January 15, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
After providing relief and psychosocial support to over seven thousand (7,000) children who have been orphaned by the dreaded Ebola viral disease, one of the country’s leading child protection organizations in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL), has provided business grants to the tune of one hundred and four million Leones (Le104m) to some 903 families in the organisation’s operational areas of Makeni, Lunsar, Port Loko, Kambia, Kabala and Bumbuna in the north, and Kenema and Bo in south-east.
Speaking at one of the ceremonies held at the organisation’s centre in Makeni, Street Child Head of Operations – Sustainability, Daniel Y. Kargbo, said their social team has worked very hard to provide immediate relief and psychosocial support to over 7,000 orphans in all Ebola infected communities across the country.
He stressed that not all those being supported by the Street Child social team are qualified to receive the business grant and “this is because some of the orphans have been placed with close relatives or caregivers who are able to care for them”.
“So people who fall under this category only need psychosocial and relief support,” Kargbo explained.
He said the purpose of the grant is for the parents or caregivers to embark on something profitable that will help in the daily feeding and education of their children when schools reopen. He said the Street Child business team will be with them as they carry on with their business activities, and provide advice to them as and when necessary.
Street Child Regional Director North, John Momodu Kargbo, said the agency is highly concerned about children who have lost their caregivers or biological parents to the Ebola viral disease. He pledged that the child protection agency will do all it could to ensure the children receive maximum care.
Mr. Kargbo further noted that caregivers who are not acting as parents have a great role to play in making sure that the children reach their full potential, and that one way they could achieve that is by sending them to school.
Speaking on behalf of the paramount chiefs of Bombali Shebora and Makarie-Gbanti chiefdoms, Daniel M. Koroma said Street Child has been doing extremely well in supporting Ebola orphans across the country.
“They started with relief, psychosocial support and now they have moved to giving out business grants,” he said and encouraged the recipients to use the money for the intended purpose. “Street Child is one of the most transparent organisations in this country because all their support to affected communities is always being witnessed by community stakeholders.”