Twenty-three students who sat the 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examination WASSCE have been taking computer classes three times a week at the CRC while awaiting their test results. The classes, led by CRC System Administrator Johnanese Baun are helping the students acquire basic computer knowledge. CRC students mostly do not have electricity at home, let alone access to computers. "It has been a wonderful moment to see the students very happy for the opportunity given to them," Johanese says. "The attendance is good!"
Pharmacy technician Samuel Sankoh is the newest member of the Mercy Hospital team.
In commemoration of World Pharmacy Day, please welcome the newest member of the Mercy Hospital family, Samuel Sankoh, who is a trained and qualified pharmacy technician. Samuel began working at Mercy at the beginning of September. He is excited about the opportunity to contribute to Mercy Hospital’s mission to provide the community with excellent and compassionate medical care.
The work of pharmacists is vital in Sierra Leone, Samuel says. “Pharmacists are really rare in Sierra Leone. We really do not have enough. I would encourage people to consider studying to be a pharmacist or encouraging their children to become one. They are really important. Pharmacists make sure that patients are receiving the correct medications. They have knowledge about how to prevent resistance to drugs, especially antibiotics.”
On World Pharmacy Day, let's appreciate those who have chosen this important work.
Five-year-old Joseph Lahai was brought to Mercy Hospital to be treated for malaria and a respiratory infection. “We came to Mercy because I had been before and had gotten good care here," his mother Baby Song says. "I am so happy that Mercy is in existence and always willing to help.” If not for Mercy, this mother would not have been able to afford treatment for her little boy, who survived and is well on his way to recovery.
CRC Case Manager Victor Kanu recently visited the home of former residential student Abdulai Dakowa, who is now enrolled in the Family Care Program. His mother Saffiatu is so grateful to be reunited with her son.
Saffiatu enrolled in the CRC's first microfinance class, and started an African soap business with the small loan she received upon graduation from the class. She joined the local "osusu" (lending group) and has been able to turn a profit and save money to support her little family.
Victor found that Abdulai is doing well at home with his mother, brother and sister. He helps with cooking and some domestic work, and participates in morning devotions with his family. His mother says that Abdulai is practicing his Christian life at home.
"I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to you for the valuable assistance your organization has rendered to me in the upbringing and education of my son Abdulai at this very difficult time," Saffiatu told Victor. "This offer to us has contributed so immensely to the future of Abdulai," she says with gratitude.
Mohamed Khadar and Ismael Vandy, members of Mercy Hospital's outreach team, were on a community mapping exercise to understand the needs in some of the villages reached by Mercy when they intervened to save the life of a woman who had just given birth to a stillborn baby.
The woman had given birth in her village and was walking the four miles to Kassama to seek medical treatment at the Maternal Child Health Post (MCHP). As she was walking, the woman began hemorrhaging and sought shelter in a hut by the side of the road. When Mohamed and Ismael encountered her, she was lying in a pool of blood and quickly losing consciousness. Mohamed immediately began treatment to stop the uterine bleeding and sent for help, which certainly saved the woman's life.
This story is far from typical for women giving birth in villages without MCHPs. The Sierra Leone government mandates that each village should be within four miles of a MCHP where women can seek treatment for themselves and their babies; but four miles is nearly an impossible distance to walk for a woman who has just given birth, let alone a woman who has had a complicated birth.
Thanks to Mohamed and Ismael's intervention, this woman survived. Clearly, there is a desperate need for more MCHPs in the villages served by Mercy's outreach teams.
I consider myself lucky, and hope to help other people by the grace of God.
Ernest lost both of his parents by the time he was 10 years old and was staying with a distant relative who used him for unpaid labor, when he was referred to the Child Rescue Centre by the Ministry of Social Welfare, where he spent his early childhood.
As a teenager, Ernest was reunified to live with extended family in the community, as mandated by the Sierra Leonean government. After completing Senior Secondary School, he applied for and was granted a Promise Scholarship to become a lab technician. Ernest graduated with a diploma in laboratory science in June and sat down with CRC Case Manager to talk about all the CRC has meant to him over the years.
The CRC has played a great and important role in my life, by helping me to achieve my dream. When I was breaking down from school, they helped to build me in my education. When I was weeping and mourning the death of my mother and father, the CRC made me laugh. When I was silent, the CRC helped me speak. Thank God for that. I consider myself lucky, and hope to help other people by the grace of God.
It meant alot to me to be awarded a Promise Scholarship. It is this scholarship that has made me who I am today. The scholarships has helped me to achieve my dream. It builds up my leadership skill and my level of understanding in terms of reading and writing, and has increased my level of understanding in knowing God and the things that we are doing on earth. As it is written in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1, "there is a time and a purpose for everything on the earth."
The CRC has supported me at the post-secondary level by providing education materials like text books. The attend CRC allowed me to attend the Global Leadership workshop, provide transport for me, provided health facilities, and made provision for computer classes. They also helped me with my assignments and counseled me to take my education into good faith.
My future career plan is to further my education and become a histopathology or public health officer. I hope to have a job and get married and have a family. My advice to the JSS and SSS students is for them to study very hard and know that there is no easy thing in this world and to note that if you suffer today, tomorrow you will not suffer. But if you do not suffer today, tomorrow you will suffer in life and that is the time you will find life very hard to live in the world.
Ernest has been interning as a lab technician at Mercy Hospital while finishing his laboratory science diploma. "My future plan is to become a histopathology or public health officer," he says.
Baindu Simbo is a single mother with four children, three of whom are enrolled as Child Rescue Centre students. Baindu has a disability that has made it difficult to care for her family, but was eager to join the microfinance program to learn business and budgeting skills.
"I really enjoy working with Baindu Simbo," CRC Case Manager Victor Kanu says. "During the training and the followup monitoring visits, she always gives honest information. I am proud of her for paying her loan and sustaining her business."
Baindu has already repaid her initial loan and interest, and her business is doing well. Through her success in the microfinance program, Baindu has gained confidence, and her community admires her for her determination and achievement.
“I give thanks to the CRC for supporting me to launch my business," Baindu shared. "I find pleasure in producing my Africana soap,” she says with pride.
Case manager Victor Kanu visited Baindu at home, where she demonstrated her soap making process. "I find pleasure in producing my African soap," Baindu says.