AMR Gold over the weekend sponsored a unity football match between Katherie and Kathata cooperative workers in order to strengthen communal relationship and to boost development in Sella Limba Chiefdom, Northern Sierra Leone.
The two villages are beneficiaries of the artisanal mining cooperative scheme recently developed by the Wilkinson Mining Company, a subsidiary of AMR Gold.
Addressing the well over 1000 spectators, including youths and authorities from across the chiefdom at the Kathata football field- Kayimbor Section, AMR Gold’s Community Liaison Officer, John P. Moriba said because the company is developmentally oriented, it is also using football to promote development in Sella Limba Chiefdom.
Spectators at the Kathanta football field during the football match
He said football is a very good physical exercise and a great source of entertainment, adding that the match sometime thrilled its spectators with enthusiasm that they end up forgetting the worries of their daily life.
Whilst congratulating the Sella Limba Mining Cooperative (SeMCO) management for bringing youth from the various Sections together, Mr. Moriba appealed to them to be law abiding and become responsible citizens.
“With collective support AMR Gold is ready to bring development to both Sella Limba and Sanda Loko Chiefdoms.”
Kathirie team before the match
The Secretary General of the Sella Limba Mining Cooperative- SeMCo, Mr. Apolos Umaru Dumbuya, said the football match will dispel rumours that the youth in Sella Limba Chiefdom are violent and lawless.
He added that they are now sending a loud message to the world that they are working with AMR Gold, Chiefdom authorities and law enforcement agencies to drive away illegal miners.
According to him, some ill motivated people have been inciting the youths against the general good of their communities for their own selfish gains.
“We are grateful to the Board and Directors of AMR Gold for this laudable initiative which is reducing the high unemployment rate amongst youths in Bombali District,” said Mr. Dumbuya.
He noted that more than three hundred youths have been employed and are receiving salaries at the end of every month.
Giving a brief background of the Cooperative, Mr. Bangura said it is a concept designed by the Wilkinson Hill Mining Company which held the view that unregulated artisanal mining practices is regarded as a loss to the local artisanal miners, landowners, large lease hold companies such as AMR Gold and the country in general.
Regent Section Chief, Pa Sallu Bangura envisioned more positive youth activities in his section rather than fighting. He urged all to emulate the good example of SeMCO.
Chief Bangura called on the youths to desist from violence.
He further warned that the youths must be foresighted and not allow ill motivated people to lure them into trouble making.
The “unity football match” ended by a 3-3 draw, where the Katherie Cooperative group scored three goals in the first-half of the game. The Katherie Cooperative group were deprived of the trophy in the second-half when the Kathatha Cooperative group scored three equalising goals.
Traditional dancing climaxed the ceremony.
AMR Gold Community Liaison Coordinator flanked by Kathanta players