A Tribute to Darlis Johnson

Posted by Aisha
January 13, 2011

darlis-johnson.jpgI see in her eyes the passion to help people. Her name is Darlis Johnson, Our co-founder of Khadarlis for Sierra Leone.

We meet in 2007 and right away I knew she had a heart of Gold. I was busy telling her stories about My grandmother's village Jimmi, in the Bo Districk of Sierra Leone. She said to me stop for a minute, are you talking about the Sierra Leone that is in the Movie Blood Diamond? Is it true that they killed all those chilldren, made some child soldier, amputated kids, adults and elderly so they could not vote, all over diamonds?

Her questions where endless....

Hours I showed her pictures of my beloved Home Sierra Leone and the 11 year conflict that took our Land or pride and Joy (Sierra Leone) away and left it to more poverty, illnesses, people displaced and villages unable to substain themselvies.
She listened  and watched with  her mouth wide open. She finally spoke, she said when can we go and see. I replied, go see where, the villages, Sierra Leone. I replied MONEY. She replied When.

To get to the point three weeks later we were on our way. What she did not tell me was she spent all her money to buy villagers, soaps, deodorant, food, and lots more as gifts when we got there, the first thing she said was I want to talk to the villagers. It took 20 minutes for the Town Cryer to gather the people.

With the help of an interpreter she said, I am so proud to be here among my people, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am a so blessed to be in your village and I promise you that I will do everything in my power to help.

We left Sierra Leone few days later. Back on USA soil she said to me at the Airport in NewYork.  How can we get Red Cross, Salvation Army, to help? I told her honestly I do not know.

We did a little research and several phone call later we realize that we need to start a non-profit. Deligently she called, listen, filed paper work, hired the right poeple to get the job done all out of her pocket.

It took several months to even get response, but she kept on going bringing me along with her. Thousands of dollars later, several more trips to Sierra Leone, she has single handedly funded Khadarlis for Sierra Leone up to this point, not because she is Rich, far from it, its the compassion and passion that she has to make this world a better place that inspires me.  With her help and our dedicated Volunteers, we have got our 501c3, and are now open for business.

During this  time she has started with her passion and dedication, Khadarlis has built 15 mud houses for the homeless in Jimmi, built one water well to bring clean drinking water to villagers, Installed a solar panel so children can study at night and illuminate the village.

At every meeting she will say to Board member our work has not even begun but I see HOPE  in their eyes, pride is near. We at khadarlis value her and raise our hats to her.

Related links:
Khadarlis for Sierra Leone