The uncertain times we are all facing are shared, equally, amongst our children – and of course their families, and all those who care for them. One of the most frightening consequences of the epidemic in some of the world’s poorest countries, including those we work in, is hunger; because of the closure of airports impacting supplies, and people not being allowed to work – impacting availability, and harvesting.
We are doing our best to help, and made the decision to provide food where it is urgently needed – we hope we will be back to providing our usual mobility care as soon as possible. Below are reports from India and Sierra Leone – Liberia to follow. Thank you …
Together with Health and Education for All (HEAL), ELoH supports almost 100 children in Andrha Pradesh, giving these child amputees mobility support with the provision of prosthetics and all the extra care they need too. HEAL helps children from its wonderful centre at Paradise Village, which is a centre for impoverished orphans – children who have lost their families, and many who live with challenging disabilities too.
The situation in India for our children remains very difficult, with a high rate of COVID cases being reported in the area, which continues to restrict movement, preventing children coming to the clinic; also making it hard for parents to work, and buy food for families. We are continuing to provide extra support for families of our amputees struggling the most – who don’t even receive government support. We have recently supplied these families (around nineteen of them) with rice, lentils, onions, eggs, vegetable oil and vegetables. Also, most importantly, staff from the clinic have attended the children when delivering food, and have checked the general health of their residual limbs, taking measurements for new prosthetics and making repairs where necessary too. In the midst of tremendous adversity, we can be confident HEAL are keeping up our good work. Thank you! For more information please look at Heal’s website: http://healcharity.org/uk/category/heal-paradise-village/
The extra difficulties for our children because of COVID are easing slightly – though food prices remain high because of supply issues; this is something we are closely keeping an eye on with our partner organisation, Enable the Children. However, the good news is that Pastor Finney – who is in charge of our programme of care for our amputees in SL – is regularly checking in with the ELOH children. When he has been unable to visit them in person, he called them to check with and their family. Throughout the last 4 months, Pastor Finney has remained in constant communication with the families, and we have been assured they are all managing, and are well.
Pastor Finney continues to engage with Pastor Angel, the prosthetist, as he is making different prosthesis for the children. He is in the process of making ones for Santigie and Alice. As far as school, some schools have opened and are asking for partial fees to help with home-school workbooks to allow promotion to next grade level. Pastor Finney is on top of that request and is in the process of paying any fees needed by the ELoH families.
But, that said, COVID is still around, so they are being very careful – and it is also the rainy season; an extra challenge with travelling, especially. Thank you always to Rob, Anna and both Pastor’s Angel and Finney for your wonderful work for our children.
- Neighbouring Sierra Leone, the situation here has perhaps been even worse; with a lot of reported civil unrest heightening tensions in this very troubled, hot, very poor country. As this is written, Liberia has been in lockdown since 11 April, and land borders with Sierra Leone, as well as Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire remain closed. That said, as with our other projects, our partnership organisation Williette Safehouse staff have visited our nine child amputees – travelling many miles to reach them, putting themselves at risk, to monitor their general health; and deliver them with special care packages; containing masks, hand gel, cooking oil and sweets!
- Listen to the Liberian president, George Weah, singing about Corona – https://www.facebook.com/gweah/videos/3405398112810291/?v=3405398112810291