By Amadu Sandy, Supervisor of CARES Radio
This is Samuel Bangura, one of the winners of the quiz questions we ask on CARES Radio Programme . He is a third year Linguistic-Literature student at Njala University. Samuel said besides the prize he won on CARES radio show, he recommends the programme to everyone to listen to it. He describes it as the "best programme in town." He extends his thanks and appreciation to the Child Rescue Centre and Helping Children Worldwide for sponsoring it.
The residential children and all of the staff participated in harvesting the corn growing in the Child Rescue Centre garden. A great time was had by all as the children sang choruses as they harvested. Though this crop had been planted a little bit late according to the CRC Gardner, there was still some yield, which the kitchen staff prepared and served for dinner that evening. Is there anything better than eating the food you've grown yourself?
Recently the CRC chicken coop was expanded to give the hens a little more room to peck around. There are now 29 hens, and one has begun laying. The CRC staff anticipates that her sisters will soon follow her example and fresh eggs will be available for the CRC kitchen staff to use in their meal preparations.
The CRC kitchen staff works very hard every day to prepare nutritious meals for the children who live at the Child Rescue Centre, as well as for the destitute patients at Mercy Hospital. Abie Blango (in red), and Augusta Fofanah are pictured below.
Abu-Bakarr, who was burned over much of his body in a motorbike accident, continues to make steady progress under the compassionate care of Mercy Hospital. Lappia Amara, who runs the limb-fitting center located on Mercy's property, has been collaborating with US-based experts on Abu's physical therapy. During his early convalescence, Abu was in such extreme pain that he couldn't move, and his muscles became severely contracted. Lappia's therapy is helping to loosen them up again. Abu's therapy has been made possible by generous donors to Mercy Hospital.
Bishop John Yambasu made the following statement to the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone regarding the flooding and mudslide in Freetown that occurred on August 14, in which hundreds lost their lives and thousands more were displaced. Bishop Yambasu is the United Methodist Bishop of Sierra Leone and President of the CCSL.
In the early hours of Monday August 14, 2017, parts of the capital city Freetown were overtaken by massive flooding and mud slides that led to the loss of hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in property. Communities worst affected are Regent, and Kamayama in the west and Kissy and Waterloo in the East end of the city. In the last 24 hours, the Council of Churches has received many phone calls, e-mails and letters from our many partners around the world expressing their love and prayers for us at yet another very difficult time in our history of tragedies as a nation.
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone expresses our thanks and appreciation to our many partners around the world who have made phone calls, e-mails and letters to share their concern, love and prayers for us.
As the largest Christian organization in the country, the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone laments the present spate of disaster in Freetown and mourns the death of hundreds of poor and innocent people who lost their lives in this needless and preventable disaster. In the same vein, we empathize with the thousands of people including mainly women and children who survived the disaster and now live under life threatening conditions with no place they could call home.
All Sierra Leoneans are aware that the entire city of Freetown lies below the slopes of surrounding hills that span east to west. Year after year, there is massive destruction of natural vegetation for farming, fuel wood and for building houses. In addition, stone mining has become a huge profession in the city. Through these activities, the soil is laid bare making it vulnerable to excessive run off water and mud slides in the raining season. Freetown goes through this every year with people losing their lives.
This year's flooding in many parts of the city and mud slide in the Regent community in the western part of the city is unprecedented. Never in the history of the city have we experienced such magnitude of sickening and horrifying disaster with houses buried, whole families missing and bodies discovered with dismembered parts. We continue to receive staggering information on the number of people that have so far died as a result of the flood and mudslide. However we are of the opinion that up to one thousand people or more may have already died with about 600 people still unaccounted for. Some of the unaccounted are still buried under rubble while others have been swept away by the floods.
Up to 5 PM yesterday Tuesday, volunteer rescue teams were still recovering and transporting corpses to the mortuary in the limited ambulances available. At the nation’s premier Connaught hospital in Freetown, hundreds of corpses are piled at the mortuary for public view and identification.
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone note with gratitude the several good efforts made by volunteer rescue youth groups and civil societies who placed their lives on the line rescuing people and recovering bodies from the rubble and the flood waters. These gallant humanitarian efforts by our youth deserve recognition.
We recognize the great contribution made by the Red Cross to provide vehicles to convey the dead to the mortuary and survivors to the nearest health facilities. We also recognize and acknowledge the role played by the Government of Sierra Leone, the media, and civil society.
We give thanks to God for those who survived the disaster, and pray for the many others who lost their lives. As a nation, our most urgent responsibility now is to be in solidarity with the thousands of those who survived the disaster.
We therefore call on government and the City Council of Freetown as a matter of urgency;
More especially, our hearts go to families and all those who survived the disaster. We stand by them and support them with our prayers, presence and assistance to help them go through this period of pain, trauma and grief with dignity. I encourage you all not to be afraid of the future. The Lord is with you. (Numbers 14:9)
Long live our beloved Sierra Leone. Long live “peace, freedom and justice” in our Land.
BISHOP JOHN K. YAMBASU
PRESIDENT, COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN SIERRA LEONE
The Security Guards who serve at the CRC are provided by their company with one uniform each. The CRC recently presented each guard with a second uniform. The guards are very proud of their brand new uniforms!
Mariama is a CHO student at Njala University. She was brought in twitching and gasping with pain in her side and abdomen, and numb/cold legs. Her friends shared with the Mercy staff that Mariama is asthmatic and they thought she was having an asthma attack. She was treated for asthma, which did stop her wheezing, but her legs remained immobile leaving her essentially paralyzed from the waist down. Dr. Kanneh suspects that she is suffering from a neurological disorder, and referred her to a neurologist in Freetown for further tests and possible treatment.
Though unable to address Mariama's neurological issues, they were able to stabilize her in order to get her to the right care, improving her odds at recovery. Mercy Hospital's quick response very likely saved Mariama's life.
Study is an important part of the daily routine at the CRC Residence, especially during exam time, or in preparation for a quiz competition! Here students prepare for important national exams, as well as for a quiz and debate competition to be held with another children's home in Bo.
Mohamed is a 15 year old boy who lives near Mercy Hospital. He is in 8th grade and is an excellent student. Unfortunately, he suffered from a large abscess on his forehead that made it difficult for him to speak, think, and perform daily activities. This obviously also began to affect his schoolwork.
His family brought him to Mercy because according to Mohamed's father, “They have good medical supplies and they really take good care of the patients.” Mohamed’s abscess was drained by Dr. Kanneh and he is in the process of recovery.