The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Local Government and Community Development Mr. Raymond .Kabia has in consultation with elders in the Masimera Chiefdom in the Port Loko District transformed Quifel Agribusiness contribution to the Community Development Fund of Masimera to a Scholarship scheme.
The initiative for the scheme which was consensually agreed on after Quifel made the contribution some time this month is to support the education of land owners children and other categories of vulnerable school goers in that community.
At the consultative meeting in Masimera Chiefdom on Friday 21st August 2009,the Catholic Mission was officially identified by a cross section of community people to run the newly constructed secondary school.
During the meting the Local Government Minister expressed gratitude towards Quifel Agribusiness for their timely contribution towards the Community Development Fund, pointing out that the contribution was very crucial to the human resources development of their children because it came at a time when they were about to open the newly constructed Masimera Secondary School that was faced with inadequate furniture and learning materials.
He noted that part of the Quifel contribution was used to cater for school furniture and the remaining will be used as scholarship. According to the minister all the six sections in the Massimera Chiefdom which include Rokel, Bekie, Nonkoba, Mamalikie, Yoni Pet and Ronkon sections are expected to benefit from the scheme for a period of one year. Two pupils of land owners (male and female) are expected to benefit from the scheme from each section.
Each recipient is entitled to a years’ school fee, uniform, books and other learning materials.
The Minister who was reputed to have said there could be no meaningful development without education stated that their own priority is to invest in the education of their children as they constitute future leaders of the country who might use education acquired to develop their community and the country at large.
He went on to explain that the decision to transform five thousand US dollars to a Scholarship Scheme for land owners children after convening a meeting of stakeholders which included land owners, Councilors and Chiefs resolved that the contribution is to be used to support education of their children.
He said the primary objective of returning from USA was to use his initiative for the development of his people back at home and would therefore embrace any meaningful investment on behalf of his community.
He acknowledged the bold initiative of the people of Masimera for selecting the Catholic Mission to administer the affairs of the new Secondary School as the mission has a good track record of supporting education.
He also confirmed that plans are in the pipe line to erect a Vocational Training Center adjacent to the newly erected Secondary School for youth and the young adults to acquire income generating skills.
Pa Roke Sesay II Regent Chief of Masimera Chiefdom stated that since he took over the leadership he has facilitated a number of development programs in the areas of Health, Agriculture and education.
He pointed out that after the construction of the new school they were confronted with the problem of identifying a mission to run the school but prior to the official selection of the Catholic Mission they resolved in a stakeholders meeting to use the Quifel contribution to furnish the school and offer scholarships to certain categories of students in the Chiefdom.
In a brief contribution Quifel Agribusiness’s representative at the meeting, Titiana Diniz said the occasion was not only significant but crucial to the development of the community noting that they were witnessing the wise decision of the people of Masimera Chiefdom Development that will enhance the educational standards of their children. She said Quifel’s primary objective is to embark on the development of the Oil Palm Plantation but supporting education forms part of their corporate social responsibility. She therefore expressed optimism that the decision taken by the people in selecting the Catholic Mission to run the new school would yield dividend for the community in the near future.
The Chairman of the Masimera Student Union Baba Sahid Kamara pledged their support for the people in selecting the catholic mission to run the newly erected school so as to reduce drop out rate in the chiefdom.
The Operations Manager Freetown Waste Management Company, Sheik Gibril Sesay attributed most of the development in the community to efforts of the Deputy Local Government Minister which he said would go a long way in developing the community, noting that the Minister is always busy attracting investors into the Chiefdom to improve on the lives of people.