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Reading: Refugee turned PhD graduate breaks barriers and inspires future generations
Reading: Refugee turned PhD graduate breaks barriers and inspires future generations

Refugee turned PhD graduate breaks barriers and inspires future generations

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 131 Views 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Sierra Leone’s Umaru Barrie, PhD, has become the first generation PhD graduate to hail from a small village in Sierra Leone. Born in the midst of a civil war, Barrie and his family were forced to flee their home and seek refuge in Guinea. Despite the challenges of being a refugee, Barrie remained determined to pursue his dreams of education.

Growing up in a refugee camp, Barrie had limited access to education. However, he was able to attend school thanks to the support of his hard work. He excelled academically and became the first member of his family to attain this fit.

Barrie immigrated to the United States with a dollar and dream to pursue further his education and achieve his dream of becoming a  doctor  in Medicine (M.D.),  He then went on to earn his PhD in Philosophy at the The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Barrie’s journey to becoming a PhD graduate was not an easy one. He faced numerous obstacles along the way, including financial difficulties and cultural barriers. However, he persevered and became a trailblazer for future generations of students.

Despite his many achievements, Barrie remains humble and grateful for the opportunities he has had. He hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter how difficult the path may seem.

“On my PhD Commencement day, as I walked across that stage, my heart swelled with joy and gratitude.

I stood, knowing that my dreams and aspirations, once distant and seemingly unattainable, are now fulfilled.

In this journey, I learned to keep my head held high, knowing that my journey extends beyond personal achievement. It is a journey for those who were denied opportunities, for those who dreamt but couldn’t chase after their passions. I carry their hopes within me, lighting a fire of purpose that fuels my every step.

My ultimate goal remains to return to the motherland, back to the land that shaped my identity, and contribute to building robust health infrastructures and systems. I want to be part of a transformative change, where quality healthcare reaches every corner of the continent. I yearn to create a future where no child’s dreams are limited by their circumstances, where every life is valued, and where hope thrives.

Every setback, every challenge, and every doubt only strengthens my resolve to push beyond limits. I believe that the impossible is only a construct waiting to be shattered.

None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of my loved ones. Their encouragement, sacrifices, and belief in me have been the pillars of my journey. Their love fuels my determination, even when the road ahead seems daunting. ❤️

To every dreamer out there, I encourage you to dare to dream the impossible. Chase after your passions relentlessly, for they hold the power to change the world. Never underestimate the impact you can make, and never let trials and tribulations extinguish the flame within you.

Together, we can be catalysts for change, building a future where dreams become reality.

Join me on this extraordinary journey as I continue to strive, dream, and persevere. Together, let’s create a world where equal opportunities and accessible healthcare are not just dreams but tangible realities.

Together, we can be the change we wish to see.

Together, we can achieve beyond our dreams

Just making Africa proud

Just making Harlem proud.” He posted.

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. 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 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.