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CHASING A DREAM Journey to Europe and the United Nations

James Santigie Kanu

From his childhood in a small village in Sierra Leone in the last days of British colonial rule to his work with the United Nations in South Africa, Croatia and Bosnia, James Kanu shares his experiences and thoughts about his life. The themes of education and poverty are ever-present in his narrative as he tells of the small boy born poor who became an Oxford-educated graduate who would travel the world.

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I was born in Sierra Leone in the waning days of British colonial rule. In the village school, we heartily sang many English songs that seem to glorify Britain's place in the world. This came to an end sixty years ago, when a new nation was born, ushering in new challenges for the country. At the time of independence, I was among the lucky few children who succeeded in getting a higher secondary school education. I was then admitted to the Faculty of Economics, University of Sierra Leone. After several twists and turns, the doors for further education opened for me, but this time in another continent, Europe, and another country, Italy. My formal education came to an end at the University of Oxford, in England. I then entered the real world, working together with other people in making this world a better place to live in.