Sierra Leone Rising is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization formerly known as the Kposowa Foundation. This non-profit was formed in 2006 to support education, and the rebuilding of Bumpe High School after the 11 year Blood Diamond war. Now the organization has expanded its mission to include female empowerment and public health in the Bumpe Chiefdom of 44,000 people with the goal to expand the work throughout the country. At Bumpe High School since 2006 they have restored the library, school classrooms, dining hall, and home economics building; provided payment for teachers; and supported students with scholarships to attend school. More recently they worked with the Bumpe community to implemented a bicycle program, a solar lamp program (to provide light for night time studying), and launched a computer lab where students in Sierra Leone are using Skype to connect with classrooms globally. This allows Bumpe students to take online computer coding classes with teachers and students in the United States. In the area of public health they have partnered with Rotary International to dig wells that are serving about 12,000 people, and were proactive in educating and providing supplies to the public during the devastating Ebola virus epidemic in 2014-2015.
Sarah Culberson and Hindogbae Kposowa: Co-founders of Sierra Leone Rising
Sarah Culberson, unbeknownst to her as a child, was always connected to Sierra Leone. She was adopted one year after her first birthday by a loving, white West Virginia couple and raised in the United Stated with little knowledge of her ancestry. Though raised in a loving family, Sarah wanted to find her birthparents who had put her up for adoption. In 2004 Sarah took the journey to Sierra Leone to meet her birth father and family. Culberson never imagined what she would discover or where that information would lead her. She was related to African royalty, a ruling Mende family in Sierra Leone and she was considered a mahaloi, the child of a Paramount Chief, with the status of a princess. After going to Sierra Leone and seeing the aftermath of an 11 year civil war she co-founded this non-profit to support the community in Sierra Leone. Sarah shared her story in a book she co-authored titled, "A Princess Found". Her story has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, BBC radio, LA Times, Singapore News and many other media outlets. Sarah is the President, and Co-Founder of Sierra Leone Rising. She and her brother Hindo, who is one of her best friends, work in partnership as Hindo leads the team on the ground in Sierra Leone and Sarah leads the team in the United States. Her passion for education does not stop with Sierra Leone; as Director of Outreach at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles, California Sarah works daily with middle and high school students.
Sarah in Sierra Leone
Hindogbae (Hindo) Joseph Kposowa is a passionate leader in education program development and project management. As Co-Founder of Sierra Leone Rising and Director of The Kposowa Foundation’s Sierra Leone operations, Hindo has led various programs benefiting the education, health and social-economic opportunities of communities in Sierra Leone. These include management in all foundation activities with international business, non-profit, academic and governmental organizations.
Looking beyond prevailing negative narratives, Hindo has been instrumental in creating programs that provide for collaborative global learning, women’s empowerment, and public safety. In 2014 Hindo led a team of 40 volunteers to raise awareness with health literacy programs that helped protect 43,000 people in 236 villages in the midst of the Ebola virus epidemic whose death toll exceeded 4,000 lives in Sierra Leone alone. Additionally Hindo has been tapped to participate in and/or lead education development programs in the United States, England, Canada, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Currently Hindo lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society and will obtain his law degree in the spring of 2017.
"..... I became a mentor to give someone what I got from... understanding, confidence, support, and to help build an environment where they feel encouraged to keep dreaming and achieving their goals. And that I am committed to seeing other kids succeed in life..." —Anthony Rosario