Sierra Leone’s Goodwill Ambassador to the United States, Mrs. Isha Timbo-Nwokedi, has said that the Cocorioko Publisher, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , fully deserves the 50th Independence Anniversary Award because he is an excellent writer who has contributed immeasurably to project the image of the nation in the international world. Mrs. Timbo-Nwokedi said the 50th Anniversary Committee which gave the award could not have taken a better decision. The Goodwill Ambassador was speaking when she called the Publisher to congratulate him for winning the award. She also extended congratulations to all members of the COCORIOKO Newspaper who also contributed in no small way in making the newspaper the award-winning entity it has proved itself to be.
Mrs.Timbo-Nwokedi said everybody knows the magnificent role that the Rev. Kabs-Kanu has played and continues to play in projecting Sierra Leone in a positive light to the international world, thereby helping to promote tourism and stimulate commerce and investment to the country. She enjoined the Publisher to do even better now that his efforts have been recognized once again.
Other Sierra Leoneans have also congratulated the Publisher on his success . They are the Deputy Permanent Representative for Political Affairs, Ambassador Rupert Davies; Dr. Wilfred Bankole-Gibson, Mr. Abdul Bero Kamara ( Popularly known as Chief ), Ms. Rosetta Zizer and Mr.Pavi Jalloh. They all expressed the view that the award was well deserved.
The Publisher will receive his trophy during the grand 50th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Banquet to be staged by the Jubilee Committee and the Sierra Leone Embassy to the United States on Saturday May 28 in Washington DC.
The following Sierra Leoneans and organizations will also receive awards :
Mr. Donald K. Stephens, President and Founder, Mercy Ships – Sierra Leone@50 Diamond Award for humanitarian endeavors: In recognition of his contribution to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the area of health.
The Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL) – Sierra Leone @ 50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of Friends of Sierra Leone’s instrumental role in rendering humanitarian and development assistance particularly in the provision of artificial limbs and other medical care for amputees who came to the United States at the height of the war as well as funding agricultural and education projects in Sierra Leone over the years.
Friends of Sierra Leone is also known for its advocacy role on behalf of Sierra Leone to United States policy makers, particularly towards obtaining the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over ten thousand Sierra Leoneans that came to the United States of America as refugees during the rebel war and not least, the eventual return of the Peace Corps volunteers.
Mrs. Bernadette B. Kamara-Bangura, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Relief Development Outreach (SLRDO) – Sierra Leone@50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of her dedicated commitment to meeting the needs of Sierra Leoneans back home particularly in the area of health care service.
Rev. Leeroy W. Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations New York – Sierra Leone@50 Diaspora Leadership Award: For his leading role in keeping the Sierra Leone community in North America and other parts of the world informed about day-to-day events in Sierra Leone through the electronic media, particularly through his online newspaper “Cocorioko”.
Mr. Richard Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Step Economic Opportunity Zone Inc – Sierra Leone@50 Economic Development Award: His organization, First Step Economic Opportunity, has established a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone which will attract labor-intensive globally competitive enterprises to the country.
Mr. Madieu Williams, Founder, Madieu Williams Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Award for sports: In recognition of the role his sportsmanship has played in projecting a positive image of Sierra Leone in the United States of America.
Mr. Idris Elba – Sierra Leone@50 Entertainment Award: In recognition of his role in the field of entertainment.
Mr. David B. Vandy and the Sierra Theatre Production – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: In recognition of his efforts in keeping alive the culture of Sierra Leone through performing arts that portray Sierra Leone culture.
Professor Richmond Stanley Garrick, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: For his role in promoting the culture of Sierra Leone in the United States of America through his artistic work, particularly in the area of Fine Art.
Sierra Leone Council of Representative (SALCORE) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: In recognition of its role in coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone community organizations.
Sierra Leone Clubs of Columbus, Ohio (SLOCO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in Ohio State, particularly in the Columbus metropolis.
Union of Sierra Leone Organizations in New York (USLO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone Community organizations in New York State.
Mrs. Patricia Omo Thorpe- Finney and the Save Sierra Leone Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For her hard work in the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Due to her strong commitment in empowering community groups and individuals, her organization, the Save Sierra Leone Foundation, has participated in fund raising activities of Sierra Leone community groups in the United States of America
Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) Ottawa, Canada – Sierra Leone@50 Education Award: For contributing to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the educational sector. Since its establishment in May 2007, the Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) has been very supportive to some elementary school pupils in Sierra Leone.
Rev. Canon Julius Grey-Coker, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church , Maryland -Sierra Leone @50 Long Term Achievement Award: In recognition of his service to Sierra Leone as journalist, broadcaster and TV newscaster in the early days of Independence and his outstanding services to the Sierra Leone Community in the United States of America, particularly in the field of religion.
Ms. Janet Baindu Lagah-Bona, Founder, Children Empowerment Foundation – Sierra Leone @50 Leaders of Tomorrow Award: For her selfless service to the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Through her organization “The Children Empowerment Foundation”, she has donated school materials and toys to other children in her community. Through her initiative and instrumentality, she got a proclamation from President Obama which declared November 20 as National Child’s Day in America.
Dr. Susan Shepler, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University- Certificate of Recognition: For her active support to the Sierra Leone community in the Washington, D.C. metropolis particularly in facilitating the hosting of Sierra Leone country events at the American Universi