By Dr. Conrad Van Dijk, HFSL Director
I am often asked when I come back from Sierra Leone “Are things getting better in SL?” I believe that slowly and surely things are improving but at a rate that is not as fast as we would often prefer.
However, that is not always the case as Desmond Johnson, our Director of Transformation Sierra Leone shared with me this week. Two things have happened recently that are sudden and significant changes to the nation. First, there has been a change of President in the country. This happened without the usual tension, bloodshed, or opposition which results when the current president does not want to relinquish his power.
Second, the current government very recently decided that all primary and secondary schooling would now have absolutely no tuition costs for students. Paying tuition was a significant hardship to many families, often forcing them to beg or borrow money from relatives and friends. Free tuition opens up primary and secondary education to all so that the students are assured an education and future job opportunities. This also provides assurance for the parents that their children will be able to take care of them in their old age.
We have been teaching Transformation to Christian leaders in Sierra Leone for some time now. Part of this is encouraging people who often have very little hope to have more hope for the future, both for themselves and for their country. It has been shown that people with hope – having a positive attitude toward the future or expectation of future success – are more successful in their jobs and businesses.
I am very excited about this, as well as our on-going partnership with CLI International to eliminate corruption at all levels of society through personal transformation – you can read more about this inside.
These developments will inspire even more hope for this nation. It is still one of the poorest countries in the world, but as their hopes increase I believe their prosperity will as well. Hope and prosperity are things that
we have in abundance here in Canada. I encourage you to continue to share that wealth with countries like Sierra Leone, both in prayer and in support so that they can move forward.
Conrad Van Dijk