Last month, representatives from the Uhuru Movement traveled to Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa to participate in the founding conference of the African People's Socialist Party – Sierra Leone in Freetown, the opening of an Uhuru Radio FM station in Makeni, a fishing project in Oloshoro, and a healthy pregnancy program in Allentown.
On Sunday, December 20th, at 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, the delegation reported on their trip, sharing photos and video footage in a special program to raise funds for Party's work in Africa. The program was videocast live on Uhuru News and included talks by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Dr. Aisha Fields, Nyabinga Dzimbahwe, Gaida Kambon and Penny Hess.
Sierra Leone is a beautiful, mineral rich country with gold, bauxite, gold, iron ore, rich offshore fishing grounds and some of the best gem quality diamonds in the world. Its capital city of Freetown sits on the Atlantic coast with lush, verdant hills rolling down to the sea.
But with the mineral and agriculture wealth of the country still controlled by foreign interests, the people of Sierra Leone experience some of the poorest living conditions in the world, with no electricity, clean water or health care. Life expectancy is 37 years. There are few paved roads, no public schools or social services.
For the past 2 years, the Uhuru Movement has worked with the Africanist Movement of Sierra Leone to install rainwater harvesting systems and conduct trainings for healthcare workers to combat waterborne and other preventable diseases, also raising the funds to purchase a boat motor for a community-based fishery.
Dr. Aisha Fields, a St. Petersburg physicist, coordinates the Uhuru Movement’s development projects in Sierra Leone. She returned from last month’s visit with a call to raise funds for an urgently needed birthing center. She reports that “African women in Sierra Leone are dying in childbirth for a simple lack of nutritional supplements and medical supplies. Traditional birth attendants in the community are working hard to meet the needs of the pregnant women and we must support their efforts.”
It was his first trip to the recently war-torn country for Nyabinga Dzimbahwe, director of Uhuru News and Uhuru Radio. “Just like in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, we found our people living sharing the same impoverished conditions and the same aspirations for the betterment of our communities. The people we met embraced us as returning sons and daughters of Africa.”
The highlight of the visit was a 3-day conference held in the capital city of Freetown to establish the African People’s Socialist Party – Sierra Leone (APSP-SL). It was attended by over 500 people who agreed to form the first workers’ party on African soil. They adopted a “revolutionary national democratic program” that includes the nationalization of the mining industries. Uhuru leader Omali Yeshitela delivered the keynote presentation to the conference. He says, “It’s a new day in African politics. We are now beginning to realize our long-held vision for a unified Africa, shared by Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey and others.”