The main purpose of their visit was to take stock of the ground level implementation of SFGF Project and also to monitor the impacts of the first phase of the projects and meet the beneficiaries at grass-root level.
The Seeds For Growth Foundation is an initiative of Kapri Turay , a Sierra Leonean Ex-asylum seeker living in Tilburg, Netherlands. The project aimed at supporting three thousand farmers within five years towards better livelihood in rural Sierra Leone. In September 2016, they started the first phase of the project; thereby providing maize seeds, fertilizers and technical support to twenty farmers at Mabura village and its environs in Malal- Mara Chiefdom.
Meanwhile, in the Villages of Rochen and Mabura , a large number of villagers gathered to accord a warm welcome to the visiting team. The enthusiastic villagers welcomed the visitors in a grand style; as they sang their traditional songs to receive the delegation.
The delegation first of all visited Rochen Village where SFGF supported the construction of a church. Later they held a meeting with the farmers at Mabura Village and sought relevant information with regards the implementation of the first phase of the Agricultural project.
Speaking at the Meeting, Mr. Kapri Turay said he has spent more than twenty years in the diaspora, but has been supporting his home town in his own little way. “With help from the members of the Bible Center in Tilburg, Netherlands I have built a church in the Village of Rochen”, said Mr. Turay. He told the villagers that the President and Treasurer of the Foundation, Ben Bolland, a Dutch Citizen has been very proactive out there to raise funds to support the implementation of the project in the Country. SFGF has also attracted investors on solar energy who are set to provide renewable energy for the chiefdom and the entire country. “Our project is nonpolitical, and we will ensure its desire goal is achieved’’ Mr. Turay maintained.
Making a brief statement on behalf of the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA), ODA’s Communications Officer, Alfred Fornah informed that his institution is charge with the responsibility to coordinate diaspora activities in the country, and also ensure that the country derive immense benefit from the contribution of the Sierra Leonean diaspora community. “SFGF is a diaspora led organization, and we are on board to help them coordinate their project in country’’ Mr. Fornah pointed out.
Alaska Bangura who represented the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) commended SFGF for what he described as a laudable move to boost the Agricultural Sector in the country. He called on the farmers to treat the project with the seriousness it deserves.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Karim Fofanah who is one of the master farmers in the chiefdom praised SFGF for their relentless effort in galvanizing funds to support the project. ‘’ Our proudest achievement was recently when we got bumper harvest from the maize farm project of SFGF which we sold and paid school fees for our children ‘’ said Mr. Fofanah.
He noted that the serious challenge they are facing now is to transport their produce to the Agricultural Business Center (ABC), which is over six miles away from their village. He called on good will Ambassadors and other well- wishers to come to their aide in order to help them with a vehicle that will take their produce to the ABCs. He also appealed for the provision of water supply facilities that will provide them clean, accessible, sustainable and cost effective water solutions thereby transforming both the lives and the health of thousands of men, women and children in the chiefdom.
Pa Abu Bangura, the section chief of the community thanked SFGF, ODA and MAFFS for their strides to help them develop their community. Also other speakers including Mr. Momodu Sheku Kamara and the Village chair lady heaped praises on the Seeds for Growth Foundation’s President and Secretary for their brave effort to support the development of the project in the country.