For many Christians around the world, Christmas has always been a very special day as it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. And in Sierra Leone, Christmas day has been a day of spending time with our families and love ones as we eat and share together in the spirit of love, compassion and care which have been the teachings of Jesus Christ. For many people especially politicians, Christmas is traditionally a moment when they travel to the provinces to celebrate with their people to foster family and communal ties.
But for Maada Bio and his wife, this Christmas day celebration was special. As a very compassionate and caring politician, Julius Maada Bio together with his wife, Fatima Jabbe Bio, on Christmas day decided to celebrate it in Bonthe where they organised a special feeding programme for about 1,000 Children at the Bonthe Community Center.
In addressing the children and their parents before the start of the special Christmas meal, Julius Maada Bio said as a country we all have a special responsibility towards our children to ensure they grow up in a society where there is love, care and compassion for one and other. He added “But to build such society we have to teach our children how to love and care for one and other. And by eating together is to symbolise to our children that we all belong to one big family call Sierra Leone where we must see ourselves as brothers and sisters.”
He went on “As a parent myself, I understand sometimes when you want to do the best for your children but you don’t have the means especially on festive occasions like Christmas day. It is never a good feeling. But we should all understand that whatever our circumstances our children still look up to us to teach them how to love and care for people in our homes and communities. As a country, times are really hard for every family especially during this festive season whether we live in Freetown, Bo, Kenema or Makeni but we must all do what we can to make our children have the most memorable Christmas day celebrations in their lives”
He concluded his address by telling the children that the future of Sierra Leone belongs to them so one of the ways they must learn to make Sierra Leone a better country is by showing love, care and compassion for one and other. He said to them that as they eat they must also remember their friends and other children in other parts of the country who may be spending their Christmas day with little to eat or lonely without their parents and we must all pray that wherever they are that our Lord Jesus Christ will provide enough food for them and those who are lonely send people to comfort them on this Christmas day.
After the short address by Julius Maada Bio, the children where then organised by Fatima Jabbe Bio who was also part of the team that was serving food and drinks to the children. As they ate, the children where all laughing and interacting with one another. After the meal was completed there was also music for the children to dance as Julius Maada Bio and Fatima Jabbe Bio joined the children on the dance floor. The parents who accompanied their children to the Christmas meal were also all smiles and very pleased for the gesture by Maada and Fatima to provide Christmas meal for their children. According to one of the parents named Aminata she said “I woke up this morning with my two children and did not have anything in the house for this Christmas day so we are quite happy to be here especially so my children can have a decent meal this Christmas day. I pray that God will continue to bless Maada Bio and his wife for such a wonderful gesture. They are very caring people”. For 12 years old Jeneba, She said “I have never celebrated Christmas day with so much food to eat and drinks and with many other children around. I will never forget this day in my life”
The Special Christmas meal was attended by senior stakeholders and politicians in the Bonthe District including the Mayor of Bonthe Island Municipality, Mayor Layemin Joe Sandi, Members of Parliament including Hon. Segepoh Solomon Thomas, and other senior SLPP members in the Bonthe District.