CanSerra Group Thunder Bay
Transforming lives through education!
Have a question or two?
Want to send us a few words of encouragement? We love to hear from you!
CanSerra is a grassroots group of individuals who bring positive change to the lives of children in Sierra Leone through education. The group does whatever is possible to bring education to marginalized communities in Sierra Leone.
I have had the pleasure to work with Bassie Kargbo and the Canserra group for the last three years. We have contributed to the completion of the primary school. Our donations helped with painting the exterior, new windows, classroom benches, and outdoor latrines. As well as the primary school, we have set up two post-secondary scholarships. In addition to these worthwhile causes, we have provided several school feedings. I look forward to working with Bassie and the Canserra group in the future.
~ Blaine Hill, teacher
Since arriving in Thunder Bay, Canada, as a sponsored newcomer from Sierra Leone in 2005, Bassie Kargbo has raised a family here and at the same time dedicated years to rebuilding the education system in Sierra Leone by starting schools for needy children. My husband and I, other family members and friends, Port Arthur Rotary and First Presbyterian Church, as well as many others, have helped Bassie promote education in Sierra Leone by building schools for youth from grade one to high school graduation. He is accomplishing great things and we, as teachers, are happy to provide financial donations to help him in these efforts. We welcome you to join us! ~Wendy and Brian Vistorino
I was so impressed by the work all are doing to improve the schools in Sierra Leone.
On my recent visit, I was able to witness firsthand the excellent efforts that are being made by all stakeholders.
As a previous School Board Member in the Inland Empire of California, I understand how important it is to focus on children’s education.
It is my goal to continue to support the efforts of Canserra and many other schools in Sierra Leone.
At the moment, I have also paid for 5 different school feeding programs for this year in Canserra and will be visiting the school again some months away from now when my schedule permits.
Gods blessings for all you guys do !!!
~ Wraymond Sawyerr
The wonderful people in our organization who make things happen!
CanSerra: Canadian Society for Education in Sierra Leone
Executive and Board of Directors
The people from Canada who make things happen!
Brian Vistorino, Director
Brian is a retired school teacher and civil engineer who knows the value of education and its effects on combating poverty. He has been with CanSerra since the beginning and has been very instrumental in making big things happen!
Donna White, Assistant Director
Donna White is an occasional teacher and brings years of experience in fundraising to the board. She has witnessed the success of programs that combat poverty during her volunteer work in countries including Uganda, Malawi, Bangladesh, Armenia, and Dominican Republic.
Wendy Vistorino, Secretary/Treasurer
Wendy is a retired school teacher and has a big heart for helping all children achieve their goals. She has a no nonsense approach and makes sure all our t's are crossed and i's are dotted - and we're not just talking about meeting minutes!
Blaine Hill, Scholarship Planning Coordinator
Blaine is a teacher and has seen how a good education can make a positive change in children's lives. He works hard to make sure it happens for the children in Sierra Leone.
Grant Vistorino, Board Member
Grant provides valuable insight and advice on our projects. We're humbled by his generosity and inspired by his faith in our organization.
Adiatu Kuyatah, Board Member
Adiata is a fellow Sierra Leoneon who now lives in Canada. While visiting Sierra Leone she witnessed the great work of CanSerra and immediately jumped on board to be part of the action. She brings a whack of experience to the board with her volunteer experience with the NDP, Black History Month, Sierra Leone Association of Alberta (SLAA), MacEwan University, and Edmonton’s Africanival.
Kira White, Board Member
Kira brings a load of experience to our group as a civil engineer. She has overseen the building of everything from major highways to buildings to towers and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to making a structure that will last. Her hobbies include wrestling, horseback riding, painting, and mountain climbing.
John Grabish, Board Member
John is an expert when it comes to making positive changes! Founder of Caring Hands, an organization that uses the proceeds from the sales of hand-crafted items from Uganda to relieve poverty, he has been instrumental in providing food, livestock, medical attention, and vocational training for hundreds of people. CanSerra truly appreciates the expertise John adds to the group!
Tochi Nwaokocha, Board Member
Tochi is president of the Black Law Students' Association and a practicing lawyer in Kitchener, Ontario. He brings a fabulous energy to the group and a wonderful heart and clever mind that makes things happen!
Mabinty is a woman of many talents! She is amazing at stretching a dollar and making it go further than anyone can imagine! She is also an encourager, supporter, and downright wonderful lady! We wouldn't be where we are without her!
Wraymond Sawyerr, Contributor
Wraymond is one of those people who is always bursting with energy. As a retired School Board Member he has a passion for helping children and seeing that their futures are changed through education. The children love his kind and gentle heart and always look forward to his visits.
CanSerra Development Organization
Board of Directors
The people from Sierra Leone who make it all happen!
Bassie Kargbo, Founder and Director
Bassie has put his heart and soul into transforming the lives of his fellow Sierra Leoneans. After the Civil War, there were very few schools left standing in Mabureh and Kissi Town. Bassie's selfless dedication has changed this and brought a brighter future to many! Thank you, Bassie!
WIll Kargbo, National Director
Will Kargbo has volunteered as the National Director of CanSerra Development Organization since 2019 and oversees all programs for CDO. He also serves as the national spokesperson.
Will is a native of Sierra Leone and lives in Freetown with his wife and two children. He received his education in Sierra Leone from TC, HTC and has a BA in Developmental Studies.
Now a retired teacher, Will uses his experience as a community developer and his knowledge gained from working with non-profit organizations in Sierra Leone to help those in need.
Rebecca Kallon, Secretary/Financial Secretary
Rebecca is the Secretary of CanSerra Development Organization Board of Trustees. Madam Kallon is based in Freetown. She is a tireless advocate for the poor and needy and is a graduate with a Social Work Degree. She has many years of non-profit experience especially serving as secretary. With her experience as a social worker, she facilitates partnerships with families, staff, and other agencies. She loves working with organizations that care for those in need.
Jorian Mamie Iye Dumbuya, Treasurer
Jorian is the Treasurer Reporting Officer of CanSerra Development Organization Board of Directors. She takes care of finances and disseminates operational reports to the organization. She also provides support in various activities of the organization and ensures there is better communication concerning the required needs of the organization. Based in Freetown she works as news reporter at the Sierra Leone’s national TV station (SLBC) and has many years of non-profit experience. Madam Dumbuya has a Diploma in Business Administration and is an advocate for the poor and needy.
Doreen John, Public Relations Officer
Doreen John is the Public Relations Officer of CanSerra Development Organization Board of Trustees. She has vast experience working with NonGovernmental Organizations with expertise in community development projects. She is experienced in the branding of organizations through various communication strategies. Based in Sierra Leone with her husband, Doreen is a graduate in Sociology. She has many years of non-profit experience in multiple roles. Doreen’s vision is to see a Sierra Leone where opportunities will be available for the poorest child, and for children not go to bed hungry.
Rahimeh Magritta Williams is the Project Coordinator of CanSerra Development Organization board of trustees. She has experience working with both government and Non-Governmental Organizations especially dealing with families on legal issues.
She cares about women and children going through difficult issues. She is experienced in ensuring that projects are monitored and documentations are maintained correctly.
Madam Williams is married with three children. She has a Degree in Social Work, and currently pursuing her Masters in Governance and Leadership. Her vision is to see a Sierra Leone where more opportunities will be available for women and children.
Kadiatu Saffinatu Jalloh is the CanSerra Development Organization’s board Reporting Officer.
She is responsible for disseminating operational reports to the organization. She also provides support in various activities and ensures there is better communications and required needs of the organization.
As a nurse, madam Jalloh doesn’t only care for the sick but she is also a stern advocate for the poor and needy.
Madam Jalloh is based in Freetown and works as a nurse and hairstylist.
Our Valuable and Most Needed Workers in Sierra Leone
Abdul Y Mansaray
Carpenters, Mason, etc.
If you want to know how to do it the very best way - Abdul's your man! He may look young but Abdul has loads of experience and expertise in building schools. From the foundation up, Abdul's dedication to creating schools is A+!
Alie is a man of many talents, it just so happens that on picture
day we caught him working with the plaster making a smooth
finish to our school's exterior. Seems appropriate though since
Alie is one smooth dude!
Alhassan is fast! You have to be when you're moving tonnes of cement! And he does it all with a smile, knowing that each wall, each floor, and each school is helping the kids in his village get a solid education.
Alie Karim Bangura
Alie is the man we turn to when we need a solid foundation. His
eye for keeping a straight line is unparalleled to any other!
Karim knows schools! He knows how to build them and he knows how to build them very well! With years of experience, Karim has seen many children's lives changed because of a good education. It's what keeps him going!
Abdul has a knack for concrete and we rely on him for everything from walls to floors and everything in between. When Abdul's mixing, we know our schools are going to last for many many generations!
Abdul Karim Bangur
Abdul is smooth. Yes, you read it right: smooth. With a trowel in his hand no school wall or floor is going to crack or have any bumps
or lumps or defects. It comes with experience and Abdul has been with us for a long time!
Abdul Karim Kamara
If you need muscles and a knack for keeping things in line then Abdul's your man! Abdul comes to CanSerra with years of
experience and a dedicated spirit second to none!
Ernest is another one of our dedicated workers who is full of talents. From the ground up, Mr. Ernest knows what to do and how to do it!
Carpenters, Masons, etc.
What a team! Behind every school is a team of dedicated workers! Don't let the silliness of the photo fool you - each and everyone of our workers is serious about building our schools from start to finish.
Fatmata Simeon Kamara
Fatmata Simeon Kamara graduated as nurse at the paramedical nursing department, Njala University Bo Campus in Sierra Leone. She currently works as a state registered nurse at the Rokupa Government Hospital. She provides medical attention to people in the area. Fatmata lives in Kissy, Sierra Leone with her two children.
Supporter and Friend
You are an important part of our team. Without You, the bricks couldn't be made, the walls put in place, the tin set on the roofs, or the classrooms filled with kids and books and teachers. Thank You for all that You do!
Our Valuable and Most Needed Volunteers here in Canada
Enriching the lives of the orphaned and less privileged children and families through education and health support in marginalized communities in Sierra Leone.
Improving, encouraging, and enriching the lives of the orphaned and less privileged children and families in Sierra Leone through the development of educational facilities.
Transparency, accountability, & trust
Inclusiveness and equality
Transforming lives through education