo who donated $2,000. However, the support of our community especially in Southern California cannot be over emphasized. We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to you all for your support and contributions over the years. We would also like to recognize Mrs. Isatu Timbo Nowokedi, who donated $500 and also sponsored a student. Mr. & Mrs. Ken Stewart donated $300 and also sponsored a student. The Kerio Descanted United of California are also proud sponsors of a high school student. Thank you all very much.
I am pleased to also inform you that we spent all the net profit we raised last year for the intended purpose. We gave record 58 scholarships (new and renewed) totaling about $ 13,000, to include students of N’jala University College whom we hope to hear from soon. The bulk of the money went to the 26 university students we are currently sponsoring. We were very pleased with your unconditional support but at the same time we are sad to inform you that there were many more students who needed your support. Just as last year, each university student received $400, high school students received $150 each, and the two elementary students received $75 each.
Each year including now, we remain committed to our main objectives of assisting some of the needy and deserving students in Sierra Leone and, to a lesser effect, in Southern California. With your support we hope to one day be able to provide adequate technology to students in Sierra Leone by giving them the tools to be competitive in the global work force, to provide solar energy for schools and universities, which they desperately need in order to do labs and access internet services. The present water supply infrastructure is antiquated and can no longer efficiently serve the country. We are again appealing to you all for your support to help U.B.S.S.L achieve these objectives. We are currently handicapped by the fact that we do not have the network to solicit funding to translate these dreams into reality for all Sierra Leoneans. Please use your influence to assist the children of Sierra Leone. You have my word that your sacrifices will not go in vain. Your support will go directly to the people. We will spend your money for the intended purposes. One reason why we account for every cent raised is to emphasize our credibility and transparency. For tonight’s event, Mr. & Mrs. Paxton Gagnet donated $4,000 and National Life Group donated $500. Once again thank you.
I would like to recognize and thank the entire membership of this organization I commendable. Please let us all continue with renewed vigor and determination as we strive to make U.B.S.S.L. the very best. God bless Sierra Leone, God bless the United States of America, and God bless you all. Please enjoy your evening.