David M. Sawaneh, was born in Sulaimania, Koinadugu district in Northern Sierra Leone. He attended primary and secondary schools in Kabala, Sierra Leone.
Upon completion of high school, he taught grade school as a high school graduate from 1994 to 1996.
Having won the DV lottery in 1996, he traveled to Ghana to attend an interview to immigrate to the USA. Visas were unavailable, so he returned to Sierra Leone at ground zero, having sold all valuable belongings. In March 2000, he immigrated to the US as a refugee. He worked at Embassy Suites Hotel as a dish washer/breakfast cook, McDonald’s, Panera Bread and as a independent ice cream vendor to provide for his family and send aid to the people of Sierra Leone between 2000 and 2004.
Later, he attended Hillsborough Community College for one year then went on to do Practical Nursing at Erwin Technical School, In March 2008 he graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Since August of 2008 he has been working as an LPN. He later brought two of his three children to the US at the tinder age of two and eight.
In February 2011 he founded Teneba’s Haven and later received 501 C-3 status. Presently, he works two jobs to ensure activities at Teneba’s Haven are ongoing with the help of dedicated board members and various vounteers.