By Emmanuel A.B. Turay – 22 July 2016
The newly appointed CEO of St. Lawrence Foundation says she is impressed so far with what has been achieved by the University of Makeni with funds and support from her foundation.
Madam Chiara Zanchi made this disclosure during her week long visit to Makeni City to assess, evaluate and explore other opportunities in supporting and investing in the country.
Addressing staff and students at UNIMAK’s Great Auditorium, the CEO explained that the friendship and collaboration with Makeni and the University was facilitated by Fr. Victor Bonjovani, aka Pa Alimamy, during the civil war in the country and later with Bishop George Biguzzi (Emeritus) who cemented the partnership. “The good impression my father was given is indeed real from what I have seen myself”, she added.
Madam Chiara Zanchi stated that it is based on this background that the foundation has decided to establish a special department at UNIMAK – Social Business Department – to help find a better way to boost local entrepreneurship with local resources available. “My impression about Sierra Leoneans from the feedback I got from our visiting Italian Professors based on their interaction with the students is that they are motivated to learn”, she said. She lauded the effort of UNIMAK administration for what she described as a job well done in implementing their supported programmes.
Presenting some of the major funded supports rendered to UNIMAK by St. Lawrence Foundation, the Director of Human Resource Veronica R. Kamara explained that to attain their vision, UNIMAK needed to engage other partners and philanthropists with similar objectives to promote tertiary education in this part of our country. The first reliable and motivated donor that was approached during those trying times after the civil war in this country by Bishop Emeritus George Biguzzi was the father of the now CEO Mr. Franchesco Zanchi of St. Lawrence Foundation who whole heartedly stood by UNIMAK in actualising their dream.
The Foundation provided funding for the construction of the sixteen room female hostel and a staff quarter at the Fatima campus, three commercial buildings (St. Lawrence, St. Chiara and St. Tazana) situated along Azzolini Highway (overlooking the St. Francis Field), the renovation of the current, most admirable and envied general Library now considered the best in the country, the construction of the one storey Agriculture building with five lecture rooms, two labs and three offices. The Foundation also organised many conferences in Italy to show case the work of the University among supporters.
The three man delegation from St. Lawrence Foundation was welcomed with a special song by the university choir.
Members of the delegation include Prof. Angela Bassoli from University of Milan, Engineer Sregio Vitali a specialist Agro-Business and Strategic Management and Madam Chiara Zanchi the CEO St. Lawrence Foundation.
Certificates were awarded to Mr. Franchesco Zanchi the founder of St. Lawrence Foundation and Madam Chiara Zanchi the CEO for the foundation in recognition of their support to UNIMAK.