By Yusufu S. Bangura
With support from Helpers for Children and Widows in Africa, Dorwontony Organization for the Aged (DoFA), on Friday provided ‘DoFA Sunakiti’ for the aged within the Western Area in observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The gesture was in fulfilment of the doctrine of Islam by giving alms to the needy.
Speaking to Journalists during the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of DoFA, Doreen Barrie, thanked Helpers for Children and Widows in Africa for supporting her organization.
She said the organisation was founded in October, 2020, and that it seeks to cater for the interest, welfare and dignity of elderly people in Sierra Leone through advocacy, legal aid and livelihood support.
She said the centre also provides an interactive platform for the aged by giving them medical assistance, supporting them with other social services which would also serve as a connection between the aged and the government.
The founder of DoFA said their aim was to ensure that elderly people are loved and cared for by all at every level of society and that their objective was to provide suitable shelter to house the aged who are not receiving family support, raise public awareness about the need for care and attention to the aged, to effectively lobby relevant authorities for improvement in the lives of pensioners and to advocate for a free health care scheme for the aged.
She continued that DoFA also advocates to make sure that the aged have access to justice and legal aid and to remove less privileged aged off the streets through strategic partnership with homes, adding that they undertake regular community outreach activities and programmes to care for the aged.
She said the aim of the organization was to ensure that they cater for the welfare she said since the establishment of the organisation they have done quite a lot in terms of opening a centre in Sierra Leone.
She added that they have undertaken a lot of feeding programs for the aged, did visitation to elderly people in their various homes and also done advocacy for elderly people in the country.
She continued that giving Sunakati to the aged was not the first time because feeding the aged was part of their mandate.
She said they have realised that access to food is a challenge for elderly people and everyone knows that this is the holy month of Ramadan and it is very important to extend goodwill.
“This is the time of extending goodwill and the aged are people we need to consider because for some of them to access food is a challenge and we all know what it means to give to the poor and most of the senior citizens are people who find it difficult to even eat one square meal a day,” she said.
She said everyone knows how things were difficult in the country and that most of the aged are observing the holy month of Ramadan, so they though it fit to have a day for them to come to the centre to break their fast with the organization.
She called on everyone to give support to elderly people with their required needs and further called on other organisations and humanitarians to support the Sunakiti program.
“Dorwontony Organization for the Aged together with Helpers for Children and Widows in Africa will continue to give back to society by helping the aged to find a new purpose of their old age,” she promised.
One of the beneficiaries, Abiedon Fofanah, thanked DoFA and her partners for the support given to them and encouraged her colleagues to keep praying for the organisation, adding that as old people they appreciate the work of the organisation and pleaded for more support.