At a well-attended National Achievement Awards ceremony held on Saturday 30th December 2017 at the Bintumani Hotel International Conference Hall at Aberdeen in Freetown, FOCUS 1000 was declared winner of the best Local NGO of the year 2017.
FOCUS 1000 is an indigenous Non-Governmental Organisation, our primary concern is with the first 1000 days of a child. We invest in children from the date of conception to the time the kid reaches 2 years. During this period, the child is most susceptible to contracting diseases and illnesses, the most prevalent being Diarrhoea, Malaria, Pneumonia, HIV and Mal-Nutrition.We look at this period as the Golden Window of Opportunity as it is at this time that 80% of the brain and cognitive functions of a child develops (between conception and the age of 2 years). FOCUS 1000 therefore believes that investing at that stage will yield lasting and significant effect on the survival and future growth of the child.
At FOCUS 1000, we prioritised 3 key areas: Maternal & Child nutrition, Teenage Pregnancy and Utilization of services.
“One of our core values is to see society where children and young people can grow , develop and enjoy their fullest potential in life” CEO Mohamed Bailor Jalloh maintained.
CEO FOCUS 1000 holding the award at the ceremony
The ceremony was graced by His Excellency President Koroma, several dignitaries and organisations including nominees of this year’s awards.
President Koroma bagged the Grand National Achievement Award by virtue of his exemplary role as Coordinator of a committee of 10 Heads of State charged with the responsibility by the African Union (AU) to present Africa’s position to the United Nations Security Council that 2 Permanent Seats be awarded to Africa in the UN Security Council with all the Rights, Privileges and Prerogatives of the seats and also in recognition of the strides made in the development of the nation. President Koroma is said to have shown true leadership in the face of the test of nature in the form of the mudslide/ flood and Ebola. During the burial ceremony of Ebola victims he is quoted as saying the “We are burying our loved ones but we are not burying our hopes”. In his brief acceptance speech of the award, President Koroma expressed his profound gratitude to all Sierra Leoneans for allowing him to rule them for 10 years. His appreciation, he stressed goes to all those who voted for him and all those who did not vote for him but they are all part of the democratic process. He recognised that his term has come to an end and bade farewell to all Sierra Leoneans.
Speaking at the ceremony, Amb. Anthony Navo Junior, Chairman of AWOL expressed appreciation to the audience for gracing the occasion and briefly explained why the ceremony was suspended for the past years. He recalled that during the Ebola period the possibility of holding the ceremony under such circumstances when our compatriots were dying was both morally and nationally untenable as such the event was suspended and with the death of the organisation’s founder and God father after the Ebola was declared over, it was also suspended. However he is pleased to participate in the resumption of the ceremony. Amb. Navo further stated that though the ceremony was suspended, their operations continued as the organisation was involved in the provision of essential items of victims of the disease and survivors which included the vulnerable groups like women and children.
In 2016 the organisation suffered a big blow with the death of its founder and God father, Amb. Moseray Fadika. This prompted them to do some soul searching, reflections and the charting of a way forward. An Annual General Meeting of the organisation was convened which culminated in the tapping of the rich resources of their founder. They found the strength and spirit in his legacy of giving without expecting anything in return, the desire to do anything that will enhance development of mamas alone. This spirit was then carried forward, especially the late Ambassador’s famous quote; “We are born poor but we will not die poor”. On June 16 2016, during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child, they fed some 2000 kids and provided 300 scholarships for the less privileged ones in Port Loko and Gondama. The organisation was also involved in the construction of a school in Gondama which had played host to the victims of the 11 year old civil war in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. This school, he maintained, is nearing completion and will cater for the kids in that region as the school facilities were all damaged during the war. In August 2017 when the twin natural disaster of flood and mudslide hit the city, killing many and displacing thousands, AWOL donated Le100 million to the government’s relief effort to Vice President Victor Foh at his Tower Hill office in Freetown. He further recognised the support from the environment Protection Agency (EPA).
Several awards were given to various institutions and individuals nominated and a special award was given to Dr. Owiss Koroma for his exemplary service to the nation during the trying times of the country at the government mortuary. The awards were given to the following categories and people:
NAA 2017 CATEGORIES AND NOMINEES
1.IPAM – Tertiary Institution of the year
2.Dele International High School – Secondary School
3.George Wyndhem (Para table Tennis) - Sport
4.AWOKO Newspaper – Print Media
5.Radio Democracy (98.1) – Electronics Radio
6.AYV TV – Electronics TV
7.Abdul Razak Kanu aka Arkman – Performing Artist
8.Melvin Pratt aka Rasmelo – Visual Arts and Handicraft
9.Haja Baikisu Kamara – Petty Trader
10.A Call to Business Group – Indigenous Business
11.FOCUS 1000 – Local NGO
12.Donald Cole – Fire Force
13.Ahmed Turay – Correctional Officer
14.AIG Memunatu Borah Conteh-Jalloh – Police Officer
15.Lt. General Brima Sesay (CDS) – Military Officer