By Alvin Lansana Kargbo
In a remarkable demonstration of unity and compassion, Partnering to Serve Humanity, a collaboration involving Caritas Freetown, Healey International Relief Foundation, Lanyi Foundation and funded by the Tzu Chi Foundation, hosted its Seventh Interfaith Dialogue 2023 at Jesus is Lord Ministry on Tower Hill in Freetown.
The highlight of the event was the distribution of 30 kilograms of rice to 3,000 individuals, signifying the core values of love and care as inspired by the teachings of Dharma Master Chenge Yen, Founder of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.
The gathering saw the convergence of representatives from diverse religious backgrounds, including the Religious Council of Sierra Leone, Christian, Islamic, Rastafarian, Buddhist and Government representation in the form of the Minister of Social Welfare, Melrose Karminty.
Ishmael Alfred Charles, Program Manager for Healey International Relief Foundation and Caritas Freetown, delivered insights into the collaborative efforts among the partnering organizations. He emphasized the potential use of food resources to promote religious tolerance and meet community needs.
The Program Manager stressed the importance of dialogue and understanding, encouraging the inclusion of diverse religious perspectives in discussions. His optimism for sustained dialogue and forgiveness resonated throughout his address.
Apostle Dora Dumbuya of Jesus is Lord Ministry took the stage, discussing the dichotomy between human and divine thinking. Emphasizing adherence to God’s commandments and fostering positive relationships with the divine, her message signified the transformative power of prayer and aligning with God’s will.
Representing the Muslim community, Sheik Fomba, echoed themes of strength and resilience gained through overcoming challenges. He urged the audience to elevate their hope, emphasizing the importance of prayer and expressing gratitude while calling for blessings upon Sierra Leone, its leaders and its people.
Mohamed Bangura, Secretary General for the Rastafarian Movement, addressed the audience, highlighting the importance of peace and the role of young people in promoting it. Advocating for action and cooperation from both Government and community, he expressed a desire for the youth to actively shape the nation’s future and ensure peace over the next five years.
Minister of Social Welfare, Melrose Karminty, extended gratitude to the organizers for facilitating the Interfaith Dialogue and rice distribution. Stressing the paramount importance of peace in Sierra Leone, she called for unity to foster a tranquil nation.
She also touched upon critical issues such as substance abuse, outlining the Government’s efforts to address those challenges. Additionally, she underscored the significance of positive parenting and the community’s role in building a better society.
The event marked a poignant moment of shared values, collaborative efforts and a collective commitment to serving humanity, transcending religious and cultural boundaries for a harmonious Sierra Leone.