Who We Are
We are a group of people who passionately care about our heritage; and motivated by our cultural beliefs to help humanity
The Tegloma Organization was founded in the Washington DC Metro in November 1975. During the second meeting of the newly founded organization which occurred on February 5, 1976, the name “Tegloma” was chosen as the official name of the organization. Tegloma is a Mende word from a language spoken by the Mende tribe which means “Progress.” The Mende tribe is found mainly in Sierra Leone, West Africa, with a small representation in neighboring Liberia. Over the years, members of other tribes have joined the Tegloma organization with the aim of furthering the public charity goals and objectives of the organization.
Tegloma was originally founded to serve as a self-help organization attending to the needs of the members of the Sierra Leonean diaspora community in the United States. The first Chapter of Tegloma was established in Washington D.C. which also serves both Maryland and Virginia. The second Tegloma Chapter was started in New York City in 1984 representing members from New York State and parts of Northern New Jersey. This new chapter was named Tegloma New York/New Jersey Chapter. Upon admitting the third Chapter in 1986, the Delaware Valley Chapter (DVC), representing members in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Northern Delaware State, the organization formed a Federation and incorporated it in the State of Delaware. Thereafter, the Organization was referred to as Tegloma Federation, Inc.
In the late 1980’s and through the 1990’s, the Federation experienced a rapid pace of growth in membership with a steady increase in new Chapters. By May of 1999, the Federation had admitted nine new Chapters in the USA. With this level of growth in membership, members were calling for a change in direction of the organization with a focus on public
charity. On May 12, 2006, the Federation was granted the 501(C)(3) status by the IRS. Armed with non-profit status, Tegloma established a Secondary (High) School scholarship program primarily based on academic achievement and need. Thus, the first set of scholarships were awarded during the 2007/2008 school year in Sierra Leone. This program had since been funded primarily by donations from members.
The Federation is currently made up of Seventeen (17) active chapters in Washington D.C, New York (NY/NJ), Pennsylvania (DVC), The Carolinas (North and South), Houston Texas, Dallas Texas, MA (New England), Garden State (New Jersey), Southern California, Northern California, Minnesota (MN), Indiana (IN), Chicago (IL) Atlanta (GA), Arizona (AZ), Ohio (OH), and Missouri (MO).
Before the establishment of the scholarship program, Tegloma has continued to provide humanitarian assistance to needy members in the United States through its bereavement funds, life insurance premium, other forms of assistance including job search and placement. The was also the first Not-for-Profit organization to provide aid to Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. The organization continued to provide help to orphans and widows through individual Members, Chapters, and the Federation until the deadly Ebola disease was declared as over in Sierra Leone. It also helped survivors of the 2017 mudslide in Freetown, the Capital City of Sierra Leone.
The interpretation of the Tegloma Federation Logo is thus: the six spikes on the circle represent each of the six Districts in Sierra Leone where majority of the original members hailed from. The Districts include Bo, Bonthe, Kenema, Kailahun, Pujehen, and Moyamba. The long stem from the circle represents the cultural fabric which holds the representative districts and their members together in unity. Thus, the Federation is serving as the vehicle that continues to make the positive forward movement possible in our diaspora communities and in Sierra Leone.
Our 40th Anniversary Magazine
The Vision of Tegloma is to use the unity and progress of the Mende people as a motivation to promote their cultural heritage, and to serve humanity without boundaries.
Promoting Culture, Serving Humanity
Tegloma is a Tri-Camera organization with the Advisory Board at the top, the federation administration that runs the day-to-day affairs of the organization, and the constituent chapters which form the pillars of the organization.