Sierra Leone

We have been walking with the children and youth of Wellington Orphanage for 11 years. Each year we have completed a project that would improve the quality of life in the orphanage and express God’s love and concern for these special children who have endured so much hardship in their short lives.

We continue to thank God for Pastor Mansaray who started the Orphanage in 1998 shortly after the horrific raids in Freetown that ended a ten year Civil War in Sierra Leone. The orphanage started with 60 children in a four-room bombed-out building.  Today there are 104 children living in two residences. Pastor Mansaray and his family have always lived with the orphans, he is like a Father to them, raising them in the Christian faith, encouraging them to get an education and to discover God’s purpose for their life.

Life is still very hard in Sierra Leone. The infrastructure of the country is minimal.  There is no electricity except for a few hours a day in Freetown. There is no mail service, no phone service (some cell phone service) even the roads haven’t been restored, no clean water, no proper sanitation, very few hospitals, some small medical clinics operating with very few supplies. It is the poorest country in the world, with a life expectancy of 38 years old. 50% of the population is under 16 years old and 20% of those are orphans.

We are also thankful to Dr. Conrad Van Dijk and his wife Anna who previously worked through Christian Veterinary Missions of Canada for many years, and now they work through Hope for Sierra Leone. They have helped us tremendously by allowing our project funds to flow through their NGO in Sierra Leone. Starting 2005, they gave us the opportunity to sponsor children at the Wellington Orphanage on a monthly basis, this program still continues. This not only blessed the orphans but it also helps us to remember that daily life is very difficult for some and that we need to be thankful for all we have and to share God given resources.

Our latest project is called “A cup of Water in His Name,” a permanent clean water solution for both the boys and girls residence at Wellington Orphanage.  We are working with a company called H204all. Tim Muttoo and Odile Bartlett, co-directors of this company, travelled to Sierra Leone last March to do a project evaluation. We are excited to report that all funds have been raised and the project will begin and hopefully be completed this November 2013. Two of our church members will also be travelling with H204all to oversee the project. The water project includes well restoration and the harvesting of rain water which will be purified and stored for use during the dry season. There will be enough to share with some people in the local community as well.

Our project for this coming year is to purchase all new mattresses for the boy’s residence. Don Smith and Ebbe Marquesan will be purchasing all new mattresses for the girls residence, they will also spray for bed bugs and repaint the inside of the orphanage … Clean water and clean beds, what a great Christmas this will be!

How Wellington Square United Church has helped so far:
Every year we send some form of financial aid to bless all of the children.
Every time a container is sent, we contribute items, such as school supplies, computers, farm equipment and tools, hospital beds, medical supplies, etc.
2002 – Purchased a container and sent money for food
2003 – prayed for a new orphanage and God brought a new school as well
2003 – funded another container ($7,000)
2004 – financed a poultry project for the orphanage
2005 – monthly sponsorship of children began
2006 – raised money to purchase farm land, sent equipment, garden tools, seeds
2007 – sent financial aid
2008 – sent financial aid
2009 – sent Christmas Shoeboxes to each child in the orphanage
2010 – Pastor Mansaray came to visit from Sierra Leone, received a $5000 donation
2011 – Chickens for Christmas for the second year
2012 – Financial donation for new sewage system, however some money had to go to hire a nurse to manage a cholera outbreak in the orphanage
2013 – fundraising for a permanent clean water solution for the orphanage, possibly through H2O 4 ALL, we continue to investigate the best organization to work through

The Clean Water Problem in Sierra Leone:
Nearly 1 billion people in the developing world do not have access to clean water and proper sanitation. The result is cholera, typhoid, malaria, sicknesses that can lead to blindness and death. 90% of the deaths are children under the age of five.

– In Sierra Leone, many wells were damaged during the war, they have not been rebuilt or maintained in any way … so the water is often contaminated.
– The temperature is Sierra Leone is usually 100 degrees with 100% humidity.
– Women, girls and even young children get up “early” in the morning and walk sometimes many hours to get to a well.
– Even when they get to the well, they may have to line up for a long time.They will try to carry as much water as possible. They use buckets and sometimes jerry cans. Some people can carry up to 40 gals on their head.
– It is very difficult to carry water up hills and through stony areas and if your buckets spill you have to go back and start all over again.
– When you get home, you need to build a fire and boil the water before using it safely.
Literally you could spend “all day” just getting clean water for your family.
– What about the amputees who walk on crutches, what about the amputees with no arms, what about the elderly who couldn’t possibly make that trek, never mind carry the load?
– Women are not able to work and the girls cannot go to school to get an education because of the time they spend getting water. The cycle of poverty is never ending for them.
– It also takes huge amounts of water to grow sustainable food. Right now, 90% of the food is imported, making it very expensive to buy.

A Cup of Water in His Name: the funds have been raised, our missionary team is in place and our children at Wellington will have clean water for Christmas.

Contact Penny Bailey | pbailey@wsquare.ca

http://h2o4all.org/ | http://hopeforsierraleone.ca/