Samuel Kabia, who works as an exterior gardener in Belmont’s landscaping department, recently spoke to a Belmont Entrepreneurship class, sharing stories from his recent trip to Africa and the work of his Rufoindo Education Project in Sierra Leone.
Kabia and his family came to the United States in 2001 after being forced to flee from their village in Sierra Leone because of the bloody civil war occurring in the country. Kabia, a high school economics and geography teacher in Sierra Leone, and his family moved to Nashville, where the Catholic Charities of Tennessee helped him find his current job at Belmont. He started taking classes in business administration in 2002 and graduated in 2005. He is in graduate school at Belmont and will graduate in August with a Master’s of Education degree.
After graduation, Kabia started the non-profit organization Rufoindo Education Project for Orphan Children to help his war-torn village Rufoindo in Sierra Leone. The organization’s major project is the building of a school for the children in the village. “I felt so sorry for them, many of them had lost their parents and other things,” said Kabia. “I wanted to help put them on the right track and open the school for them.”
The school has grown from 15 students to 200 students with six teachers. Funded mostly with gifts from Belmont, Kabia has been able to take 50 computers to the school and thousands of dollars worth of school supplies.
The goals of the Rufoindo Education Project for Orphan Children are to improve the poor health condition of the village community, to equip the children and their community with the knowledge and the skills necessary to create a self-sustaining environment, to create a place in Africa for Belmont students, staff and faculty to visit and to provide the children and the community with a healthy diet, clothing and good education.
Kabia is currently busy working on upcoming projects for the village. The projects include the building of a bridge to connect Rufoindo Village with Freetown, which is the capital of Sierra Leone, as well the building of a toilet system and a library for the school. For information on how to join Kabia’s efforts, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-554-2356.