SWEISSY UNION Engaging communities and creating a better future

During the 20th century, a group of young sierra Leoneans had a vision to achieve and protect the welfare of fellow group members. This vision has survived into the 21st century.

At the height of the booming tourism business in Sierra Leone and its capital Freetown, when most tourists were attracted to buying crafts made from local goldsmiths. This craft is gold jewellery, it became a big and attractive business for this group of young men and women, Whom are mostly uneducated, high school dropout, few were high school and university graduates, who were unable to secure jobs, and almost 95% were from poorer background, came together, choose a spot and started selling this jewellery to tourists and others.

This spot is along Lightfootboston Street and Howe Street. Where the biggest jewellery shop is in Freetown and the proprietor is called pa Sweissy. So this is how the name came about, as he was a big contributor to the survival and success of these young individuals, he offered them training on how to value and weigh up gold. In the mid 1980s when the country was experiencing economic stagnation, high unemployment, liquidation of business, the numbers of hustlers increases at the spot. This created a conflict with the police, arresting members as criminals and some will spent days before released without charge or caution as of their background and status in society.

This incident continued to a point that it was unbearable for all individuals, this lead to the formation of the union, to look after the interest of members. It became stronger, civil societies, private individuals and some government institutions partly recognized the union, because of it presentation it was making on behalf of it individuals members.

In the 1990s, change of government, this time military rule, different approach towards members, seen as idlers and criminals, members are arrested, beaten up, seizure of goods by the authority. However, the union continues to make their case until the regime eased in these acts, at the same time the civil war was intensifying in the whole country, destroying the social fabric of the society. This eventually created the platform and some members left for America, United Kingdom and some other part of Europe.

Most of us that found ourselves in England, this replicate itself in United States of America and the Holland, decided to continue and extend with the visions to all. The trustees are mostly from Sweissy Union and they remain committed to continue the ethos that has long made the union one of the oldest and most respected non-profitable entity of sierra Leoneans. It gives them as much pleasure to help mankind, as most of them know how life can face difficulties.