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Law Student Started Farming After His Parents Past Away, Promises To Use Funds For Charity Purpose

5 mins read
Law Student Started Farming After His Parents Past Away, Promises To Use Funds For Charity Purpose

John Yoni Yusif Fofanah is the founder and CEO of Alfsatu Farms and a student at the Sierra Leone Law School. Born in the early 90s in Yoni chiefdom, Tonkolili district, Northern Sierra Leone, he is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Linguistics and a Bachelor of Laws with honours both from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

Seeking refuge in Freetown during the war, John Yoni started primary schooling at the UMC Primary School, Ginger Hall and later sat the NPSE at the SLMB Primary School in Mile 91. Relocated to Freetown, he did his JSS 1 and 2 at the Prince of Wales School, Kingdom. Owing to some family issues, he had to sit the BECE at the Ansarul Junior Secondary School in Mile 91 and thereafter sat the WASSCE at the Yonibana Senior Secondary School in Yonibana.

In Yoni, he is popularly known for his community activism; working to create change and helping his community come together to solve social problems. Started in 2012 with connecting indigenes around the globe to home on a common platform getting updates of community happenings and proffering a collective solution, to helping advocate for scholarships for students in his community around colleges in the country. And in 2019, he founded the Yoni Excellence Awards Board to seek out and highlight the excellence and incredible achievements of individuals, groups, and businesses that create a sense of pride, unity and motivation through their role-modelling to the wider Yoni community. And the Award ceremony showcases celebrates and honours Yoni’s best in all works of life.

Growing up as a schoolboy in both rural and urban settings, he has got a mixed experience and taste of what education truly looks like in both settings. And such also prepared him to always be in an open engagement with people beyond class, ethnicity, politics and the rest.

John Yoni shared his inspiring story with us at Salone Messenger

Sallu Kamuskay:  You are currently working on farming, what prompted you to go into farming?

John Yoni “Following the death of both my mother and father in 2020, I was deeply saddened because they were yet to start benefiting from the fruit of my education they paid for before their demise and thought of keeping their memories alive and how they could benefit from my labour even in death prompted my venture into farming with reference to a Hadith in the Holy Quran that states, “No Muslim plants or sows something, so that a bird, a man or an animal can eat from it, without there being a benefit for him”. I name the farm ‘ALFSATU’ after my parents. A blend of my father’s first name ‘Alfred’ and my mother’s ‘Isatu’. And as my very first farming experience, I started with a thousand heaps garden farm of fresh pepper, cucumber and maize in my father’s village – Robathsant in the Northern province of Sierra Leone.”

Sallu Kamuskay: Growing up, did you think of doing farming?

John Yoni

“Sincerely, I did not have such a specific thought of doing farming whilst growing up. But being born in a business-oriented family, I have always had the thought of doing business. And truly, I am enjoying the farm work now as if I had long been prepared for it.

Sallu Kamuskay:

What has been your greatest inspiration going into farming and why?

John Yoni:

“Knowing I am doing the work for and on behalf of my parents has been my greatest inspiration going into farming.

The reason being, there is virtue in growing food. And as I reiterated earlier, Islam recommends farming as one of the righteous ways of serving humanity with an abundance of blessings in return. And surely so, my parents will have an abundance of the share of those blessings.

And consequentially, major proceeds from the produce of the farming will be channelled to a charitable cause through the ‘ALFSATU CHARITY FOUNDATION’ I will be registering very soon.now, we are in the land preparation for our second plantation season. And the proceeds from our first plantation season were reserved as seedlings for this next plantation. And going forward, major proceeds will now go into charity.”

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Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine.
Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize.
Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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