Home is where the heart is

H-F teacher intervenes in global affairs of native country

Kennedy Curtis, News Writer

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H-F teacher Emmanuel Allie already has a busy life with teaching numerous students everyday and coaching H-F’s boys and girls soccer teams. But none of those things compare to the kind of impact Allie is making across the globe by helping his native country, Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is a West African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is known to be “one of the poorest countries in the world” due to its failing economy and lack of efficient financial support from its government, according to the BBC.

After the West African country gained independence from British control on Apr. 27, 1961 a multiparty political system was created.
That soon changed as the multiparty political system turned into a single party political system in 1978, leading to a violent election.

Allie described it as Africa’s “most oppressive and destructive era.”
As Allie was coming of age in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, he was a part of a small coalition of students who demonstrated against the government because he thought it was “corrupt and inept.” As a result, they were tear gassed and chased by the police.

“There was a coup d’etat, political violence was rampant,” Allie said. “Corruption seemed to have crept into every thread and fabric of the African society.”

After completing high school, he came to the states which soon led him to pursue a career of teaching economics and coaching soccer at H-F.
But even though he was living a successful life in America he couldn’t help but still feel attached to Sierra Leone, causing him to take action.

“Sierra Leone never ceases to be home for me,” Allie said “My body resides in America but my first love is the land of my birth.”

Allie said that it was “the natural thing to do” to assist Sierra Leone, however that’s easier said than done.

H-F economics teacher Nick Anello said that trying to raise the economy of a poor country is extremely difficult because “they lack the opportunities to improve their lives.”

He said that for Allie to make an impact he has to help “in the little ways.”

“The economy has to pick up itself,” Anello said. “But the more he improves on getting access to medicare and education can hopefully reverberate around the economy and at least make some small change.”

Trying to support another nation on an entirely different continent is nowhere near being a simple task, but luckily for Allie he does not have to do this alone.

H-F math teacher Charles Ward is assisting Allie to get Sierra Leone get back on its feet by researching ideas on improving its education and infrastructure.

He feels gratitude for Ward and cherishes their friendship even more. He said that he “couldn’t ask for a better friend.”

Even though Ward has not had the same experiences growing up in the U.S as Allie did in Sierra Leone he strongly believes that everyone should lend out a helping hand regardless of where you come from.

“We are all in this together,” Ward said, “Whether a person is in Flossmoor, Sierra Leone, or any where else on the Earth, we should do what we can for each other.”

Together they hope they can aid Sierra Leone to become the great country they know it can be.

“I want Sierra Leone to realize its potential. I want its children to be able to dream and see those dreams become realities,” Allie said. “ I want my country to be great and stand tall among nations.”

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