SV Logo Sierra Visions Newsletter
Vol. 3, Iss. 1

December 2006

IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Story

Introduction

New Members/Partners

Gift to Succeed

Brain Gain TR'SURE

Education Drive

Fundraising & Sponsorship


Featured Story

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Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year! You haven't heard from us in a while because we've been very busy achieving our goals. In the past year--2006--Sierra Visions (SV) completed three projects, the Gift to Succeed scholarship program (GTS), Brain Gain: TR'SURE , and Education Drive with the help of private sector partners such as AccessPointAfrica and SBTS Group. Sierra Visions expanded by gaining new members and would like to thank our committed volunteers - specifically, Michael Kowa, Aminata Mansaray, Hawanatu Bangura, Jennifer Bunten-Graden, and Christiana James.

In addition, SV provided two college students with scholarship for the 2006/2007 school year, and during 2006, the organization delivered several training classes in Sierra Leone. SV also shipped primary school books to the El Shaddai Orphanage in Freetown.

New Members and Partners

The organization would not be a success without the help from the private sector in both the U.S. and Sierra Leone. Specifically, we would like to send special thanks to SBTS Group for providing disbursement assistance to scholarship recipients and training facilities; AccessPointAfrica for providing training facilities and an in-kind donations for the shipment of our books, and The Africa Network for providing training resources. In addition to achieving our 2006 goals, SV has also gained new members; namely, Mr. Innocent Monya-Tamba, Mrs. Alphina Dumbuya-Mason, and Dr. Bidemi Carrol. We look forward to working more with them in 2007. If you would like to join our team, please contact us.

Gift to Succeed Scholarship

GtS Scholarship RecepientDuring the past year, SV paid and continues pay college tuition for two students, Miss Christiana James, and Mr. Bockarie Bayoh. Ms. James is a second-year student at the Institute for Public Administration and Management (IPAM), where she is obtaining a degree in accounting. During her first year in school, she has not only done well in her studies, but has also helped SV with mini projects. She currently has two years remaining at IPAM and hopes to pursue a post graduate degree in accounting.

GtS Scholarship RecepientMr. Bayoh is a third-year student at the Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone. He is a political science student currently working on his dissertation. He is an exemplary student with an above grade point average of 3.0.

The GtS program would not have been a success without the assistance of SBTS Group in Freetown. It was instrumental in providing dependable and accountable service to ensure that the students received their fees on time. For the 2006/2007 academic school year, SV paid over $900 to help these students attend school. With your help, more students could benefit from our GtS program. As SV is a tax exempt organization, you could receive tax benefit for your donation. In addition, you will receive an annual update about the students in our GtS program.

Brain Gain: TR'SURE Training

From October 22-24th 2006, SV delivered another free two day community training session at AccessPointAfrica's internet café in Bo, Sierra Leone.

BG 2006 1There where a total of 14 participants, most of whom were students from Njala university, Bo Government Secondary School and Christ the King College. Also taking part in the training was a journalist from one of the local stations and two retired civil servants wanting to get a better appreciation of modern day technology. Courses taught included: Microsoft Word and Excel - Beginner and Intermediate level, Introductory session on Internet Concepts with focus on news sites, search engines for research topics and signing up and setting up email accounts. SV encouraged maximum interaction with students by providing course evaluations and light refreshments.

Brain Gain 2006 2All the participants where truly appreciative of the course with a 100% rating it as very beneficial, though 90% said they would have preferred the course was run over a longer period. The general consensus was that more community based training should be given on a more frequent basis. In true media style the participating journalist - Mohammed Sesay asked the question "So what is the true motivation of Sierra Visions?" In response, we reiterated the dedication, commitment and sincerity of the organization with a sole purpose of action through dedication and collaboration.

In that light, we are pleased to announce the 2007 Brain Gain: TR'SURE program in partnership with SBTS Group and AccessPointAfrica. The training will be held between January 4-11 in Freetown and January 25-31, in Bo/Freetown. These sessions will feature new courses in IT, Business Planning, Marketing and Finance. For more information, visit our website.

Education Drive

During 2006, SV also provided primary school books to El Shaddai Orphanage in Freetown. With the help of AccesspointAfrica, the books were shipped free of charge. We welcome similar assistance from other organizations.
Fundraising & Sponsorship
Fundraising is very important to the life of our organization. We seek to acquire funds for our various types of programs and events, in order to continue to enhance and sustain our programs to promote economic and social development in Sierra Leone. The various funded programs described above incur high costs related to training delivery, tertiary educational scholarships, transportation, shipping, and delivery of educational products and services to Sierra Leone. Currently a majority of our revenue comes from the organizations' membership fees; extra contributions from members; and some private sector sponsorships that have interest in our mission, vision, and values. To supplement this, we must apply for grants from various public and private sector organizations in the Sierra Leonean Diaspora.

So how can you help us ? If you or anyone you know specializes in Grant Making/Writing or Corporate Sponsorhips for non-profits, please let us know. For the year 2007, we anticipate seeking and receiving funding from different streams such as grants, planned giving, in-kind gifts, one-time donation, etc. Saving of funds is also a critical part of fundraising; thus we continuously appreciative of the physical time and effort donated by our dedicated volunteers, in the United States, United Kingdom, and in Sierra Leone.