Momodu Jalloh has always believed that education is a fundamental human right and all children should have access to basic education regardless of their socio-economic background. Over the years, he has supported a number of children in his native land, Sierra Leone, by sending schools materials and supplies, used clothing and toys, and providing tuition assistance.
Momodu migrated to the United States in 1996 to advance his education and seek greener pastures. After being away for a decade, in 2005, he visited Sierra Leone and realized the country had been devastated by a decade-long war that left its infrastructure in ruins – schools, colleges and universities, and libraries were destroyed. Moreover, many children had been orphaned; they were mentally disturbed, psychologically traumatized, had suffered amputated limbs, and were displaced and uneducated, not counting the thousands that had innocently lost their lives.
This disastrous conflict left the educational system, particularly in the rural areas, in complete ruin. Many schools had been razed to the ground; many of those left standing have no roofs or furniture. In other words, basic school amenities such as pens, pencils, sharpeners, and notebooks are not available or are very expensive to buy; teachers do not have the materials they need to teach. One can say that education for many children in Sierra Leone is becoming a luxury they cannot afford instead of a basic right that all deserve to enjoy.
Despite the outpouring of support from donor countries and non-profit organizations, still more needs to be done. The educational system is in ruins and many children are not attending school due to lack of resources. Armed with this reality and understanding of the needs in Sierra Leone, Momodu co-launched Education for HOPE to focus on improving the educational system. The organization now collaborates with the Sierra Leone Library Board, individuals, communities, and organizations to transform education in this war-torn nation.
Momodu currently works in Washington, DC for the U.S. Federal Government; prior to that, he worked for the Dow Jones Company. He did his undergraduate studies at West Virginia University Institute of Technology and graduate studies at the University of Maryland.