Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

SALNAM Centre opens its doors

  • Print
SALNAM vice president Abu Bakkar Kamara, Concordia MLA Matt Wiebe, SALNAM president Allieu Sesay and a community member celebrate the opening of the association's resource centre on Henderson Highway on July 9.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

SALNAM vice president Abu Bakkar Kamara, Concordia MLA Matt Wiebe, SALNAM president Allieu Sesay and a community member celebrate the opening of the association's resource centre on Henderson Highway on July 9. Photo Store

The local Sierra Leonean community sang with joy on July 9.

That day, the Sierra Leone Nationals Association of Manitoba (SALNAM) had the official grand opening for its new resource centre at 251 Henderson Hwy.

Mayor Sam Katz and Coun. Thomas Steen (East Kildonan-Elmwood) were in attendance for the ceremonies, while Concordia MLA Matt Wiebe dropped in a little later. The centre received approximately $27,000 in funding with help from the mayor.

SALNAM president Allieu Sesay said the group did offer resources for its community before the opening of the centre, but its reach was limited as it would rent space in halls and at universities for one-off events. He’s glad to have a permanent home in Elmwood.

"It’s a long time coming," he said. "Even if we can change the life of one kid and keep him off the street, then we’ve made a difference. We hope we can make some changes within our community and within Winnipeg at large."

For youth, the centre will offer a homework club, drop-in and after-school recreation programming, and mentorship programs. As well, adult literacy programs and basic skills workshops like employment readiness, work preparation, resume writing, and job search skills are also planned.

Sesay also noted cultural retention will play a major role in the centre’s direction. Sierra Leone is a country of about 5.6 million located in northwest Africa. It was originally colonized by Britain in the late 1700s, and was embroiled in civil war for approximately a decade until 2002.

"A lot of people don’t know the history of our country," he said. "In a facility like this, we can spread that knowledge to our youth."

Sesay said the centre has already received help from the community — the furniture used at the centre was donated by friends of the centre — and it will need to fundraise in order to sustain itself.

He hopes to see the centre gain a foothold, and perhaps expand its presence now that it has a flagship in the neighbourhood.

"Maybe down the road, we can get a bigger facility," he said. "We are very optimistic. We definitely know we can grow."

The centre will operate Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.salnam.ca.

Facebook.com/TheHeraldWpg
Twitter: @HeraldWPG

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Have you had difficulty adjusting to the new, lower speed limits in school zones?

View Results