The Sixth Anniversary celebration of the Gilo Educational Economic and Development (GEED) Foundation commenced on the 14th of March, 2024, on the Island of Bonthe with the commissioning of The Dr. Walton Gilpin Podium for Public Speaking and Debates at the SLC/BA school compound. The celebration is scheduled to continue until Saturday, the 16th of March, 2024.

The GEED Foundation’s Sixth Anniversary celebration will feature a march past, motivational talks, feeding of approximately 250 pupils, and donation of educational materials to school-going children of different schools in Bonthe Island on the second day of the celebration, the 15th of March. This will be followed by a thanksgiving service and the distribution of certificates and prizes on the 16th of March, 2024.

The Deputy Mayor of The Bonthe Municipal Council (BMC), Daniel Saidu Bangalie, welcomed and appreciated Dr. Gilpin and his team for their continuous support to the District and their contribution to National Development through education. Mayor Bangalie also acknowledged the contribution and impact of Rokel Commercial Bank Outlet, which he considered prominent and impactful in a positive light. Rev. Samuel Palmer, Senior Elder of the Bonthe municipality, applauded the efforts and contributions of the GEED foundation, which he referred to as timely for building the capacities of pupils in Bonthe District.

Mr. Morrison Conteh, Former Director of Risk at Rokel Commercial Bank, commented that as a son of the soil, it is prudent for the Public Speaking and Debating Podium to be in the Bonthe Municipality, especially when other Districts have already started benefiting from theirs. He stressed that his contribution and support for the podium is laudable, which is why he is contributing financially to the hard-earned salary of Dr. Gilpin to make the celebration a success. He encouraged present members and other philanthropists to concentrate their humanitarian work on building education and supporting girl-child projects.

Reflecting on the year of establishment (2007), the Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Dr. Walton Ekundayo Gilpin, noted that the GEED Foundation has been providing educational, moral, and economic support to Sierra Leoneans for over a long period of time. During the first day of the celebration, inhabitants of the Bonthe District, where Dr. Gilpin himself is a son of the soil, continued to benefit from his astute benevolence, philanthropy, and desire to develop human capacity in Sierra Leone through an organized quiz competition. In the organized primary school quiz competition, Anita Tua of the UMC primary school took fourth position, Ambrose Stevens of ICS took 3rd position, Mariama S. Kamara of SLC/BA took second position, and Masiatu Brima of St. Joseph’s Primary School took 1st position and was eventually crowned as the winner.

Commenting on the work of GEED Foundation, Dr. Gilpin mentioned the school support project among others to have a two-pronged objective. The first is to mobilize and donate school supplies, and the second is to promote north-south collaboration between primary schools in and out of Sierra Leone. He commented that the Foundation provides a platform for youths to learn both life and technical skills and is also looking forward to different public and private institutions working with the Foundation as a strategy to promote mentoring and apprenticeship relations between these organizations for the benefit of youths and pupils of this country. He also mentioned other activities of the foundation, including the nutritional feeding scheme project, the micro-finance project, the youth leadership and service academy project, and the scholarship scheme project.

In a joint effort to commission the Podium, The Executive Director of the GEED Foundation, Asilia Gilpin, the Deputy Mayor of Bonthe District, Mr. Bangalie, the Managing Director of RCBank, Dr. Walton E. Gilpin, and Mr. Morrison Conteh, were all on stage for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.”