When her husband died, it became very difficult for Fatmata to provide for her children Rashidatu, Ibrahim and Junisa. The CRC came to her aid, and made it possible for her to keep the children in school. Fatmata attended the CRC's microfinance training, and upon graduation received a small loan to start a sewing business. With the skills she learned from the program, Fatmata was able to pay back her loan and buy materials to help grow her business. She now sells material to other tailors and mentors CRC families who are new to microfinance.
"This is how my children and I are surviving," Fatmata says, proudly displaying a beautiful blouse she created. "We will always be grateful to the CRC and the sponsors. I will never forget the impact they are making in my children's lives."
Mariama, aged 24, came to the hospital in labor. An ultrasound revealed a large baby and inadequate pelvis, requiring a C-section. Dr. Aruna Stevens and SHO Lawrence Kargbo performed an emergency caesarian section and Mariama delivered a healthy baby boy. After a brief stay in the hospital, Mariama and her baby were discharged.
Cephalo pelvic disproportion is a fairly common condition in Sierra Leone that may be caused by poor nutrition, including insufficient calcium and vitamin D. CPD can lead to fistula during birth, if the baby is not delivered by C-section.
"She was so happy and thanked the entire team for coming to her aid during this pandemic. And above all, she thanked the almighty God for also granting her heart desire," Hospital Administrator Jinnah Lahai reported.
The Child Reintegration Centre was treated to a special visit from their founder, Bishop John Yambasu, who helped the CRC case managers distribute solar powered radios to students. As part of its COVID response, the CRC is providing students with solar powered radios, so they can keep up with government sponsored radio broadcasts during school closures. This is especially critical for students who are slated to take promotional exams to advance to the next level of their education, and these students are receiving the radios first. So far 183 radios have been distributed. The students also received face masks and time tables for the radio programs.
While the developed world has shifted to online learning during the pandemic, this is not an option for the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans, and certainly not for families served by the CRC. By providing children with solar powered radios, even those whose homes lack electricity can listen to the daily education broadcasts.
In case you didn't know, the CRC owes its existence to Bishop Yambasu, who came to the US in 1999 seeking assistance for children orphaned or abandoned in the Sierra Leone civil war. His advocacy led to the launching of the Child Rescue Centre as a street feeding program, and later residential and family care initiative (renamed the Child Reintegration Centre in 2019.)
"I was excited to witness and be part of the radio distribution to the children in the midst of the many challenges students and teachers are facing. It is my hope that the radios will make a positive impact on the quality of results our children will bring at the end of their examinations," Bishop Yambasu said.
The bishop remains closely engaged in the work of the CRC to strengthen vulnerable families and reintegrate children with loving caregivers. You can read about the CRC's beginning here: www.helpingchildrenworldwide.org/our-story
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