Greetings fellow Guineans and friends, hope this message finds you well. My name is Oumar Dinn Camara. I was born in Guinea, but raised in Romania and the United States. Guinea is a small country in West Africa with a population of roughly 12 million people and where more than 60% of the population lives on less than $2 a day. As a member of the diaspora community, I am ready to exercise my civic duty by taking part in the fight to help my birth country.
A few months ago, I traveled back to Guinea for the first time in 20 years. The need that I saw and the lifestyle I witnessed had me constantly thinking about why life in Guinea was so difficult and what I could do to make a difference. I saw hospitals and schools in terrible conditions, nearly abandoned shelters for people with disabilities and beggars aligned on the major roads every morning and evening, hands outstretched, hoping that people will help them obtain at least one meal in a day. Revisiting an old elementary school I attended in 1995 struck a major chord in my heart. I went back to see if things had changed. The feelings I experienced after leaving the property were bittersweet. Sweet because I returned to a place that was dear to my heart, but bitter because it looked as decrepit as it did back then. The essentials of the classroom, i.e. boards, desks, electric wiring and bathroom were exactly as I remembered them 23 years ago. These horrible sightings led me to start this fundraising campaign and to call on all people with the will join me in this campaign.
As mentioned above, I struggled with finding ways to help. How could I, by myself have an impact on such gaping problems facing the country. I am just a man who want to help but cannot afford to place all the issues that are plaguing my country on my shoulders. That’s when it hit me. I was looking at it the wrong way. I am not alone! Crowdfunding is a successful method used by many for initiatives that are dear to their hearts.
The questions now are 1) how much money needs to be raised? 2) who will receive the money? The answer to the first question is $3,000. Second, since I am raising money from the diaspora, I am partnering with an organization called Guinee Hôtesses on the ground. Together, we are organizing “Le Tournoi du Peuple” (The People’s Tournament) 3 vs 3 basketball tournament in Guinea Conakry. Upon registration, each team will list the recipients they are representing. At the conclusion of the tournament, the winners will announce the beneficiary. The awardee may be a school, hospital, shelter, orphanage or simply any institution as long as it is a charity. For example, if the champions declare an orphanage as the recipient of the funding, the tournament’s organizers along with the winners and other participants will go to that location and find out the needs of the of the recipients. After the assessment, we will use the $3000 collected to meet their needs.
Now you might be thinking, why should I care? My response to that is, “if you do not care, who else will?” I am sure that many of us who left the country have had personal experiences or, at least, know someone who has experienced these trying conditions. With your help, we can empower our people on the ground and have them lead us past these obstacles our families and friends encounter on the daily basis.
A donation from you would mean the world to those directly impacted. Your contribution represents a step towards the change we all wish to see. $3,000 will not solve our problems, but it is a great place to start! At times, in the presence of adversity, we look around hoping that a hero comes and save the day. This is your chance to be the hero that Guinea needs. Let us show the world that together, we do not need to hold positions in high places in order to have an impact in our society. The successful completion of this campaign will hopefully convince others across the globe that they too, can make a difference. I therefore leave you with the words “Never forget the forgotten and hopeless.”With your help, we will show them and the world that we won’t! Thank you for your time.