Handicap International founder meets VP Foh


October 2, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie 

Co-founder of Handicap International, who doubles as Executive Director of the Foundation of Handicap International, yesterday paid a courtesy call on Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

Dr. Jean Baptiste Richardier informed the vice president that his visit was meant to further strengthen his organization’s role, as well as reaffirming their commitment to contribute to the recovery and transition priorities of the government.

He said Handicap International has been a very good friend of Sierra Leone dating back to 1996 when they commenced operation in the country, and that since then they have succeeded in recording remarkable achievements.

As the country prepares to commence its post-Ebola recovery activities, Dr. Richardier registered his organization’s willingness to provide the necessary assistance in whatever area the government wants them to assist.

“Handicap International has been a very good friend of Sierra Leone since 1996. We are open for discussions on any role we can play to support the country’s post-Ebola recovery activities,” he affirmed and added that the Ebola scourge created new needs to take care of patients.

Dr. Richardier spoke about the progress the country has made in the fight against the dreadful Ebola virus disease and lavished praises on staff of the organization for what they have been able to achieve in Sierra Leone.

In his response, Vice President Foh welcomed the Handicap International boss in the country and expressed gratitude to him for their support in meeting the needs of the less privileged, especially those with disabilities.

He assured him of the government’s willingness and determination to continue providing the space and ideal environment to carry out their activities.

“Let me thank you for your contributions towards the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease. The country needs you to plan its future. You still have a lot to do,” VP Foh said and urged the organization to put their programmes together with the assurance that they would give them the necessary support to accomplish them.

The vice president added that an organization like Handicap International that is working tirelessly to help the less privileged, especially the physically challenged, is one that the government would continue to partner with at all times.

Handicap International has a long history in Sierra Leone, starting in 1996 when they set up rehabilitation centers and developed programs in livelihoods, education and health. They have worked alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

The organization has been actively involved throughout the Ebola crisis, ensuring the critical transportation of patients in West Africa.

Handicap International received funds for ambulance management from the Department for International Development (DFID), as well as their social mobilization project from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).