Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tegloma Organization Promoting Sierra Leone Women

Ms. Rebecca Johnson Tegloma Vice Chairman-administration

Tegloma Federation International Inc, the largest Sierra Leone organization in the diaspora with 24 chapters in USA, Canada, UK and the Gambia is becoming a model organization for training Sierra Leone women in assuming the responsibilities of leadership in a formal setting. 

Each Tegloma Chapter is geographically located at least two hundred miles from the other. In the United States of America, Tegloma is typically located in states and cities with huge Sierra Leone populations such as the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia metro area, New England, Delaware Valley, Reading, Chicago, Houston and Dallas Texas, Indiana, Southern and Northern California, Minnesota, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, The Carolinas, Wisconsin, Arizona and Missouri. In Canada there are two chapters in Manitoba and and Ontario and a chapter in the United Kingdom, The Gambia and two chapters in Freetown and Bo Sierra Leone, though the Bo Chapter is currently dormant.
Ms. Jeneba Bangura Tegloma Secretary General-Administration

Every Tegloma Chapter is an autonomous entity with its own constitution and bylaws. All chapters are however subsidiaries of the Tegloma International Federation which is managed by the administration currently headed by Alfred Moi Jamiru of Tegloma Indiana and the federation board of directors headed by Abu Bhonapha of Tegloma Northern California. The majority of the members of Tegloma originate from southeastern Sierra Leone, though every area of Sierra Leone has members in the organization and the organization has metamorphosed to encourage membership from any individual interested in the culture of Sierra Leone and philanthropy.
Ms. Alice Hawa Kallon-Tegloma Vice Chair-board

The unique quality that Tegloma has, as opposed to other Sierra Leone organizations, is the enormous role that women play in the leadership and day to day administration of the organization at both the federal and chapter levels. Women and men play an equal role in Tegloma and many of the chapters have either been headed or are being headed by strong, intelligent, sophisticated and very educated Sierra Leone women. Almost all the major chapters in terms of population size are headed by women.
Ms. Nyambe Miatta Smith Tegloma Admin Treasurer

Tegloma New York/ New Jersey is headed by Ms. Julia Hawa Conteh and Tegloma Garden State by Ms. Martina Kabba. Tegloma Chicago is Headed by Ms. Francess Turay and Tegloma Houston by Ms. Kadie Kaikai. Tegloma Wisconsin is headed by Ms. Betty  Brewah, succeeding Ms. Bridgette Saidu and Tegloma Dallas By. Ms. Josephine Ladipo. Tegloma Carolinas is headed by Rev. Judith Banya and Tegloma Delaware Valley by Ms. Jane Saidu.Tegloma Minnesota was headed for four years by Ms. Elizabeth Saidu Momoh and Tegloma Arizona headed by Ms. Helen Kuyembeh who is going to Sierra Leone this year to contest as a member of that country's parliament.
Ms. Julia Hawa Conteh President Tegloma New York/New Jersey

At the federation level women are also in formidable positions. The current Vice chairman of the administration is Ms. Rebecca Johnson of Tegloma Minnesota and the Vice chair of the Board of directors is Ms. Alice Hawa Kallon of Tegloma New England. The federation Secretary General is Ms. Jeneba Bangura and the administration treasurer is Mrs. Miatta Nyambe Smith of Tegloma Atlanta.
Ms. Elizabeth Jattu Bransah President Tegloma Ontario

Of course Tegloma did not always have so many women in leadership positions Under the paternalistic leadership of former long serving Tegloma administration chairman and current Sierra Leone deputy education minister Dr. Lansana Nyallay, the Tegloma administration was essentially a boy's club. Things started to change under the leadership of the progressive thinking chairman Aloysius Foh, alias 'Bandami' who drew his support from the female leadership of Tegloma and made it easy for them to occupy prominent positions in the organization's leadership. Under current chairman Alfred Moi Jamiru, women are essentially dislocating the men from Tegloma leadership and there is an 80% probability that the next Tegloma administration chairman would be a chairwoman. 
Ms. Josephine Ladipo President Tegloma Dallas

Any government of Sierra Leone should learn a thing or two from Tegloma. Major political parties in that country should start having women either as flagbearers or running mates.  Women are largely underutilized in Africa, though in leadership positions they prove to be equally effective as their male counterparts. From Madeleine Albright to Condoleezza Rice to Hillary Clinton, to Meg Whitman of EBay and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, women have proved time and again that they can be formidable leaders  and visionaries, but some societies still remain bound to male dominated cultures that undermine their role and keep them only in domestic positions.
Ontario President and Federation Vice Chair

Even in Sierra Leone, prominent female leaders like Madam Yoko, Ella Koblo Gulama, Mamawa Benya, Sallay Satta Gendemeh, have historically demonstrated that the African woman is very formidable at leadership and nothing would give us progressive Sierra Leoneans greater joy than for President Koroma to come down from his male dominated culture and appoint a formidable woman as flagbearer in the upcoming national elections, effectively ensuring that no matter who wins, our vice president would be a woman.
Ms. Francess Turay President Tegloma Chicago

The Sierra Leone woman is a great manager. With very little money they feed their families, cloth and send their children to school, take care of the home while the husband is away pretending to be the big man and essentially run the society at the community level. Women are considerate and fair and can be firm when the need arises, as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher effectively demonstrated. It is time for Sierra Leone men to get off their high horses and give our women folk the place they deserve in society.
Ex Arizona President Helen Kuyembeh headed to contest in Sierra Leone

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