Meet The Akoin Ambassadors: John Barlay

My name is John Barlay. I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, the first child to my mom with a younger sister (Mahawa), and the second child to my father.

I’m a first-generation college student: neither my mom, nor my dad, was able to finish high school. My elder brother, whom I was supposed to look up to for motivation, was disabled. So, I was forced to look at myself and the qualities I possessed as a motivation to do things that would bring changes to my life, family and people around me.

I’m now the co-founder and facilitator for Youth and Children's Advocacy Panel Sierra Leone (YACAP), a national youth and child-led advocacy panel organization established by children’s rights activist, Sheku Foryoh. We advocate for the rights, protections, and development of young people. We work towards the promotion of basic human rights for women and children in Sierra Leone. And, we represent the children and young people in Sierra Leone in both national and international policy forums, advocating for their welfare and development. The Youth and Children’s Advocacy Panel is a platform for all young people in this country to make their voices well-known on issues affecting their wellbeing.

I also created a youth-led mentorship and leadership program envisioned to create a better Africa through ethical leadership where I focus on shaping the younger generation to live up to their potential and nurture their leadership skills.

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Software Engineering at Stanislaus State University in the U.S.A. I have a burning desire and a great passion to help young people realize their full potential through education, mentorship and counseling. Currently, I am the main organiser of a national youth forum in Sierra Leone, which we plan to host in August. At the event, we hope to bring together 500 of the most influential youth from different organizations, schools and communities, and have them mentor and train more than a hundred youths both in the rural and urban areas on ethical leadership and volunteerism.

“I am very certain that my home country of Sierra Leone, and the rest of the world, will one day have vibrant and proactive youth in the day-to-day running of the country.” — John Barlay

Having gone through hardship at an early stage, I find pleasure in helping people get their needs. Sometimes I think I’d like to do more to make many happy. My everyday advocacy and interactions with many wonderful people, knowing their past and the changes that I have brought to their lives keeps inspiring me to do what I love doing most (Advocating). I am very certain that my home country of Sierra Leone, and the rest of the world, will one day have vibrant and proactive youth in the day-to-day running of the country as opposed to what we often see today, and call in our dialect, “bra you borbor dae”, which means “Boss, do you have anything for your boy/servant?”.

Musically, i’m a fan of Akon. In addition to that, I love staying current on news about people I call “legends” who are working towards improving other people’s lives. I watched the interview videos of Akon, went on the Google search engine and looked up Akoin, and that’s how I discovered Akoin. I found it interesting and looked up ways in which I could get myself involved in this journey. At first, I thought about doing stock trading with the cryptocurrency, until I found out that it hasn’t gone live yet. I went on Instagram and searched for Akoin, and I followed the official account so I could receive updates. They posted a flyer asking the public to apply for Akoin Ambassadors, and I applied and was accepted, which I’m grateful for. I know my children will one day say, “My father was part of this wonderful Akoin team when it started.”

The Akoin cryptocurrency initiative will help break geographic trading barriers in the continent, as it allows more efficient trade. It will also promote economic development in the continent.

Akon is a great philanthropist. With the vision that he has , I love being part of his project and being an active contributor to his idea by joining the Akoin Ambassadors team. We are all working hard everyday to make this vision come into reality.

There are a lot of great organizations out there trying to make the world become a better place for everybody. Akoin is becoming one of these organizations by offering an abundance of digital and real-life platforms and tools that create opportunity and inclusion for youth entrepreneurs. Consumers will soon be able to earn, save, and spend cryptocurrency right from their smartphones through a suite of blockchain-powered apps”. I’m excited to be on board and be an active team member as we continue on this great adventure because I also know that Akoin will give us the opportunity to develop our skills as young entrepreneurs and as leaders, which is important for personal growth.

The Akoin Ambassador program has brought people from different countries together, giving us the opportunity to contribute to the launch of the Akoin cryptocurrency. It has been a great experience so far, and I'm so thrilled. It excites me to see the young generation taking the lead in innovation.

Alfred Ipinge