Sierra Leone’s civil war officially ended in 2002. But Ishmail Daramy of Renton knows his African country still suffers.
“There is a lot of hating and killing and atrocities going on,” says Daramy, 56.
Daramy says secret killings are common, including in his village, Lokomasa.
But Daramy is doing his part to help. He is collecting old computers and computer gear, plus used clothes and other supplies to send to the couple hundred children in his Lokomasa.
The supplies will be sent to Pikin Bizness, a non-profit organization formed in 2001 to help Sierra Leone’s underprivileged children. The computers will go to Lokomasa’s only school.
Daramy says women and children have been most affected by the the civil war’s aftermath.
“They are desperately in need,” he says.
Daramy has sent a couple computers and clothes over and will soon send 10 more computers donated by Puget Sound Training Center, where he received forklift certification.
About 1,000 people live in Lokomasa, Daramy says. He talks each day to villagers there, and each day they ask for supplies.
A certified forklift operator, Daramy came in 2001 to the United States, where he was granted political asylum. He came from Republic of Guinea, where he had been living for four years. The civil war forced him and many others to flee Sierra Leone. His wife and two children still live in Guinea. He hopes they can join him in the United States.
“It was terrible when the war was there,” Daramy says. “You cannot even imagine somebody can live in this place.”
He lost most of his relatives to the war.
“The whole country was ravished,” he adds. “Now, after the war, the country is returned back to normalcy. And I’m trying as best as possible to help some of my people, the kids in my village, my town, so they can be be rehabilitated again.”
Emily Garland can be reached at email@example.com or (425) 255-3484, ext. 5052.
Ishmail Daramy is collecting old computers, used clothes and other supplies for the people in his village of Lokomasa, Sierra Leone. Daramy’s contact information: 206-841-1044, firstname.lastname@example.org, P.O. Box 65271, Shoreline, WA 98155