What comes to mind when you think about Diamond? Glittering metal, treasure, gem mined mostly from Africa? The stuff Royalty and the wealthy wear?
Have you ever thought of it as just a lump of dirt?
Most people would never accept a gift of a raw unrefined diamond if you didn’t tell them what it was. It would look so dirty that some folks may even take it as an insult.
It is true that Diamond and most treasures are found in the crust of the earth. However, we often overlook the highest form of treasure- Human treasure.
Mallence Bart Williams is a Sierra Leonean-German Social entrepreneur and Activist. This Brilliant, Elegant and highly educated Lady shares the powerful and inspiring story of how she has mined real wealth out of the gutters of Sierra Leone by facilitating a social enterprise named FOLORUNSHO.
FOLORUNSHO, is a Freetown based social enterprise, formed in 2011 by 20 young men aged 14-22, who were living under very appalling circumstances in a gutter called LION BASE, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Having lived through civil war, severe deprivation and violent crimes in the streets where they grew up, one would have concluded that these boys had very little chance of amounting to much in life.
However, Mallence, like the true value investor that she is, has been able to find diamond in the most unlikely of places. She did not just find diamond in the rough but has also purified it to the point of shinning to international brilliance. No, I do not refer to the Physical Diamond of which her native country, Sierra Leone has an abundance of, I mean real Diamond, treasures in earthen vessels, wealth inside of human beings, the often untapped treasures of Africa that we ignore while in pursuit of “natural resources”.
With support and mentoring from Mallence, these boys have gone on to create amazing fashion items that have been featured in the media and in some of the most exclusive fashion stores in Paris, Berlin, New York and Miami and have also collaborated to produce a documentary.
According to Folorunsho.net, “The LION BASE crew personifies the transformation from – a ‘struggle for existence’ to ‘creator of one’s own life,’ transforming the ‘impossible’ to I’M POSSIBLE”.
The stories of “Folorunsho” and that of Sister Mary Nyirumbe of “Sewing Hope” are shinning examples of what African youth can become, a typical illustration of the potentials that we often overlook in our greedy search for natural resources which often blinds us to our innate human resources.
If Africa must rise beyond its present socioeconomic woes, we must begin to collectively look far beyond the treasures that lie under us to the treasures that lie within.
Keep Hope Alive!
Watch Mallence as she shares the story of “Folorunsho” on http://tinyurl.com/nw4ym34