Message From the Co-founders | cdpeace

Message From the Co-founders

Reflecting back to our Roots: cdpeace since 1992

“Do not look at where you fall down, look at where you missed your step.”          ~ From the wisdom of our African elders

Photo by Sherry Prenevost in 2008, At Makeni, Sierra Leone. This picture is the relic of our original house that was destroyed during the war. This is where the history of cdpeace started.

Welcome to the cdpeace Movement

Our African Elders use the above proverb to remind us to reflect on the past which has brought us to the present. This kind of reflection helps us to understand why we do what we do. 2010 was a year of reflection for cdpeace. We, the Co-founders, had the vision to start cdpeace but there are many local and international hands that have joined us in this journey. We thank everyone at home in Sierra Leone and internationally who have been a part of cdpeace in whatever little way from 1992 to now. There are so many needs in Sierra Leone. If you share our mission of working together to support rural communities in Sierra Leone and to make this world a better place for all of us, we invite you to join us in the cdpeace movement.

The picture above is the relic of our original house in Makeni, Sierra Leone which was destroyed during the 11 years war. This relic had provided a home for many community members and young people who came from our rural communities from Gbonkolenken and Paki-Masabong Chiefdoms seeking health facilities, education, and any other opportunities they could find in the big town. This was a home that had given good memories and fun not only for Sierra Leoneans but for many visitors and refuges from other African Nations, international visitors, and professionals especially from Canada and United States from far back in the early 90s. As for many in Makeni town, the “Teko House” was an open house to all. Little did we know that we were starting a movement. Visitors who have visited Sierra Leone for the first time would arrive at our house with a note from a friend that referred them to us if they were looking for a place to stay at Makeni.

Having been promoting and administering community development programs in our rural communities, we were aware of the health, education, and development needs in these communities. We started implementing development programs in our communities to strengthen the livelihood of our people. This is how the vision to build a peace education centre in rural Sierra Leone came to exist. When we traveled to Canada in 1994 for further studies, our extended family continued to dwell in our home working together and getting support from whatever we could save from our student’s allowance in Canada to help them buy food and pay school fees. This was how we started the scholarship fund. From 1994 to 2007, we were paying for about 3 to 4 students in post-secondary education and about 5 to 6 students in high school each year from our personal student income that we could save in Canada to send home. When the rebels attacked Makeni in 1998 and destroyed our house, many young people and extended family members, including our three daughters, were left homeless. But today, we have many success stories of young people that we have helped in our own little way to educate. If two people could make a difference in a few young peoples’ lives, with the help of more hands we will educate many more young people and develop our rural communities. Thank you for reading our message and for being a part of cdpeace movement.

From:  cdpeace Co-founders

Dr. Thomas Mark Turay and   Mrs. Mary Hawa Turay