Fr. Konteh’s 2022 Leadership Awards recognized the Catholic Priest’s “exemplary leadership, outstanding performance over the years, and commitment to excellence and socioeconomic growth and humanitarian development in Sierra Leone.”
Sierra Leone NGO Awards 2022 went to Caritas Freetown for the entity’s “outstanding performance in the NGO sector, and commitment to best practices, socioeconomic growth, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sierra Leone.”
For the fourth time in a row, Caritas Freetown has bagged national awards aimed at recognizing key individuals and organizations providing humanitarian assistance in Sierra Leone.
The December 2 recognition found Fr. Konteh, who has maintained a balance between social and pastoral work for over 30 years, at a funeral service and ordination ceremony in Bo, a Diocese that borders Freetown.
He shared his elation during the December 5 interview with ACI Africa, saying, “I am very happy that for four years, we have won the hearts of the people with the work we do. We have remained very consistent in what we do. For many, there is always the temptation to become complacent after doing good over time.”
He expressed gratitude to his team at Caritas Freetown for “always having the drive to serve.”
“I have the best team ever. At Caritas Freetown, we don’t offer the most competitive salaries. But we have a very infectious passion to serve. Every time I am traveling, I trust my team to do the work as if I was there. We have aimed to train leaders who can do the job when we are not there.”
The Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown also expressed gratitude to the Sierra Leonean government, which he said had created an enabling environment for humanitarian workers to reach the vulnerable in the west African country.
He further thanked donors of the various personal projects he runs in Sierra Leone, as well as those implemented by Caritas Freetown, saying, “Things have been difficult for everyone, and despite the economic downside that also affected our donors, they never abandoned us. They remained consistent in funding our projects.”
The work of Caritas Freetown is hinged on changing the lives of communities that were left vulnerable following the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone that ended in 2002, as well as the Ebola that struck in 2014, killing over 3,000 people, and leaving others unable to fend for their families.