Repairing old computers in hope of repairing a nation

Charity helping to rebuild war-torn Sierra Leone
Charity helping to rebuild war-torn Sierra Leone

A MORAY PENSIONER who has been working tirelessly to relieve poverty in his native Sierra Leone is asking local people to donate any unused computers, electrical goods or tools.

Former civil engineer Lansana Bangura spends his days refurbishing old computers so that they can be sent to schools in war-torn Sierra Leone.

From his home in Garmouth where he lives with wife Moira, Lansana operates the Mateiti Agricultural Development Project (MADP), a charity that he created to promote farming in a rural community in the north of Sierra Leone.

In July this year the MADP was awarded official charitable status by the Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR – a move that will hopefully ease the way in his efforts to advance education, citizenship and community development in his native country.

Mr Bangura has lived in Scotland since the early 1960’s, having left Sierra Leone at 21 to pursue his career. It was while studying at Aberdeen University that he met his wife in 1989 with the couple settling in her native Garmouth.

Now armed with a new status for the charity he first started in 1986, Lansana is hoping that with the help of local individuals and businesses he can be spurred to greater efforts in helping people recover from the devastating 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone.

“Any donations really do make a big difference to people in Sierra Leone,” he said, adding: “Previously we tried to encourage locals there to grow their own fruit and vegetables and we helped them with that.

“But during the civil war everything was burnt down and when I went back in 2007 there was nothing left. So now we stage collections and sell goods over there, and we are especially keen to help schools.”

Lansana hopes that one day he will be able to establish a base in Moray from which to operate the charity, providing more space in which they can revamp old computers.

One of the main sources of funding for the charity has been attendance at the regular car boot sales in the Baxters car park at Fochabers – the final sale for this year will be held there on Sunday from 4pm until 8pm.

Further information on MADP can be found on their Facebook Page.