UPDATE: Community rallies when vehicle theft stalls driving plans

Supporter sets up Go Fund Me account, hopes to garner more donations.

Moses Kamara moves donations while working at the Churches Thrift Shop. A recent theft of his vehicle has stymied some of his plans for the future.

The community has been stepping up to help Moses Kamara, and there’s still a need to be filled.

Organizers of the GoFundMe account, https://www.gofundme.com/help-moses-kamara-car-fund, are hoping their goal will be reached before the new year.

Original story below.

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For a man who used to drive for a living, being forced to rely on others, or ride a bicycle to get around, has been frustrating.

Moses Kamara immigrated to Salmon Arm from Sierre Leone in late 2014. There he was a professional driver, a driver supervisor, for the army and the international airport. He drove in Canada for his first three months until his African driver’s licence expired.

Then it was time to take B.C.’s written driver’s test. However, Kamara does not read well. He explains his family was very poor, he couldn’t go to school and he learned to speak English from listening to people.

So, when it came time to complete the B.C. test, he failed. Undeterred, he tried it again. And again. After his seventh failure, he was finally allowed to have someone read the questions to him. They did. And he passed.

He was thrilled.

“I was so happy,” he smiles broadly. “I danced.”

This was Wednesday, Nov. 16, the same day his spouse Deborah underwent an appendix operation. Moses was home throughout the next day, making sure she was okay. Friday morning he went outside to get the mail key out of their car.

“I took the car keys, opened the door and went out – and there’s no car. First I laughed,” he says, explaining he thought someone who knew about his driver’s exam problems was playing a joke.

Then the reality of the situation sunk in – as did sadness.

Police came and investigated the theft and, the following Sunday, the couple was informed the car had been found near Enderby. It was a wreck, says Moses.

To make matters worse, the money the insurance company offered for the ‘99 Honda Civic is not enough to buy a car.

His new reality – he finally passed his exam but has no vehicle.

Moses was featured in the Observer in September last year. At that time he was busy gathering soccer balls to take to the poor kids in his former city of Lungi.

With support from Shuswap Youth Soccer and the community, he was able to take 40 flattened balls in his luggage.

On his trip home, he had a startling reminder that bad things can turn into good.

One of his former co-workers from England had encouraged him to stop in to see Manchester United, a Premier League football (soccer) team he’d followed for 25 years, at Old Trafford, their home stadium.

Moses was at the stadium with 70,000 fans when a bomb scare forced cancellation of the game. The game would be rescheduled, but not until after he had flown back to Canada.

Devastated, he cried. A journalist came up to speak to him – and bad luck began turning into good.

The team’s fan organization, the Manchester United Supporters Trust, came to the rescue.

They changed his airline ticket so he was able to stay for a week, where he received tickets for not one but two games. He was housed by fans of the team. One of the games was the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium – the pinnacle – where he was given a VIP ticket.

He was interviewed by the BBC and CNN. The BBC took a photo of him holding the FA Cup prior to the game. Watching those games, he enthuses, was unbelievable.

“It was the biggest dream of my life.”

Although characteristically optimistic, Moses isn’t sure if this current cloud – the car theft – will have a silver lining.

“I hope so, I’m not sure, I don’t know.”

Since the Observer posted the story online, a reader set up a Go Fund Me account for Moses. The account can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/help-moses-kamara-car-fund