Project Tumara was started by Issa Thullah, a Sierra Leonean native, after visiting Freetown, Sierra Leone in December of 2013. During his visit, many students, no longer able to attend school for financial reasons, approached Issa and spoke with him about their desires to continue their education in order to be able to access the limited employment opportunities within the country.
Combined with his love for education and his aspiration as a humanitarian worker, Issa contacted his friends, family and work colleagues about his meetings with the students in Freetown. In January of 2014, with the assistance of Kevin Kennedy, a tax accountant in the DC Metropolitan area, Issa began the development and formation of Project Tumara to help the children and young adults of the Portee community realize and achieve their goals.
Project Tumara is a 501c3 NGO based in the U.S. but which conducts its operations in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We work to provide students with scholarship opportunities so that they may achieve their goals and help facilitate sustainable community development in Portee. Founded in 2014, the organization has been instrumental in various projects in Portee ranging from Ebola awareness and training, student education and community development and clean-up projects.
For the 2015 - 2016 school-year, Project Tumara awarded scholarships to 45 students, ranging from primary school to university level, in Portee, Freetown. The 45 scholarships awarded this year is an increase of 10 new students added to our program compared to just 35 students during the 2014 - 2015 school-year. The scholarships paid the tuition charges of our students for an entire school-year. In addition to awarding scholarships for student education, we also provided basic school supplies such as uniforms, books, pens, and pencils in order to ensure that students can attend schools without interruption.
Recognizing the limitations of our scholarships, as we are only able to pay for the education of a small fraction of the students in the community, we have joined forces with various community members to bring other projects to the area. Through regular and weekly meetings, we engage the community in discussing their problems, their needs, and find ways we can work together to resolve their problems and meet their immediate needs.
We stress the importance of giving back and encourage our scholarship students, as well as all community members, to initiate and participate in community service projects that benefit their community. We engage the community through these empowerment projects initiated and facilitated by our students and the community.
Our Vision: Sustainable Community Development
Our long-term vision is to facilitate sustainable community development through education and community service initiatives. We hope to achieve this by:
Through these steps we hope to mobilize community members to be able to address issues and facilitate change within the community.