Abdul Hadi Qurashi, Sierra Leone Correspondent
27 April 1961 was the day when Sierra Leone got independence from the United Kingdom and became a free country. Thus, every year, 27 April is celebrated as the Independence Day of Sierra Leone and events are held by the government across the country.
During these celebrations, the government of Sierra Leone honours individuals, departments, organisations etc. in recognition of their outstanding services to the nation.
This year, Sierra Leone celebrated its 60th independence anniversary and Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sierra Leone also completed 100 years of its selfless services in Sierra Leone. Acknowledging the 100-year services of the Jamaat, the President of Sierra Leone, HE Rtd Brig Julius Maada Bio conferred Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya with the Highest Civil Award, Commander of the Order of the Rokel.
Saeedur Rahman Sahib, Amir and Missionary-in-Charge of Sierra Leone, received this award during a ceremony held at the President House Sierra Leone on 27 April 2021.
A brief introduction of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sierra Leone was presented there. Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya was the first organisation to establish the first Muslim Primary School in Sierra Leone in the town of Rokupr in 1938. Moreover, in 1960, it established the first Muslim Secondary School in Bo town and made it easy for the Muslims of the country to get contemporary education without any hesitation. During the 100 years, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has established more than 300 Muslim schools in the country and this is by far the largest number of schools in the country by any Muslim organisation. Ahmadiyya Muslim hospitals and clinics have been providing the people of this country with medical facilities.
With regard to humanitarian efforts, the Jamaat has dug water wells and installed hand pumps in the far remote areas of the country to provide the needy people with pure and drinkable water. During the Civil War, mudslides, floods, Ebola virus and now during the pandemic of Covid-19, the Jamaat has facilitated the poor and needy people of this country with food, clothes, medicine and accommodation; this also includes the care of 50 children who became orphans during the crisis of the Ebola virus.
More than 1,400 mosques in the country are providing people in moral, spiritual and educational training and are creating peace and harmony among localities.
Three Ahmadiyya radio stations in the country are constantly busy in the spiritual and moral training of people.
Since 2005, three presidents of the country have regularly participated in the Jalsa Salana of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sierra Leone. Moreover, vice presidents, former vice presidents, ministers, ambassadors, paramount chiefs and other high-ranked government officials consider it an honour to attend the events held by the Jamaat, as do other members of the public.
During Jalsa Salana 2019, the President of Sierra Leone HE Rtd Brig Julius Maada Bio called the Amir and Missionary-in-Charge Sierra Leone, Saeedur Rahman Sahib, the honorary Ambassador of the Human Capital Development. Then, during Jalsa Salana 2020, the vice president of the country applauded the services of the Jamaat and declared the amir and missionary-in-charge the minister of education in the country.
In 2014, acknowledging the services of the Jamaat in the country, the government of that time awarded the Jamaat with the Presidential Gold Medal Award.
We pray that Allah the Almighty continues to bless Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Sierra Leone and in the whole world and that He may accept us and our efforts. Amin