By Abdul Shafi Bharwana, Editor African Crescent
The article was published in “African Crescent” as an Editorial for November 2013 issue
“These days, I am in inner Sierra Leone and am working in Tungie, the capital of the Goroma Chiefdom. This place is 50 miles away from the closest post office, and 25 miles away from a paved road. By the grace of Allah Almighty, the Paramount Chief has become an Ahmadi, and I have been staying at his house for the last 3 weeks. He has started the construction of a mosque. He was a Christian before. May God help us; it is possible that many people in his Chiefdom will accept the truth.”
This is part of a report by first Ahmadiyya Missionary in Sierra Leone published in the Sunrise of January 20, 1940.
Today we learn from history that Maulana Nazir Ahmad Ali, first Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionary arrived in Sierra Leone in 1937. Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Sierra Leone established the first Muslim Primary School in 1938 at Rokupr and the First Muslim Secondary School in 1960 at Bo. Over the years, the Jama’at has made education accessible to people in the remotest parts of the country. The Sierra Leone Jama’at can now boast of having One hundred and ninety seven (197) Primary schools, six (6) nursery schools and fifty nine (59) Secondary Schools throughout country. Moreover, some of the illustrious citizens serving this nation today have graduated from these schools.
Another outstanding achievement of the Jama’at in this country is the provision of health care services to those in dire need. Out of the five health centers established by the Jama’at before the war, three are still functioning and providing affordable health care services to both the urban and rural populace and in some strategic areas of the country.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Sierra Leone has more than 500,000 (five hundred thousand) membership, and 1125 (One thousand one hundred and twenty-five) Mosques throughout the country for the practice of the peaceful teachings of Islam. The Holy Quran has been translated in Mende by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at.
In February 2007, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Sierra Leone established a Radio Station, which is serving the Western Area and some other parts of the country to preach the message of peace and harmony. 35 Mosques have been equipped with solar panels. Now these mosques have 24 hours of light.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Sierra Leone has recently re-started a Missionary Training College in Bo, in the Southern province of the country.
Every Year, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Sierra Leone holds its Annual Conference in Bo. This year, the Jama’at has celebrated 52nd Annual Conference.
Humanity First, an NGO wing under Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is also helping the country in the area of digging the Water Wells, construction of Schools, Eye Operations, Free Medical Camps, IT Centers, Vocational Center, Agric Farms and Feed a Family programs.
International Association of Ahmadi Architects and Engineers (IAAAE) is creating Five (5) Model villages (Gbonkobana, Mawanti, Makeli, Worraeh line and Magbafth) in Bombali District. Its aims are to deliver;
1. Flowing water
2. Solar electricity
3. Enhance agriculture.
4. Extension of Gbonkobana Secondary School building
5. Creating an IT lab in local Secondary School Gbonkobana to increase the computer skills in the students.
These are not the only services presented by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Sierra Leone. What I have tried to do is to highlight the major areas of the activities of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at in Sierra Leone. These activities are very much appreciated by the government and people of Sierra Leone. May Allah bless all!