Hi Ishmail! Tell us a little bit about you
I’m Ishmail Lucky Mansaray, born on 19 August 1988 and raise up in the Eastern region of Freetown. In 2015 I started the WacFund project, during the declining course of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Sierra Leone, where I currently live and operate, is the most affected country amongst the regions: during this period of the epidemic over 12,000 children became orphans.
Before I started the project I was often thinking about how these children will have to face serious challenges while growing up to be adult. They need someone to care for them and care about them. I believe that every vulnerable child, especially orphans and street children, must have safety, provision, respect, care, education, justice, protection and they need to be valued by their community. My mission is to promote, seek, defend, protect, educate and provide support for the orphans and the vulnerable, going toward a positive and sustainable change.
Is this your first humanitarian experience?
No. When I finished my high school diploma in 2012, (I studied programming with a diploma certificate) I volunteered at the Aid Board, in Sierra Leone for six months.
From a local point of view, where do you think scarcity and poverty come from in your region?
Political turmoil in the country… Sierra Leone has been a nation plagued with civil wars and poverty since gaining independence in 1961.
Despite being one of the few countries in the world that has precious natural resources such as diamonds and rare minerals, this nation continues to suffer from extreme poverty because of corruption and a bad system of government. There are several factors that contribute to the persistent lack of education and inadequate civil rights.
Through the bad governance system of politicians, which led to eleven years of civil war, we were also led to the economic strife in Sierra Leone. And to think that, when Sierra Leone was independent, it was known as the anthem of West Africa!
How many members does your organization count?
Our organization currently count five members.
What have you been accomplished so far?
So far we have been able to identify and meet many vulnerable children in the rural and urban areas of our country.
We supported them and encouraged them to go to school, providing learning material for them. In one of the photos I have sent to your staff, you can see our effort to provide basic tools and materials for the orphans to start a normal education and to go to school. It’s a small contribution to our community, but it is really a lot for them!
We also did child support advocacy, so that they can get into a good learning environment.
Another example of our action: we inform and report to the ministry of social welfare, gender & children affairs and the community stack holders. Last, but not least we solicit help from international organizations, donors, churches, religious institution, volunteers, etc.
Currently, we have the capability to look after 20 children. But there are obviously more kids in need.
Where are you currently getting money/resources from?
We currently get money from our monthly voluntary contribution and the good wishes of international or local donors.
What does your organization would ideally need in terms of resources, to achieve its mission and goals?
- Financial resources
- Funding is needed to address these issues that connect with these children.
- We need poultry
- Office material
What would the volunteers do at WacFund? How can they help?
At Wacfund we offer internship and volunteering opportunities. Volunteer work is consequently focused on rebuilding school, re-design education, assisting at hospitals and rescuing/educating orphanages etc. There’s a lot to do here and new ideas are always welcome!
What kind of assistance will you provide for the volunteers in exchange for their help and professional skills?
Volunteers will surely have a rich cultural experience here. However, they have to come here with a genuine desire to improve and help our local community.
Of course, volunteers will have plenty of free time to visit special places or touristic sites. I will assist them and help them familiarize with Sierra Leone.
At the end of their stay, we will offer volunteers a certificate as proof of their work and assistance. We’ll also provide local dress after the period of stay.
How can we contact you/your organization?
Volunteers can find more information about this volunteering opportunity at this link.
I will also leave you my personal contact details:
- WhatsApp +232 78971855/+232 30818665
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- Facebook page (just recently opened) is West Africa child Fund
With your help, we can do a lot! It’s just not money that we need, but compassionate and knowledgeable people to come here and help us support the future of less fortunate kids and help us build a more equal society!
Support Ishmail and its organization WacFund with a donation
Some pictures from Ishmail