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The Impact of Holistic Empowerment in Human Capital Development

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah, CEO/Founder of People’s Foundation for Humanity Development (PeFoHD) and International Coordinator for WIMI (Women In Ministry International),  provides Executive Leadership and Strategic Vision of PeFoHD.  Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah, CEO/Founder of People’s Foundation for Humanity Development (PeFoHD) and International Coordinator for WIMI (Women In Ministry International), provides Executive Leadership and Strategic Vision of PeFoHD.

When I think of Human Capital Development, Ghana and Rwanda come to mind.  In the mid70s I worked with some Ghanaians at a UN subsidiary organization in Liberia. 

The Ghanaians came to Liberia and Sierra Leone to shop for basic necessities such as toothpaste, tomato paste, sardines etc, because they were unavailable or unaffordable in Ghana.  Today, when you compare the status and standard of Ghana to Liberia and Sierra Leone, it’s unbelievable how far Ghana has left these two countries in the dust albeit an 11 year rebel war may have contributed.  However, what can we say about Rwanda?  So the civil war is no excuse.  Sierra Leone, combined with Liberia did not experience even 10% of the devastation and losses including death toll, disasters and property losses experienced by Rwanda.  How their Human Capital has developed over the years, including the largest female members of Parliament, is impressive beyond description.

Our missionaries and other charity workers do an excellent job at preaching to us.  How about reaching out to the human needs holistically?  That means helping to empower the whole person, spiritually, socially, economically and physically.  Even in our national development a whole section of the country is marginalized.  For instance, starting with the most “Left Behind” Vulnerable”, “Unreachable” Village Children all over the remotest parts of Sierra Leone, how do we reach out to minister to them?  Academically, they certainly have no distraction and will focus on their academics.  For example, in Moyamba District, the village of Moseilolo is surrounded by 9 other villages including: (Momassa, Mosenengoh, Mokango,  Mokebbie, Mokombo) among others who have no access to any school.  The nearest schools are all 5 miles away from their homes.  Can you imagine providing such an educational empowerment opportunity in such a remote area?  We need to include these virgin areas in our Human Capital Development through Educational Empowerment.  When we educate young people to become value based and productive citizens for the development of Sierra Leone, can you imagine what happens after 10 years, 15 years or even 30 years of successfully empowering these children?  Think about Ghana 30 years ago.

So, I was glad when our current President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio embraced the notion of Human Capital Development.  This definitely will affect economic growth.  One way is by expanding the knowledge and skills of the citizens, which in turn would be able to help various areas of the economy. Working with Women Groups for years, I realize that they all don’t have the same skill sets, and certainly their knowledge is diversified.  However, working in excellence helps to produce quality, simply by educating the people.  That’s why I appreciate the Free and Quality Education in our country.  As an Academic, that is my passion and pride.  So how does all this translate into an Impact of Educational Empowerment in Human Capital Development in Sierra Leone?

For decades, the nationwide educational system situation has never improved especially over the last ten years.  Thank God that the current government has started introducing innovations into schools, such as the use of ICTs, free basic education in all government assisted classrooms and teaching of core subject areas and practical subjects in diverse ways including online, radio and television broadcasts. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) formed to oversee educational development in English-speaking West African countries including: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, the Gambia and Nigeria. The WAEC conducts examinations across its member countries at all levels. For years, Sierra Leone has done very poorly, unlike thousands of todays’ graduates from the other countries like Ghana, the Gambia and Nigeria who have always done excellently with many of their graduates working in reputable organizations. Graduates in Sierra Leone spend a proverbial eternity searching for jobs. This proves that it all depends on which country has been investing in their Human Capital and who was truly empowered through education.

In Sierra Leone, the national failure and poor pupil performance in public exams, and even in local exams are the order of the day.   Sierra Leone y remains behind other WAEC countries. Almost 40 per cent of students have constantly failed to obtain a single WASSCE credit since 2017 and only 10 per cent received credits in four or more subjects, with just one in 20 per cent obtaining the five credits needed for university entry.  For years, some people have blamed leakages by WAEC Exam Officials, others have blamed school authorities, teachers, government, students, while others put the sole blame on parents. Let the blaming stop.  I suggest we continue to try, but most importantly, let us turn a new leaf.  How about 

I discussed this great need in the missions’ field with my Spiritual and Missionary Leaders, Bishop Kyle and Apostle Kemi Searcy of Fresh Anointing House of Worship, Montgomery, Alabama.  The proposal was brought to the WIMI Leadership and it was agreed to pray and solicit help for these neglected children and future generation of our society.  Their mothers are all involved with our WIMI Training and Empowerment program.  Upon hearing the good news, the Paramount Chief and other stakeholders including landowners offered to donate up to 50 acres of land to WIMI for development purposes.  While Apostle Kemi has been passionate about holistically empowering women globally, her heart desire is to also promote quality education by enabling deprived youngsters.  Apostle Kemi Searcy says, this particular venture personally touches her heart as she was a product of a society where educational privilege was scared and had to walk miles to attend elementary school.  It is only out of the abundance that would invest in holistically transforming lives of vulnerable youngsters as well as their parents to fulfill their God-given purpose and destiny to serve their country and also pass down the legacy of helping the next generation.  This is one way Human Capital Development through Educational Empowerment will yield into National Development. 

Last modified on Monday, 05/04/2021