The launch took place of the book ‘Leaves From the Cotton Tree’ on Friday 2nd September 2022. Scroll down to see the link to buy your copy for Eu 15.00.
It was a wonderful celebration of SLIP@30. It was very well attended by friends of SLIP from the many different connections over 30 years of the work of SLIP . We were honoured to have Salome Mgubua launch the book, Abass Kargbo reflect on it and Helen Fallon to read her poem, The Mango Sellers, which is printed in the book.
A sincere thanks to all who attended to celebrate with us, including the people who joined online. Also thanks for all the good wishes received from many invited guests who were unable to attend.
Martin Rowan Chairperson of SLIP at the book launch
Salome Mbugua, CEO of AkiDwA- The Migrant Women’s Network Ireland launching ‘Leaves from the Cotton Tree’
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Novelists, journalists and diplomats since 1948 have recounted Sierra Leone as a scene of sorrowful mysteries. In September 2022, The Sierra Leone Ireland Partnership launched ‘Leaves From The Cotton Tree’ into that literary canon created by authors such as Graham Greene, Aminatta Forna, Ishmael Beah and our own Sinéad Walsh. This collection of thirty-seven essays, however, eschews the expectations of the tradition and opts to present the ties of joy and energy that bind Sierra Leone and Ireland. Its pages acknowledge the backdrop of tragedy but also chart lives lived happily, with deep emotional connection. It fits what Rebecca Solnit called “ the accretion of individual memory and sustenance, the maternal landscape of uneventful eventful routine”.
The SLIP AGM will be held on the 29th October in the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square at 7.30.
Thank you for your support during the past year.
Because of the covid-19 pandemic some of our activities have been curtailed. It is heartening to be emerging now with the safety provided by vaccination. Of course SLIP is also cognisant of the need for greater vaccination availability in Sierra Leone.
If you are not in a position to attend in person you can join by zoom, the link to be forwarded nearer the time.
If you wish to join via zoom, please request the link by Wed 27th October. For those meeting in person there will be an opportunity to purchase refreshments. Last year there were a number of scholarships awarded to SL students to study in Ireland funded by Irish Aid. Because of the lectures being provided online some of the students did not travel to Ireland but they followed their course from home. One of the students who travelled to study in UCD Aminata Conteh was interviewed by Sorcha Pollak in the Irish Times. You can read the interview on the website. This is also the time of the year when we seek a membership subscription, which can be paid by either of 3 ways 1.direct transfer to the SLIP Account IBAN: IE11BOFI 903437 64322068 2. via Stripe; details on the website 3. by cheque to Mr. Frank Roden, Hon Treasurer, 39 Ramleh Park, Milltown, Dublin 6D06H6C2
SLIP was founded in 1992 and next year will be the 30th anniversary of our foundation. We plan to publish a book on the theme of ‘looking back and looking forward’, maintaining and strengthening the Sierra Leone Ireland connection. Publication of the book will cost approx €2,000. We plan to cover some of the costs of production via sales. We would appreciate any donation or suggestion for a source of sponsorship you may make. I hope you can continue your support for SLIP. and if you would like to be more active on the committee we would be very pleased to hear from you.
This year’s Annual General Meeting is held against a backdrop of the death of two important people who contributed immensely to the making of the nation Sierra Leone in their own way. These people are Sister Hilary and Patricia, Sean’s wife. When Eddie wrote about Patricia and Sean in Kenema and Bo Teacher’s College in the 60s, I remembered my own life when I was just starting my secondary school in the late 60s. It really made me come to terms with the sacrifices you people made in education in Sierra Leone. At that time all the teachers in my school were missionaries.
When the missionaries returned home, they did not forget their past work and life in Sierra Leone, so SLIP was formed to bring life from their good work and to celebrate hope. SLIP to all of us is a place of belonging, a place to celebrate life and a place where we all cling to the promise of the future. As we conduct the business of today, we must bear in mind that SLIP is a place of belonging, a place to celebrate lives of those we stand for and a place where we all cling to the promise of the future. The promise of the future is good governance and good education in Sierra Leone.
I want to end my reflection by observing a minute silence in honour of Sister Hilary and Patricia.