Tamba Kangor never went to school. He had no formal education. He was a business man in rural Sierra Leone. During the RUF war, he made his living by going in and out of Guinea to buy and sell goods in the local market. (The Sierra Leone Civil war centered in the Kono district and the rebel groups of the RUF, Revolutionary United Front).
When the war intensified, Tamba lost all his business to the rebels and fled to the bush for safety. Whilst wandering in the bush, he came across some books! It was a set of Kono literacy primer books abandoned there by Mr. Sahr Esseh who was one of the Kono literacy teachers. Tamba took some of the books with him and while hiding in the bush, he began searching for the owner of the books. There in the jungle they found each other!
With books in hand, Tamba began learning from from Esseh. Both were speakers of Kono and Esseh led him through the primers, beginning with pre-reading skills and then reading simple words and sentences. From 1998 to April 2001 Tamba completed Kono primers 1, 2 and 3. After the disarmament program in 2002 Tamba came back to his home area where he and Esseh established literacy classes.
During the first certification of teachers in 2006, Tamba was issued a TISLL certificate for his hard work as a literacy teacher in 2006. Later that September, a community school was established in his community and he was asked to teach the children. When the Ministry of Education (of the government) came to supervise the community school, Tamba Kangor was selected to join a distance education program so he could study and earn a certificate to teach lower elementary grades. Today Tamba is a government class teacher, serving his community by educating the next generation.
During this time Tamba also became a facilitator for the Dakaro Church congregation. After some further training, he now serves as the lay leader of his village church. He uses both the Kono and Krio Bibles for worship services. Using the experience he got from reading Kono and Krio, Tamba is now ready to read and study the English Bible too.
Rev. Alex Lansana currently serves as the President of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone (CELCSL) in addition to his duties as the Kono Literacy Coordinator through the Institue for Sierra Leonean Languages (TISLL) LBT has been partnering with TISLL to promote literacy in Sierra Leone since 1996.