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SALNAM Resource Centre Closes Down

By Lans Omar,
Winnipeg, Canada.

The Sierra Leone Nationals Association of Manitoba (SALNAM) has closed down the association’s resource centre (pictured) in Winnipeg, Canada, on Monday July 23, 2018.

This was confirmed earlier this week.

The centre was officially opened on July 9, 2013 with the sole aim of providing resources for Sierra Leoneans in Manitoba, Canada.

According to reports gathered from 40 Acres Canada, SALNAM Resource Centre has been going through some heavy financial problems over the years leading to the closure of the centre this week. At some point during the past several months, basic utilities like telephone and cable have been disconnected due to non-payments.

Six months ago, there was a huge tussle within this current administration whether to abruptly shut down the entire centre because there wasn’t enough money to pay the subsequent month’s rent; But it was resolved in an executive meeting and see if funds can be acquired in the future to maintain the operation of the centre.

Funds: 40 Acres Canada spoke to the association’s Vice President, Alie Hassan Nasralla, in a briefly telephone interview. VP, as he’s loosely called amongst his peers said community members are not paying their monthly dues and the funds acquired from the city to support the centre have been spent on the centre’s monthly rent of about $1,200.00/month to keep the centre running and operating.

Mr. Nasralla also confirmed that parts of the funds that the city gave to the centre was spent on the daily affairs of the centre.

As 40 Acres Canada further learnt, the main front space that was originally occupied by SALNAM Resource Centre is now going to be operated as an African grocery shop while SALNAM will be sub-renting a back office which is not opened to the general public but only to its functional members.

"There was no need in the very first place for a resource centre", Abdul Brimah, a resident of Winnipeg told 40 Acres Canada as part of the survey we took to talk to some Sierra Leoneans in the province. Brimah even asked: "Why was the centre there when people don't even go there - absolute waste of money".

Pa Alhaji Tarawallie, another resident of the city supported the idea of a resource centre way before this was initiated in our community. "It'll be a resource place for our kids to have their home works and other school matters done," he told 40 Acres Canada when we cornered him on his way to way.