The Western African country Sierra Leone has much to deal with. Abject poverty, natural disasters, plague and violence, but the people’s capacity to survive and thrive is amazing.
When brothers Bob Fox, Mike Green and Gordon Dawes visited Kroo Bay in 2010, they were met with an awful sight. This slum area is at the estuary of a river in which the rest of the inhabitants of the city throw their rubbish. Years ago, the poorest people began to build their lives onto this compacted mass of landfill which ‘Save the Children’ (2008) named the worst place in the world to be born. At that time there were 11,000 people living in an area of 2 square kilometres, one health centre and no fresh water. The government had not allowed NGOs (Non Government Organisations) to go in and provide facilities because they did not want to encourage the settlement, so the case was a desperate one. Not only were they unable to access clean water easily but raw sewage runs down the river from the city and it is used as a toilet for the inhabitants of Kroo Bay, 95% of them do not have access to any toilet facilities.
This devastated the team and once they had recovered, they set to work building relations with the Chief this side of the river and making an application for funding from CMaD to provide 8 taps into the community. This clean fresh beautiful water was piped from the mains into the close communities, surrounded by a white tiled lip and a local is in charge of maintaining and protecting it. No other organisation, until this year when the World Bank has provided 4 x 10,000 litre (only 2 of which are working), has been able to do what the Christadelphians have done.
Being a small charity has big advantages, we work on the ground, with the locals and under the radar of the Politicians.
The work of Meal a Day is not conditional on race, religion or creed. It is there to share the unconditional love of God to anyone who is in a desperate situation.
The CMaD Street Kid Project team is looking into ways of improving the people their housing situation by raising the floors with concrete.
When the brethren visited in 2015 they where told that in the latest outbreak of cholera in the city, they had had no cases at all in the children or adults in Kroo Bay. This truly remarkable. In the past this area has been hit hard.
Board Meeting for the Street Kid Project presented a very impressive board and was a good solid meeting. All the members have a good level of expertise in business and child services. One works for Future for Children, another is retired from the Ministry of social welfare, a parent representative, the two social workers and a member of Freetown Church, who trains apprentice mechanics. This project is in safe hands.
Every 3 months CMaD fund a delivery of rice to the kitchen of Lakka Tuberculosis (TB) Hospital and a bag containing treats like tea leaves, soap, a toothbrush, toilet paper, combs etc for each patient. It is only a very small amount, but for some, due to the stigma around TB, it is the only kindness they get.
What we do hope, is that people will ask, why CMaD is doing this and will respond to the call of the gospel. CMaD does this work because of what God has done for us. It is motivated, not by altruism but by thankfulness.
Please read more about this
- The Water of Life and the Water of Death in Kroo Bay. Day 10
- TB, Street Kids and other dilemmas. Day 11
- Farewell Sierra Leone. It’s been a blast! Day 12
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