Originally from Sierra Leone, Mohamed Bah has been continuously collecting donations for years to distribute to the needy in his home country
The noble efforts of one South Jersey resident are helping to improve the lives of those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Mohamed Bah of Winslow Township has been collecting donations throughout his community for the past few years to distribute in his home country.
Bah was born in Sierra Leone, Africa, and came to the United States at the age of 12 years old with his sister. More than 30 years would go by before he would return to his birthplace, however, he said having returned opened his eyes to their struggles.
“The first time I went back was 2013, and you see things on TV and whatnot, but when you go you actually see firsthand what the needs are,” Bah said.
Sierra Leone is rated as having a poor quality of life — one of the worst in the world — according the www.Businessinsider.com, with numerous factors contributing to that determination. In recent years, the population has been subject to a civil war while having poor to no electricity service and one of the worst life expectancy rates, with a whooping 70 percent of the population below the poverty line, among additional problems.
Having seen the needs of the people firsthand, the trip helped inspire Bah to eventually lead a continuous collection drive years later to assist the people.
In the past, he and his sister collected thousands of books to bring to children and families in Sierra Leone, however now he is focused on clothing for the youth.
Bah is collecting clothes for children and babies to help poor families in Sierra Leone, but is also looking for toys and books that can be distributed as well. After collecting donations, he travels to Sierra Leone with the barrels of donations to distribute to those in need.
“Anything that can really be put to use so that I can distribute to those communities,” Bah said.
Bah visited the area twice last year with donations for families in need, and enjoys the face-to-face interaction when he gives the donations to the families.
“I think it’s really touching, it’s great,” Bah said.
He has used the trips as a teaching experience for his son, having taken him on a few occasions to assist in distributing the donations he’s received over the years.
“I’ve taken my son twice just so he can get a perspective also,” Bah said. “That way he can see what little kids in other families have over there. He’ll go with me to pick stuff up or to distribute, and he understands.”
Those interested in donating to the cause of improving the lives of poor families in Sierra Leone can donate by texting Bah at (732) 309–7098.