Three Sierra Leonean students were awarded scholarships to study in various fields at the Belgrade University in Serbia.
The scholarship program is a yearly opportunity for deserving students by the Serbian Government. Dauda James who will travel to pursue his master’s study in the field of Agricultural Economics, Massah Feigbo Daboh, and Doris Augusta Tarawallie are going to study Medicines Both will stay for six years until they complete their course at the University of Belgrade.
Dr. Adonis Abboud, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Serbia in an interview said the scholarship program started in the 1970 and the 80s, till now a total number of twenty-six Sierra Leonean students have benefited from the scholarship program. Many of the graduates are now in strategic works of life ranging from civil services among others, contributing immensely to national development, as a way to give back to the country what they have learned abroad.
He further disclosed that the selection process is always done in Sierra Leone by the Ministry of Education, and the recipients would undergo several procedures and medicals so they can adapt to the weather conditions while they are studying in Serbia. He added that the students will act as Ambassadors whiles in Europe, and advertise the beauty of Sierra Leone which will attract tourists and investors.
“Education is a primary tool for the development of Sierra Leone, and this is one tiny contribution among others,” Dr. Adonis said.
In terms of available healthcare and health status, Sierra Leone is rated very poorly. Globally, infant and maternal mortality rates remain among the highest. The health service has recently been described as “stretched far beyond capability”.
Many of the senior doctors had succumbed to Ebola and the Corona pandemic. Forty out of 60 students at the University of Sierra Leone’s Provost of the College of Pharmacology, Medicine and Allied Health Sciences were forced to abandon their studies after many ran out of money to pay their fees.
Agriculture is the economic and cultural mainstay of Sierra Leone – rice and cassava, drought-tolerant crops, are staples in a typical Sierra Leonean diet. Although agriculture is crucial, sustainable agriculture in Sierra Leone is unfortunately inadequate
This scholarship program will help improve the Sierra Leone medical and Agricultural sector among others when they complete their course, the students expressed. They also thanked the Government of Serbia, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Education for giving them such a Golden opportunity to study abroad.