We have entered the year 2018, so this is the moment to look back at the year behind us.
The Dutch media have reported extensively about the landslide in Freetown. Fortunately the FAD was able to give assistance to some of the affected families. Again we had the opportunity to send lots of clothing in a container through the Foundation “The Samaritan”. These clothes were all distributed to the victims of the mud slide. Besides that we donated rice, palm oil and water kits to one of the relief centres.
We were again highly involved in eye care activities.
- In January Mr. Ben Teule joined us to repair instruments in the eye hospitals and to train technicians on the job.
- Dr.Wim and Dr. Berend came twice to Sierra Leone (January and October) to implement a two days workshop/training to eye care nurses and other workers. They gave also practical training and coaching to the field teams.
- In July Dr.Pieter Slager came for a locum to Lunsar Eye Hospital. Despite the fact that he was tackled by malaria he was able to perform 90 eye operations!
- In October Dr. Janneke van Lith (Eye Specialist Tilburg Hospital) joined us for a working trip to Sierra Leone. She worked with Dr. Moges, see her personal impressions on this site.
- This year FAD financed again the cataract operations for 150 “Poor and Sick”. Blindness causes poverty and FAD tries to assist the ones who are unable to contribute to a sight restoring operation. FAD made a special effort to monitor that this contribution is serving the real needy indeed. This took a lot of energy and time from our local staff.
- In September we realised a training course for blind persons who lost their eye sight definitely (so called Rehabilitation of the Blind). A group of 30 blind persons from the township Mile 91 were trained. They do not depend heavily any more on the assistance of family members (often children). They can walk with a (red and white labelled) stick and grow their own vegetables.
The Fishery Project:
This project was less successful in 2017. Full involvement of the community is lacking and their engagement is disappointing. If there is no improvement FAD could be forced to finalize her contributions. This is unsatisfactory of course but we have to be realistic.
Contributions to the Health Posts in Sumbuya and Songo:
Also in this year we have supported both Health Centres with the supply of some essential drugs that were hardly available from the Medical Stores in the country.
Scholarships to individuals:
In the coming year there will be the graduation of 9 nurses. Amongst them is Mrs Aminata, Mrs Kadiatu and Mrs Josephine. The 6 others came from the Nursing Coalition College (see letter).
From the ones that we supported in the past we can mention that Mrs. Angela Sankoh has been employed as a nurse in one of the hospitals; Mrs. Victoria Koroma (she passed 2 years ago) is still waiting for an appointment by the Government, but works so far as a volunteer in a Hospital.
FAD has the intention to sponsor this coming year 10 new trainees for nursing and five trainees for a technical education.
In Songo FAD has a land of apr. 25 acres at her disposal. It is a community farm for about 30 farmers. They are really trying and picked up the growth of bananas and the Moringa tree. The Moringa tree is a tree famous worldwide for its nutritional value (leaves, roots). The farmers are now somehow independent from external imputes, but of course we visit them from time to time.
In Fabaina we hope to initiate a larger agricultural project. It was our intention to do this last year but due to circumstances we had to postpone it. The population seems to be highly motivated.
The number of participants has been stabilised to some 200 persons. The effort now is to motivate participants to fulfil their obligations also on the long term. The approach is community based and of course there are successful and less successful communities.
We received numerous donations, both in cash and in kind: outfits for sports from the Soccer Club of Renswoude and the Hockey Club Leusden. Wegot frames for spectacles and lots of nursing materials through the Foundation “Nachamu” in Renswoude . Clothing for babies came from all over the country. The Foundation “Samaritan” will send another container in January and most likely we can participate in this transport.