Carolynn is a consistent member of the Freedom Tree “people movement.” This spring marks her fourth visit to Sierra Leone with Freedom Tree, and the first time she got to lead a team. At home, Carolynn is a Labour and Delivery Nurse and Freedom Tree’s initiatives have deeply impacted her workplace mindset. We asked her a few questions about her experience with Freedom Tree thus far!
What is Freedom Tree to you?
Freedom Tree is a collection of unique people from all over the world that are focused on decreasing the high maternal and infant mortality rates in Sierra Leone. It’s been a place for me to gather with others who are different from me to think creatively and outside of the box to come up with solutions for multifaceted problems. What I love about Freedom Tree is the energy and commitment every person gives to the vision and the nation of Sierra Leone… it’s contagious!
How has Freedom Tree impacted your life?
I have been impacted and have grown in so many ways by being a part of Freedom Tree’s initiatives in Sierra Leone. For one, it’s significantly affected my professional life as a labour and delivery nurse. I am so fortunate to interact with many different cultures on a daily basis at one of Calgary’s busiest hospitals. Being able to spend time in Sierra Leone and learn about its unique culture has given me many insights and so much cultural awareness when interacting with patients and their families at work. Secondly, leading a team to Sierra Leone this past spring has allowed me to learn about my unique leadership style and helped me develop some important leadership qualities. Thirdly, living in a developing nation has proved to be an amazing and humbling experience. Sierra Leone taught me that a person’s biggest asset when it comes to problem solving is their creativity.
What was the most memorable moment of your most recent experience there?
My most memorable moment was one of my last while in Sierra Leone this past spring. I was standing in front of a group of Sierra Leone’s prominent leaders teaching them the curriculum our team created. Every person was brimming with excitement over the potential that they could bring to the men and women of their nation. It was as though everything I have learned and experienced about Sierra Leone over the past three years came together. In that moment, I had the clearest picture of Sierra Leone as a flawless nation. It was a really beautiful moment.
What do you hope to see in Sierra Leone’s future?
I see Sierra Leone’s great potential to be a leading nation in West Africa and be recognized for their creative solutions to world-wide issues. I hope to see Sierra Leone rise up from its past hardships of war and ebola, and harness their capacity to be resourceful and become the beautiful nation they are.
Stay tuned for new testimonials each month, highlighting the “People Movement” that is in motion with Freedom Tree! Want to join the movement? Contact us.