International Conversation about Partnering in Sierra Leone to improve health, community development and education
The bi-annual UMC SLAC Partners conference gives HCW a chance to discuss broader collaborations with other NGOs and humanitarian ministries operating in partnership to tackle the same problems we are address.
The conversation gave Kim Nabieu and I an opportunity to speak with our new and old friends about the needs of the UMC medical facilities, and our potential combined impact on the Sierra Leone Healthcare System. Representatives from Mission of Hope Rotifunk, alongside the Norwegian UMC that is supporting Rotifunk Hospital, as well as the conference supporting a specialty Surgical Clinic (Ophthalmology) at UMC Kissy Hospital, and the United Methodist Churches General Board of Global Ministries put their heads together with Kim and I and we came up with several opportunities for collaboration. Expect to hear more on the new task force that formed out of this!
With respect to child welfare programming at the Child Rescue Centre, Olivia Fonnie of UMC and I had to sort of straddle the education and community development break out sessions, as there wasn't another NGO tackling child welfare present, outside of those who were doing community development.
Overall, this was a great opportunity to look more holistically at the issues of job creation and sustainable futures, and make the links between separate missions that focused on healthcare or education, or efforts to dig wells, install public sanitation, build schools and churches, provide business training, support agricultural ventures and other social infrastructure supports.
Of course, most of our partners are churches, and that is the case with international partners as well. So, we had plenty of opportunity to consider our spiritual mandates as well as our practical program supports.