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Helping victims in war torn countries

Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kenema, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Makeni, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

SIERRA CARE FULFILS ITS VISION AND VALUES

December 2013 marked their fifth outreach mission to the war-affected amputees in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Sierra Care was founded with a dynamic vision of sharing Christ-like love to each and every war-affected amputee around the world, especially in developing countries. Their desire is to give hope and human dignity to all amputees through the loving fellowship in the family of God, providing both spiritual and physical needs. It is stated in the Sierra Care core beliefs that being accountable and authentic to the general public and the amputee communities is as critical as their vision.

In his fifth state of the union address, President Obama reminds us that “Anything that’s worthwhile, does not come easy.” Always true, but especially true for Sierra Care’s 2013 Christmas outreach to Sierra Leone, West Africa. It’s an arduous, but worthwhile task to repackage wardrobe-size boxes of clothing, shoes, toys, bags, computers, bibles, and the loading of ten thousand reading, and writing materials, including text books into a shipping container bound for the West African nation of Sierra Leone.

FREETOWN-Capital city of Sierra Leone
The six districts outreach mission started in Freetown, the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. The 1.2 million ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse city is home to hundreds of amputees, war-wounded and their family members. A radio broadcast and live interviews on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation network brought amputees, war-wounded and their family members to the Youyi Building Garden where four of Sierra Care’s Dallas-based  board members, pastors, volunteers waiting to meet, greet, and mingle with the folks for whom Christian F. Sesay, Doris Bangura, Pastor Florence Bangura, and David Kessebeh made the seventeen hours journey by air—it  brought tears and joy to see the resiliency of the amputees, and war-wounded over the years, they have grown older, stronger, and adapted to their new lives. The informal meeting started with prayers, songs of praises, inspirational words and counseling by various speakers. In his sermon, Pastor Maxwell reminded the amputees about eternal life and that all is vanity on planet earth. Mr. Edward Conteh, the national president of the amputees and war-wounded thank Sierra Care Inc. for their humanitarian work, “I am especially grateful that Sierra Care has been supporting us for the past twelve years” Mr. Conteh added. President Conteh, however appealed for scholarships for their school-age children. He stated that many of their amputee comrades cannot fend for themselves. Sierra Care vice Chair, Pastor Florence Bangura responded immediately to Mr. Edward Conteh’s request with fifteen scholarships for children at the elementary level through high school. Sierra Care will support the kids with school fees, books, uniforms, and shoes; and continuously monitor the kids’ academic performance. Sierra Care also donated laptops, desktop computers, printers, reading and writing books, clothing, and shoes for babies, girls, boys, women and men. Mr. David Kessebeh, Executive Director of Sierra Care Inc., reminded the amputees in Freetown that their friends and colleagues in the provinces will also receive similar gifts. Similar donations of text books were made at the Methodist Boys’ High School, Kissy Mess Mess, Hammond Preparatory School at Kissy Village, and R. C. School at Gloucester Village.

2013 Christmas Outreach 2013 Christmas Outreach 2013 Christmas Outreach

KAILAHUN DISTRICT:
In their continued effort to fulfill the Sierra Care vision and values, their ambitions of reaching out to each and every war-affected amputee, the Sierra Care team comprising of folks from the Great Commission Movement drove 300 miles to the eastern province district town of Kailahun. 2010 census states that Kailahun has a population of 409,520 residents with fourteen chiefdoms, mende being the dominant ethnic group. In-spite of its small-scale mining, coffee, cacao, and rice production, the economy is gloomy, and has been for several years due to bad roads network. There are three amputee camps in kailahun, comprising of forty housing units, and each household with an average of four family members. Sierra Care members met, mingled and greeted with their Kailahun friends at the local school building. Prayers, songs of praises, counselling sessions marked the morning’s agenda. The afternoon session was slated to share gifts, bibles, reading and writing books, pens, pencils, and clothing for babies, girls, boys, women and men, and over-the-counter medications given to the amputees, war-wounded and their family members. About 160 amputees, war-wounded, and family members benefited from the outreach.

Christmas Outreach in Kailhiuh DistrictChristmas Outreach in Kailhiuh DistrictChristmas Outreach in Kailhiuh District

 

KENEMA DISTRICT:
The 16 chiefdoms, eastern province of Kenema is home to some 545, 327 residents. The Mende tribe is the largest among other ethnic groups. Religious plurality is a gift, an awesome gift that Sierra Leoneans enjoy in all 12 districts, and 149 chiefdoms. The Kenema economy is primarily gold and diamond mining, with three agricultural products such as coffee, cacao, and rice. The economic recovery from the civil war in Sierra Leone  is very slow in transcending to the lives of  ordinary Sierra Leoneans, “the middle and lower class,  make up 95% of the 5, 612, 685 (July 2013 est.).  The struggling 95% lack the basics in life—food, medical, a decent shelter, education, mobility; the amputees, war-wounded, and their families suffers the most. Kenema district has sixty housing units/shelters in three camps. Thanks to a Danish non-profit for building a school, clinic and housing for the teachers.  The Norway amputee camp now awaits the government of Sierra Leone to grant recognition to the Erik Thune’s Primary School to alleviate the constrains of poor amputees walking long distances to attend school. At the Norway amputee camp in Kenema, Sierra Care met with many amputees, war-wounded, and their family members, prayed together, sang songs of praises, offered counselling sessions, listened to their individual stories, took a tour of the newly built school, clinic, and housing for teachers. The Sierra Care team presented gifts- bibles, reading and writing books, medications, and clothing for babies, girl’s boys, women and men. 240 residents of the camps benefited from the Sierra Care Inc outreach.

Sierra Care 2013 Outreach in KenemaSierra Care 2013 Outreach in KenemaSierra Care 2013 Outreach in Kenema

 

BO DISTRICT:
Bo city is in the southern province of Sierra Leone. Her 561, 524 residents puts her second place to Freetown in terms of population and size. The Mende tribe form 60% of the population in Bo. Small-scale trading, gold, diamond mining, coffee, cacao, and palm oil production are the bread and butter of the Bo economy. Though the business sector is sending signals of a vibrant and thriving city, the lives and well-being of the majority of her citizens are far from being the pinnacle of rebuilding or Agenda for Prosperity–a phrase coined by the current President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest B. Koroma. As a result, the human development index value for 2012 is 0.359, ranked 177 out of 187 participating countries and territories. Bo is home to seven amputee camps, comprising of ninety-five houses. All seven camps were notified for the Sierra Care outreach at Mattru-on-the-rail, about three miles from Bo town. The Sierra Care team met a hostile environment as  one amputee soccer star, James Kallon was very agitated just about everything about the current government; Sierra Care was able to calm down James Kallon and he came to the meet and greet session, trust and confidence were later established. There were prayers, songs of praises, and counselling sessions.  James Kallon accepted Christ as his personal savior, and he became a very happy man after receiving a bible from Sierra Care Inc. Gifts of bibles, reading and writing books, clothing for babies, girls, boys, women, and men were given to those present and some for those that did not make it to the event. Sierra Care Inc provided for about 380 people in the Bo amputee communities.

Sierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo DistrictSierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo DistrictSierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo District

 

BOMBALI DISTRICT:
Bombali district is in the northern province of Sierra Leone. The population of Bombali district is 434, 319 according to 2010 census. The district is ethnically diverse, has religious plurality. 13 chiefdoms are in the district, Temne and Limba, form the largest ethnic groups. Recent economic activities include the Addax Bioenergy, a source of Greenfield renewable energy, and small business investments are the sources of developments in the district. Sierra Care visited the district capital of Makeni, which has eight amputee and war-wounded camps, comprising of 143 housing units. Bombali was a former rebel stronghold and experienced considerable displacement, destruction and trauma as a result of the conflict. The Sierra Care visit at the Oslow amputee camp brought many amputees, war-wounded, and their family members. Meet and greet sessions, counseling sessions, prayers, songs of praises, and the distribution of gifts to babies, girls, women, and men. Their immediate needs for wheel chairs, crutches, schools, churches, medical clinics are universal in all of the amputee communities. 172 residents were recipients of Sierra Care gifts.

Sierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in MakeniSierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in MakeniIMG_8070

 

PORT LOKO DISTRICT:
According to 2010 population figures, Port Loko is the fourth most populous district at 500,992. The ten chiefdoms are predominantly Muslim, Temne form the largest ethnic group. Port Loko is home to three amputee and war-wounded camps. The good roads network, mining sector, and small scale agriculture will transform to a larger number of middle class for the people of Port Loko. Sierra Care Inc visited with the Port Loko amputees, conducted counseling sessions, prayers, had individual conversations, gave out donations of clothing for babies, girls, women, and men, reading and writing books, and pencils.

Christmas Outreach in Kailhiuh DistrictSierra Care Inc 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo District

 

The most valuable asset that Sierra Care has is the ability to galvanize resources for the benefit of the most vulnerable people in developing countries. Sierra Care volunteers describe themselves as the foot soldiers, but much of the work is actually done by those who have donated their resources towards the outreach. Much gratitude goes to Life-long partners of Sierra Care Inc, Tri-Win Bulk Mailing Services, Jimmy Food Services of Dallas, Marian and Tim Hamlett, Michael and Laurie Wissinger, Gaylon and Frances Sawyers, Alhanssan J. and Princess Kanu and friends and colleagues at the Financial and Accounting Services department of the Dallas independent School district. Sierra Care Executive Director David Kessebeh is overly impressed with the sense of compassion displayed by the new Director of Accounting Services at Dallas ISD. Shonna Pumpherey’s servant leadership on directing and following through on the department support to the amputees and war-wounded in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Sierra Care prays that their volunteering efforts, not only bring cheer during the festive season, but the bibles, reading, writing, and text books will lay the foundation to improve the lives of the amputees, war-wounded, their family members, and communities at large.