By Regina Pratt
Social Organization Society (SOS) yesterday (August 13), through their Child Protection Social Pillar, donated to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs food and non-food items for distribution to orphans and affected families at the Ebola epicenters in Kenema and Kailahun districts.
SOS National Director, Olatungie Woode, said their child protection team attended several meetings in which appeals were made to the team to give assistance to children and women badly affected by the Ebola outbreak, especially in Kenema and Kailahun.
“On behalf of our donors in Switzerland and SOS Sierra Leone, we present this donation to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs to help with the Ebola situation in Sierra Leone,” said Mr. Woode as he presented the items to the minister. “These are some basic items that women and children badly in need would appreciate.”
The SOS national director expressed hope that the Social Welfare ministry would appreciate the gesture, adding that they have pledged to look at the orphan cases to provide them with substitution homes countrywide.
“We will be celebrating 40 years of existence in the country this year and this program will be shared with the SOS children’s village,” he said.
In his response, Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai, described the day as a great moment for him, especially as the Ebola epidemic in the country is affecting both women and children. He said the SOS has answered to the clarion call of President Koroma for all Sierra Leoneans to join in the Ebola fight.
“When the Ebola crisis broke out, medical equipment were topmost as the social needs were left out,” he said, adding that “we have the mandate to protect and care for our people”.
He said SOS has provided the intervention the ministry had appealed for, as they had requested for basic commodities like rice, soap and toothpaste, and not cash.
“These children have been turned orphans due to no fault of theirs. They have lost their parents as a result of Ebola and have been abandoned in those affected areas. These are the items they need most and I will personally inform the President about this donation,” Mr. Kaikai promised.
The minister noted that the donation and pledge made to accommodate orphan children will go down in history that SOS children’s villages in Sierra Leone and Switzerland came to the aid of the Ebola affected children in Sierra Leone.
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Mustapha Bai Attila, said in spite of their challenges they are able to give a helping hand to the families of Ebola victims.
The items donated include: 100 bags of rice, 5 bags of sugar, 4 bags of milk, 2 cartons of bathing soap, 2 cartons of laundry soap, 3 bags of salt, 10 dozen buckets, 10 dozen cups, 2 bales of towel, 1 carton of tooth brush, 2 cartons of toothpaste, 10 (1-5) gallons of cooking oil, and 2 cartons of magi cubes.