Atinuke Scott-Boyle – Chairperson
Born in 1983, in Freetown, Sierra Leone was a chubby 10lb baby who her very smitten parents decided to call Atinuke (spoilt from the womb). I grew up in Freetown together with my younger brother up until the age of 14 when the war reached Freetown. Many people tell me I was not really bred in Freetown because I left at such a young age. I disagree. For me, my formative years were spent in Freetown and those were the years of me who I am today. The harsh reality of life in Sierra Leone and the effects of war were all too clear to see and very heart breaking. As a result, I got involved in a few projects that were running to help disadvantaged kids get an education. As a community, it is our duty to bring to the world the positives about our nation. We are the most tolerant, happy (despite all the suffering) and resilient people. I am very excited to be a part of The Network For Change. It definitely gives a platform to promote our positive attributes of Sierra Leone and to give a voice to the voiceless.
The opportunity to grow up and the privilege to be born in Sierra Leone offered me nothing but a beautiful upbringing, and struggle for which I am grateful for. We must remember a country that has had such a pivotal role in the slave trade, colonialism, leading into independence and now negotiating it’s teenage democracy. Born on Christmas day, into the Sesay family, to a Christian mother and a Muslim father. The view from the Juba Hill is nothing but breathtaking, better than a postcard one of Sierra Leone most amazing beach to the east and to the west the view stretch to Wilberforce and Spur Road, and Lumley. Juba Hill offered a lifeline and protection from turmoil that would engulf our nation. From the coup in 1997 until 1999, Juba sheltered us from the violent ends of the brutal war. Sierra Leone – my history, my country, and my love. I am committed to support and help in anyway I can. Today, we must give back to the land that gave us hope and life. Africa has her affliction, and we are the cure. Ar dey begg mak we cam together.”
I was not born in Sierra Leone but I was born a Sierra Leonean. The seven years of my life I spent in Sweet Salone played a significant role in shaping me into who I am today – for that reason alone, I will always have a strong connection with the country, a place I proudly call home. I envision The Network to be a platform for productive debate, counsel and collaboration leading to delivery on a unified objective to improve infrastructure, the economy and the standard of living for all Sierra Leoneans. A key component of this development would involve responsible utilisation of the natural resources of the country for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans. As a Civil Engineer I hope that I can use my technical skills to provide design and construction advice for infrastructure projects in Sierra Leone. In particular, I wish to drive an agenda for sustainable development considering maintenance plans and the long-term impact of Civil Engineering projects on future generations.
Sierra Leone is where I call home. I may have spent half of my life living outside of Sierra Leone but my love for the country has never wavered. From its beautiful white sandy beaches to its green mountains and amazing scenery and history, this undiscovered paradise is the place where I have spent my happiest moments. Unfortunately, the rest of the world and even some Sierra Leoneans do not view Sierra Leone the way I do and rightly so. The country has gone and is still going through rocky times. But I am confident of one thing, Sierra Leone will be beautiful again, Sierra Leone will stand tall again. Together with my team members in The Network for Change we will ensure that we are that voice that calls out for change. It is such privilege working with passionate Sierra Leoneans who are willing to do whatever little they can to give back to the country and its people. Salone na we all yone. Make we nor wait again for fix am. Make we start now. The change starts with you.
Born, bred and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone by the best grandmother in the world, I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing. Now residing in the United Kingdom to join my parents, all I am left with is few weeks holiday here and there to the motherland. I thank God I have this opportunity and I always look forward to my return. However, I have sculptured beautiful memories of my years spent in Sierra Leone. Memories no one can take away, memories I’ll live to share with my grandchildren. As I reflect back on my time in Sierra Leone, yes we had our hiccups and trying times, yes things were not all bright and beautiful but I never saw and still haven’t seen the ugly picture. For me, it’s all a huge pile of messy, chaotic and unorganised beauty and I believe we’ll get it together, one day we will get it right. You know why? Sierra Leoneans always find the rainbow in every cloud and this time will be no different. Hence the reason why I was overly delighted when asked to join Network For Change. There is power in numbers and as the saying goes ‘’never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers’’ only this time I’ll say never underestimate the power of forward thinking people in large numbers. Wow that sounded even more powerful. Well I’ll say watch out, Network for change is on to something good and Sierra Leone is our target.
Sometime in this lifetime, I hope to see us go back to a Sierra Leone where basic amenities are not privileges reserved for a selected few but the reality for all. I have always believed that as Sierra Leoneans our approach to patriotism is partly the problem. We feel the need to pledge love and loyalty always, no questions asked, lest we imply defiance or a lack of love for the green, white and blue. As a media professional I have passionately defended my view that we need a redefinition if we are to see an actively progressive civil society and now as the TNFC lead for social media and content, I hope that we can spark constructive conversations that will encourage all of us individually to be the change we so desperately hope to see. I see this network as a reawakening; a platform that will hopefully inspire our generation to stand united in truth, progressive thinking and action. I remain hopeful that for as long as the grass is green and the skies are blue, the dark clouds will fade and the sun will once again shine through. I am convinced that this network can play a pivotal role in shining that light. Pamilerin Beckley is the owner and chief creative at Royaume Online. She is also the editor-in-chief at GoWoman Africa Magazine.
The launch of The Network For Change came out of the frustrations voiced by young professionals in the Sierra Leonean Diaspora. There is a strong desire for an active and progressive platform where the Diaspora can network and build contacts. I hope for this platform to be a voice for the people of Sierra Leone. I strongly believe in the sustainable development of Sierra Leone and sustainable development can only be successful when the younger generations are involved. Besides being the President/ Chairman of The Network For Change. I am the Director of Gordon Browne Consultant’s Ltd, an international recruitment and business development firm with its main focus being on helping companies and individuals on the African continent.
Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. is a Sierra Leonean Lawyer who was called to the Sierra Leone Bar in October 2007 after having successfully passed the Bar Final Examinations as the “Star Pupil”, and has been in Legal practice since then with Wright & Co. (Solicitors) of Top Floor, 8 Pademba Road, Freetown – a leading Corporate/Commercial Law Firm in Sierra Leone. He was born in 1983 and is an avaricious researcher and reader in Laws with a keen interest in the interplay between Law, Development and Economics. He has many academic awards, and is interested in seeing the law being used as an instrument of socio-economic cum political transformation of Sierra Leone and the world. He is presently pursuing the interdisciplinary LLM in Law and Economics which is jointly taught by the School of Law and the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary, University of London in London, United Kingdom. Francis hopes to return to Sierra Leone upon the completion of his Masters Degree to continue his practice, and in his own way, contribute conscientiously to the development and socio-economic revolution of his country.
Robert Edward Sahfillie Jones values his African Heritage. Born to two Sierra Leonean professionals, he has shuttled between the country he calls “home” and the UK since birth. He is a civil servant in the UK, and has experience in front line operational delivery, strategic, tactical planning and PPM. He was part educated in Sierra Leone; attending schools in the provinces and the capital Freetown. He believes that education is necessary in every aspect of Sierra Leonean life from ideology to governance to social interactions.”l love the simplest things that Sierra Leone has to offer but above all, the gift of two wonderful parents and a sound upbringing”. As a budding philanthropist, Robert wants to give back to his country of heritage; knowing his positive origins, he is convinced that a positive future awaits Sierra Leone, if we work hard for it.