Mercy Hospital’s outreach team visits a small village by the name of Mendewa along the Lewabu Community section every month. During these outreach visits, they supply nutritional supplements to moderately malnourish children in the village to reduce the malnutrition rate in Bo District as a whole.
A few months ago, the outreach team met a woman named Aminata Pyne in this community. Aminata has a seven-month-old grandson named George. George’s mother abandoned him a month after given birth to him. Aminata struggled to care for George after his mother left, and he became malnourished. So, his grandmother decided to take George to the nearest health center when she heard that Mercy Hospital outreach team would be visiting there that day. George was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and his grandmother was given Pikinmix porridge and fish powder for help with his growth.
Now, George has grown both in weight and size, and his grandmother says he likes the Pikinmix and fish powder food so much that he does not tolerate any other food prepared for him to eat! He is getting stronger by the day, and his grandmother is very grateful for the support giving to her grandson.
The Transition Coaching and Mentoring (TCM) Department continues to educate and advocate for every child in Sierra Leone (and indeed in West Africa) to be able to find love and support within a family. TCM Senior Consultant David Musa, and new TCM staff member, Yatta Palmer, with support from the CRC staff, have hosted a one-day reunion luncheon for participants from Bo, Kenema, Moyamba and Pujehun districts. These social workers and leaders had attended the Rising Tides Family Reunification Workshop in the fall of 2021. The TCM department hosts these reunion luncheons to continue to build trusting relationships with lead organizations, to continue to encourage them to move toward transition, and to provide opportunities to share best practices in the care of orphans and vulnerable children. Attendees often follow-up these events by seeking specific training opportunities that continue to build their capacity in care of children, as well as helping the TCM team continue to educate and advocate for children in families.
Additionally, David and Yatta paid a visit to the Ministry of Gender and Children's affairs in Makeni in Northern Sierra Leone. The TCM is careful to keep the MGCA apprised of all of its activities, and to encourage the engagement and involvement of members of MGCA at every step of the process. The pair were able to maximize this trip to Makeni by adding a joint visit to two different orphanages in the township of Makeni. These orphanage visits are a great way to break the ice, learn about the work of each organization and begin to build relationships that potentially lead to continue improved care of orphans and vulnerable children and open the door for organizations to begin to consider transition.
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on the 16th day of June since 1991, to honor those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language.
The theme for this year was "Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children. To commemorate the event, the CRC hosted families and staff at the CRC compound. A talk was given to help the children understand what happened to the children in Soweto. Family games on the playground and lunch followed. Later, the families enjoyed viewing the film SAFINA, a short film about a Gambian girl who escapes traffickers.
The CRC also commemorated this special day with the Ministry of Gender and Children's Affairs. The Honorable Minister Manty Tarawally, and her Deputy Minister, Mr. Bindi Hindowa were present to give remarks alongside CRC Director Olivia Fonnie, and CRC Case Manager and Counselor, Edward Lavalie, with 7 children whose families are currently being supported by the CRC program.
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