Same ‘boots,’ different feet

June 24, 2014

You’ve heard us talk often about our ‘boots on the ground’ guiding principle and the exit strategy as an important part of our empowerment model. Bringing people up eventually has to include the transfer of responsibility, otherwise independence and the dignity that comes with it can never be achieved. After nearly a year with American Austin Smith as our boots on the ground in Sierra Leone, we are transitioning leadership in planning, reporting and personnel management to two local men. This includes expanded responsibility for a long-time member of our team and new responsibilities for a new employee.

The first is Sullay Turay, a man who has worked with Just Hope for two years in Bauya. Sullay has proven his commitment to Just Hope many times over, and he will oversee payroll, reporting and overall communication with Just Hope in the United States. He is a Godly man with a proven track record of handling Just Hope funds.

New to the Just Hope team is Joseph Lassayo, who will manage daily project activities and local laborers. A well-respected former member of the Sierra Leonean army, he has been managing a large road construction crew and is a successful farmer on his own land. Workers perform well under his direction, and we anticipate that Joe will be a valuable team member, regardless of the nature of the project.

We will be in regular communication with both men to ensure that work is progressing and that accurate information is regularly delivered. Site visits from Just Hope leadership will continue as usual.

Cultural differences are a reality, and with every transition comes risk. We acknowledge that we cannot always operate in our comfort zone. Our responsibility is stewardship, prudence and faith in God’s guidance and provision as we help others lead their communities toward a better quality of life.