January 28, 2021
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Holy Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone on Tuesday,January 26th, through the Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Baindu Dassama, paid over one hundred and fifty million Leones to eight disable families at Waterloo as a resettlement package.
Twenty-two million five hundred thousand Leones was presented to each of the disable family for rent and start-up business.
The beneficiaries received a cheque of twenty million Leones and a physical cash of two million five hundred thousand Leones each.
The resettlement package, as per agreement, was meant for the above beneficiaries to vacate the premises and compound of the Orthodox Mission at Masiaka highway, formerly occupied by twenty-five disable families
The notice, according to Father Themi, came about after some people incited the disable that the said land belongs to them.
“Since then, the disables in the mission compound have been violent to the extent of even attacking the Orthodox workers. And in the process, they even attempted to kill me, but I escaped and ran for my life and in the melee, one staff of the mission was stabbed,” he said.
He said the disables attempted to kidnap the Archbishop and destroyed many property.
Father Themi said the land at Waterloo was given to the Orthodox Mission on lease in 2008 after the establishment of the mission 2007.
He said following an appeal by Madam Jenneh Kandeh, former Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, the above beneficiaries were relocated from Walpole Street to the mission compound in Waterloo.
He said since then, he has been paying monthly stipend to each of the occupants in the sum of two hundred thousand Leones with free medical and free education for their children.
“This is the best that the country can offer for free to accommodate disable communities. Their ungratefulness is beyond description as the beneficiaries have, since their thirteen years stay, never given or offered anything in the form of assistance to the Church,” he said.
Despite the conflict between the church and the disables, the church leader assured members of the disable class that they will continue giving support to the less privileged
“This is time to say goodbye with a generous relocation package for the peace and love of the six hundred orphanage children Vicar General affirmed,” he noted
The package, father Themi said, was of no obligation, no contract or bound by law, but out of the fear and love of God.
Minister of Social Welfare,Madam Baindu Dassama,beneficiaries together with human rights officers, president and Executive Secretary of Person with Disabilities, expressed their appreciation to the Orthodox Mission for complimenting government effort.
They accepted and agreed that the land is not theirs, but appealed to the Vicar General for their children to continue to enjoy free medical and education opportunities.