Catholic Priest in Sierra Leone Dedicates National Awards to Hardworking Caritas Team

Fr. Peter Konteh. Credit: Caritas Freetown

Fr. Peter Konteh, the Executive Director of Caritas Freetown, is this year’s winner of the Sierra Leone Leadership Award.

Apart from the personal leadership award, the Catholic Priest also received, on behalf of Caritas Freetown, the country’s 2022 NGO Awards.

In a Monday, December 5 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Konteh, who has been listed as one of the 100 most influential Sierra Leoneans for his humanitarian work, attributed the achievement to the people around him, including his team, which he described as deeply passionate about changing lives in the West African country.

“I am dedicating this 2022 award to all the people around me, especially to my beloved Archbishop (Edward Tamba Charles) for allowing me to serve people in my capacity in Caritas. This is also to my dynamic Caritas staff who are extremely full of passion and dedication. The team at Caritas has fully responded to the call to serve the poorest of the poor,” Fr. Konteh said.

The 2022 awards were presented at the 6th Annual Sierra Leone Leadership Awards at an event that was held in Freetown on December 2.


 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.”

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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. 


Caritas Sierra Leone’s response to the devastation in the wake of natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides, and slum fires has also impacted thousands of Sierra Leoneans, making the Catholic charity a household name in the West African country.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.