Don Bosco Fambul, one of Sierra Leone’s leading child-welfare organisations, has not only expanded its support to vulnerable children in the country following the Ebola outbreak, but has provided twenty mobile hand-wash basins to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for use in Freetown.
The mobile hand-wash basins, fitted with taps and hygiene-related substances, were handed over to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai during a brief ceremony held at Don Bosco’s headquarters on Fort Street.
The Director of Don Bosco, Brother Lothar Wagner, said prior to the donation that the organisation’s interest in promoting the welfare of children remains a top priority on their agenda, especially in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. He said that before and after the three-day lockdown, the organisation re-unified almost 100 children with their families.
He added that as part of their organisation’s efforts in tackling issues affecting street children, social workers are going out at night to meet homeless children who are living day and night on the streets of Freetown. Following that, he said, qualified staff were doing individual and group counselling, mediation and family tracing in a bid to return those children to their relatives.
Brother Wagner said that, together with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, his organisation was providing temporary shelter for children between the ages of 6 to 17. He said that the centre provides stress and trauma healing and recreational activities for the beneficiaries. After the healing process, he said, the children would be re-unified with their families.
Following the outbreak of the disease, he said, the Minister approached the Don Bosco management for their help in providing much-needed items for children in quarantined homes, and for those affected by the Ebola disease. As a result of this plea, he said, Don Bosco has rendered support to children affected by Ebola, with plans to cater for those orphaned by the disease. He said they have visited the Kroo Bay community to render support to children there who have been affected by the virus.
He said, the hand-wash basins donated to the Ministry were to be placed in strategic locations around Freetown, to act as reminder that good hygiene practices were possibly the best method to prevent oneself from contracting the Ebola virus.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai, noted that the support provided by Don Bosco to the Ministry was a re-affirmation of its commitment not only to the challenging issues affecting children, but a demonstration of care for the lives of every citizen of this country, especially in the wake of the Ebola scourge.
He reiterated that Don Bosco had played a pivotal role during the three-day lockdown in providing needed help to vulnerable children in the country, and to a considerable extent supported the nearly 1,500 children affected by the disease nationwide.
He pledged that the mobile hand-wash basins provided by the organisation would be placed in strategic locations around the city as part of government’s continuous effort to emphasise that people should accept the existence of the disease and to take precautionary measures to prevent it.
By Poindexter Sama
Thursday October 02, 2014