|HUMANITARIAN AWARD ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
MICHAEL FAYIA KALLON
TIME - Saturday May, 7, 2016, at 8:00 p.m.
VENUE - DoubleTree by Hilton
Silver Spring, MD 20910.
To Hon. Madina Rahman Minister of Health and Sanitation
Hon. Reverend Leeroy Kabs-Kanu - United Nations Minister Plenipotentiary
Ambassador and Mrs. Bockarie Stevens
To the Montgomery County Executive - Hon. Isiah Leggett and your beloved wife
To Mr. John Davies Cole
Chairman of the National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in
North America (NOSLIMA) and officials
And to all our loved ones and friends gathered here today
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
I stand before this unique and auspicious audience with a heart overflowing with gratitude for such a superb recognition of my service to the Kissi and other tribes in Kissi Bendu, in Kailahun District, in the northeastern region, in the Republic of Sierra Leone, and on the west coast of Africa. It has been a tedious, but loving and heartwarming adventure to help the poor especially from that underdeveloped and marginalized area in Sierra Leone; yet, I treasure your warm homage to me, with such a fabulous recognition.
The award I am receiving from you today signifies an incandescent light that restores the blessings of hope that could rekindle a new era of human giving not only in Kissi Bendu, but throughout Sierra Leone.
As we gather here tonight, it is befitting to acknowledge that many of us have dedicated our lives to improving the quality of life for all tribes in our country. Over the past years, we have raised the hopes of many, through the little efforts we have exhibited since the end of the civil war. We are here because we care for mankind, and for the people of Sierra Leone, and we have come to find ways to help. Although many of us are yet to free ourselves from the influences of political and ideological predilections, we should know that when a part of our country is bleeding, everyone should pay attention.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen in enhancing the quality of life in communities in Sierra Leone, we should know that every little assistance we give to our people; benefits them greatly. Without our help, many of our people cant help themselves. We could do more for these people by providing economic, educational, and, medical assistance by building clinics, and libraries, or by providing school and athletic resources. Yet, if there is ethnic disunity in our country, and abroad; people are unlikely to help those who need it most and this may cause political gentrification in Sierra Leone. We should embrace constructive and dispassionate academic analysis on issues that affect our political lives, instead of indulging nonproductive, and wishful political antinomies. We should always liberate ourselves from engaging in unnecessary political and inflammatory rhetoric, embellished with soothing euphemisms that bear no significance to the health and welfare of our people, and our country. We should stop vilifying our political institutions and all our political leaders.
When we help the poor in our country, everyone benefits from the reward of gratification. By helping our people, we get to see our assistance being used to improve the quality of life. At the end, I want to believe that our legacy in terms of improving human relations, love, benevolence, and the pursuit of a just and democratic society in our land, is justified.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to night with this award, I feel that the world has noticed what I have done over the years especially for Kissi Bendu. This includes my work as one of the first authors to write books on the Kissi. Anyone can see my works on my website www.makonabooks.com. One would then wonder why Michael Fayia Kallon is always fighting for the cause of Kissi Bendu. It was due to a horrible sight I saw in Koindu. After staying in Liberia where I was a school teacher for many years, I returned to Sierra Leone when the civil war was at its peak in Liberia. In Koindu my hometown, I saw a young and pregnant Kissi woman who lay helplessly, whimpering and grunting from the pain of childbirth. The mournful moaning of this young Kissi woman was so sad, and so heartbreaking. She died sorrowfully, just because there was no doctor who could have saved not only her life, but the life of her unborn child.
The nearest hospital was in Kailahun, which is thirty-three miles away; and Koindu with a population of over five thousand inhabitants, had only a midwife Mrs. Emma Foryoh, my late uncle Chief Edward Kundu Foryohs wife. This poor woman was overwhelmed with the mass exodus of young and pregnant women from all tribes in Kissi Bendu. They surged to her to seek medical attention. Her clinic was a makeshift room that lacked medical supplies.
I cried along with all the onlookers that stood to watch the sad episode. Yet, before she died, I swore that her death would never be in vain, and that I was going to fight until my last breath - to not only uplift the image of Kissi Bendu, but to carve the area into the KISSI BENDU DISTRICT; so that my people are able to get adequate medical care, paved roads, and enjoy the blessings of modern technological advances in the world. Yet, the sorrowful grunts of that poor young Kissi woman, still echo in my ears to this day.
This heartbreaking experience could happen to other poor and pregnant women from all tribes in Sierra Leone. My brothers and sisters, only we are able to wipe their tears, and only we can stop such painful and pathetic moaning in all impoverished and marginalized chiefdoms, and districts in Sierra Leone - that lack basic healthcare systems.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen I can guarantee that within a few years; Kissi Bendu and Daru schools in Kailahun District will be having the best Girls Volleyball players in the world. Provision has been made through my Facebook page - MAKONA BOOK CLUB, INC; and with corporation with VOLLEYBALL/USA. Volleyball/USA has provided fabulous sporting goods that have been shipped to Sierra Leone.
Although Kissi Bendu still lacks paved roads, our people are enjoying the solar lights at night due to the blessings of the APC government and the superb and relentless efforts made by now the Honorable Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Childrens Affairs - Dr. Sylvia Blyden. She made relentless journeys on those unpaved, potholed, and horrible roads, just to report on the plight of the forgotten people of Kissi Bendu, and in all other marginalized chiefdoms and districts in Sierra Leone.
To conclude - Ladies and gentlemen, it is my hope that tonight; you have gained a renewed sense of compassion and generosity and with humane collectivization from my struggles to uplift Kissi Bendu, and our countrys image abroad. With such humanitarian efforts; we will be able to build our country with excitement, determination, and with a sense of political, economic, and human power. All of us are angels and leaders in our communities, but we must also recognize the responsibilities that follow. The responsibility to help those in need, and to do what we can, and to try to do more to raise the quality of life of all of our countrymen, and to fill their lives with the promises of a better tomorrow.
Therefore, I accept this award on behalf of Kissi Bendu, and Sierra Leone