Life after Ebola
We have been pretty quiet on the website recently but there has been lots going on in the background so we would like to update you to all that has been happening…..
As usual, the people of Sierra Leone have been very stoical in continuing their lives as normally as possible after the Ebola crisis. As well as the illness, deaths and after-effects of Ebola, many families were displaced and children left orphaned. In their all-embracing way, the citizens of Waterloo have looked after many of these children and taken them into their own families. This obviously incurs financial costs as well as time, energy and effort. Waterloo Partnership have undertaken to help 45 households, who have taken in one or more orphans, achieve their aims in looking after these children by providing funding to help buy school uniforms, books and food. Additionally we provide the funds for groundnut seeds for the next harvest of their families’ food.
In the last few months there have been two bouts of severe flooding in the Waterloo area which has led to seeds being washed away and houses damaged. There was also a terrible fire in one area of housing, affecting many families. Waterloo Partnership has helped again by providing funding to help the victims of these catastrophes.
Despite the heavy rain at times, there has also been very hot dry weather and the water table fell. This meant that the water in the wells either dried up or was unsafe to drink. Therefore, we contributed towards the deepening of these wells so that the water supply would be fresh and safe for the local schoolchildren and community to drink.
In addition we have been continuing with our regular projects such as Bolima School, which is completed now that the dusty, clay floors have been cemented over. Word of Life School has had an additional classroom built by the community, using locally sourced bricks and Waterloo Partnership sent funds for the roof. The Mano Corner Bridge is repaired and safe to cross again. Money for groundnut seeds was provided in time for the planting season and the families of the orphaned Ebola victims also receive monthly food supplies.
On his visit to Sierra Leone last November, our chairman, Professor David Lloyd, also checked on the Health Centre in Waterloo. He was delighted to report that the maternity unit and the clinic have been rebuilt and furnished and UNICEF are funding a secure perimeter wall around the entire compound.
Our tertiary funded student nurse, Cynthia, is nearing the end of her training and another young student, Francess, is receiving funding to continue her education and train as a nurse. She has just enrolled on a Preliminary Nursing course. Additionally, Betty is still studying hard and working long hours to continue her training. It’s lovely to see these young women doing so well, especially as they were amongst the initial 40 young people Waterloo Partnership supported over the years. They have so much they want to give back to their community.
All these things would not be possible without the generosity of our local community here in Liverpool. Our school children have been absolutely magnificent in their altruism and enthusiasm. From funding flag days to stamping Christmas badges instead of sending cards, they continually come up with new ideas to raise funds and have made a tremendous difference to the people of Waterloo. We have also had other fundraising activities instigated by local supporters and members of Waterloo Partnership, as well as generous donations from individuals. So, on behalf of Waterloo Partnership, we would like to thank each and every one of you for the love and support you continue to give to the people of Waterloo, Sierra Leone.