By Yusufu S. Bangura
With support from development partners, on Friday, 8th April ,2022, at No. 10 Albert Street, Off Circular Road in Freetown, Dorwontony Organization for the Aged (DoFA), provided ‘DoFA Sunakiti’ for the aged within Western Area in observation of the holy month of Ramadan.
The gesture was in fulfilment of the doctrine of Islam by giving alms to the needy.
Speaking to pressmen during the ceremony, founder and leader of DoFA, Doreen Barrie said the organisation was found 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 given 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 is to ensure that elderly people are loved and cared for by all at every level of society and their objective is 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 continue 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 the care for the aged.
She said the aim of the organization was to ensure that they cater for the welfare and rights of senior citizens in the country, adding that 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 undertook 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 hardly 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 most of the aged are fasting in 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 humanitarian to support the Sunakiti program.
“Dorwontony Organization for the Aged 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, Ibrahim Bangura, thanked DoFA for the support given to them and encouraged his colleagues to keep praying for the organisation, adding that they as old people appreciate the work of the organisation.