The area office of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) in Kenema on Wednesday 16th May 2007 provided food and drinks to about 150 people who are mostly regarded as the poorest of the poor in Kenema and it environs.
The beneficiaries included the blind, amputees, the physically challenged and the aged.
The ceremony took place at the former NASSIT office at no. 2 Sahara Street in Kenema.
Speaking to the press, the Public Relations Officer Kai Combey said that this is not the first time that NASSIT is undertaking such an activity, disclosing that thirty people who were identified across the Kailahun district benefited from similar gesture on the 8th October 2006 in Kailahun town.
The presentation in Kailahun was tangible goods and other assorted items and was done by the Deputy Director of NASSIT Sahr Ngayenga.
The Assistant Area Manager East Mohamed Sam says the gesture is just an effort on the part of NASSIT staff in general to contribute in reducing poverty among the less fortunate.
He explained that at the end of every month, every NASSIT staff member contributes some amount of money from their salary into the Anti Poverty fund which is being used for such purposes.
Similar events took place in other parts of the country.
Addressing the beneficiaries during the ceremony, the NASSIT Area Manager East Emmanuel Bai Tarawally says this year’s gesture is in commemoration of their fifth year in existence and the only way they can keep remembering the day is to celebrate it with the poor people “in this style.”
He maintained that the idea and the realization of the scheme was due to the hard work and effort of President Tejan Kabbah.
He asked them to eat as much as they can and he sympathized with their plight and consoled them saying that it is the will of God and they should accept it in good faith.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Junisa Tommy alias Turn to Me, a blind man thanked President Kabbah and NASSIT staff for the gesture saying that they too will not forget the day though most of them cannot see but they can hear.
He asked what is going to be there position in NASSIT now that they are old and have dependants.
We always cry in our hearts whenever people ask us why we are begging on the street.
He appealed to the government to consider their plight very seriously.