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Quarterly Newsletter                                                                                                                        Vol. 4, Iss. 1

 

"Vision into Action"

 
  Sierra Visions hosts Best Selling Author Ishmael Beah  
  Ishmael BeahIn celebration of Sierra Leone’s 46th year of Independence Sierra Visions and Lava Gina World Music Lounge in NYC hosted a special reading with US National Best Selling Sierra Leonean author of “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Soldier” Ishmael Beah. The event was attended by a diverse group of individuals but the support from the West African community in NY was incredible. Also present at the event was South Africa's  MNET Studio 53 and The African Magazine. Ishmael shared a special poem that he had written for the occasion along with reading a “Bra Spida” story from his book. The crowd was incredibly receptive and laughter could be heard through out the room as Ishmael reminded us all why spiders have thin waists. The reading was followed by a very rich discussion on forgiveness and healing. It was truly a moment to make all Sierra Leoneans proud of their heritage, culture and most of all their people. Ishmael hopes to travel to Sierra Leone within the next year, and SV will organize a series of readings and writing workshops on his behalf as part of the ThinkBuildChange Initiative (a SV program supported by Ishmael Beah). SV will like to thank Lava Gina World Music Lounge, everyone who came out and celebrated with us and most importantly Ishmael; Sierra Leone's golden star.
 
 Community, Partnership, & Education
SV recently formed a strategic partnership with Celtel SL Ltd. as an integral private sector Education Partner. SV will work in close coordination with Celtel in making life better for all Sierra Leoneans via the “Come. Back Home” recruitment program, and the “Build the Nation” corporate social responsibility initiative. Starting in July 2007, ongoing sessions of our TR’SURE training workshops and seminars will be hosted and run out of the newly launched Celtel Academy. We also hope Celtel will hire, and serve on a rotating basis on selection committee for prospective ThinkBuildChange Salone internship candidates. To get involved find out more, please visit the TR’SURE website today!  
 
The use of technology, the World Wide Web (WWW) in particular, has become an important skill for both students and teachers to master. The Internet has a vast amount of information and infinitely many uses, but it takes practice to learn to effectively navigate its resources. Therefore, SV facilitated and collaborated with other local and diasporan Sierra Leonean organizations to form the Sierra Leone Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC.SL). ISOC is a professional membership society that provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organization home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Why not contribute to Sierra Leone’s digital revolution today by joining or registering with the ISOC.SL portal community?
 
 US Teenagers Read for a Cause

As an opportunity for extra credit, students were encouraged to read “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Solider” by Ishmael Beah. Upon completion of the reading, students were to donate the books to SV Inc. One by one student’s bought the book and I saw them diligently reading the books during class, at lunch time: all the time.  Parents and teachers called to inquire, “What is it about this book?” My reply was: “Please read it for your self”.   The story was infectious and it continues to ripple through our campus community as others purchase and read “A long way gone”. Copies donated to SV will be used as reading material for TBC Salone Internship and SV Lit Circles. To donate your used copy or donate a new copy of Ishmael Beah’s “A long way gone: Memoirs of a child soldier” to SV for readers in Sierra Leone, please contact ysisay@sierravisisons.org.
 Student Quotes:
 
 Ms. Sisay I could not go to sleep last night, I stayed up all night reading. Carrying all of these burdens the way he did took strength but it took courage make his burdens into passion to drive him towards ultimate success. -Aliah Thomas,15 Ishmael Beah is a very strong man and was really fighting for his life because he strived to get out his nightmare. -Myra Flores, 15  
 
ThinkBuildChange Salone (TBCS)
On March 5th 2007 , the TBCS Initiative was highlighted by Global Voices Online  a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School ’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The TBCS Initiative will provide training and work experience to Sierra Leonean youth; and connect Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and friends of Sierra Leone with volunteer and community service opportunities in Sierra Leone . This, summer SV will host our first international volunteer and pilot TBCS Social Development Internship Program with ten students in Freetown . The internship program will run from August to November and students will be selected based on academic merit, potential, and leadership abilities. All selected interns will be assigned mentors and placed with local NGOs and businesses in Sierra Leone . Students will also receive a stipend of Le 450,000 equally disbursed over the three month internship period. Additionally, all students will undergo TR’SURE computer, media, and development training. One intern will be the recipient of SV Gift to Succeed Scholarship. SV wishes to thank the following individuals: Mike Monxhwedey, Chris Pollock, Hilde Van Rossem, and Chrisford Davis for their recent contributions to the Initiative.
 "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that i can do." 
(Edward Everett Hale)  
Become a Sponsor TODAY!! | Volunteer In Sierra Leone 
 
TBCS Profiles In Courage
The TBCS Profiles In Courage highlights exceptional Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone at home or in the diaspora who are making remarkable contributions to the nation's development in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. 
Recent Profiles: The Visao Foundation (non-profit), Peter Conteh (film maker), Bimbola Carrol (creator/founder of VisitSierraLeone)
Read Current Profiles
 | Nominate for Profiles In Courage
 
TRainSUstainREtain: TR'SURE
TR'SURE ClassSV continues to successfully deliver quarterly sessions of the TR’SURE program in Sierra Leone. Our last two sessions were delivered in partnership with SBTS Group and UJIMA. In 2007, we have introduced several new courses to the curriculum: including Business Administration, Finance, Marketing, and Media Entertainment. We hope to add even more as we launch TR’SURE (and TBCS) at the new Celtel Academy in July 2007.  We would particularly like to thank our newest professional training volunteers:  Ms. Jennifer Bunten-Graden, a Harvard law student; DJ Davey of Sacramento, USA 103.5 Radio; Mr. David Howard, UJIMA Executive Director, for their outstanding contributions during the January and April sessions, and hope they’ll join us for future sessions. In this and future editions of our newsletters, we will also share various program results and statistics including requirement survey responses, course evaluations, and quotes from past and present TR’SURE students. Will you "Come Back Home" or travel to Sierra Leone anytime soon? 
 Sign up to Train with SV today!!
 
Student Quotes:
"I really appreciate the training you have given me. This my first time to have access to internet training programme and this will enable me to do research related to different areas in my studies." Mr. Kallon, FBC.
"In Sierra Leone, we do not receive computer training from other people in the country. Many people want to learn computer skills, but there is no money to do so. You pay for everything you do. I know SV’ Brain Gain will help in this improvement" Ms. Bangura, Njala University.
 
GtS Scholarship
GtS StudentCongratulations are in Order!
Bockarie Bayoh, one of SV first GtS recipients will graduate from the Fourah Bay College (FBC) this June.  Bockarie will receive his BA in Political Science and hopes to pursue a LLB (Bachelor of Laws) at FBC.
 
 
EXCEL & Lit Circles
EXCEL Trainings are designed to offer professional development workshops, for educators. The focus will be the development of teachers’ content knowledge and an expansion of teaching strategies. Programs will include lesson design, differentiated instruction, instructional needs, scaffolding, and eradication of route learning. Lit Circles is a program for young adults and adults designed to promote literacy, dialogue and discussion. Lit Circle Leaders will engage participants in discussion based forums and activities. We will explore contemporary and classic literature based on; heritage & culture, inspiration/religion, health and beauty, relationships, career and personal finance and self-help. For more information, please contact ysisay@sierravisisons.org.
In This Edition:

SV in the Community 

 
 
  - SV Program Updates

ThinkBuildChange Salone 

TR'SURE: Brain Gain Training 

GtS Scholarship 

EXCEL & Lit Circles 

   - Get Involved

» sign up to train with SV 

» partner/volunteer 

» contribute/sponsor 

» join our team 

» meet our team 

» meet our sponsors 

» recommend us 

» newsletter signup


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