ELoH currently has three live projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia and India.
Our help is urgently needed in Sierra Leone, not least of all because amputation was used as a weapon of war indiscriminately by rebel forces during Sierra Leone’s ten-year civil war, during the 1990’s. Today, we support 10 child amputees in the capital, Freetown, responding to the medical, educational and psychosocial needs of all of our children.
Sarah Hope’s visit to Sierra Leone – June 2019
Visit to Sierra Leone – by Sarah Hope, Founder and Trustee of Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope
I have recently returned from ten days in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, where I have been lucky enough to meet our wonderful amputees and their incredible families. They invited us into their homes and their schools. We visited the limb clinic and a hospital too.
I can’t begin to tell you what an emotional trip it was. I first visited Sierra Leone in 2012 and was deeply shocked and saddened by the poverty then. For some reason, particularly because we hear so much about how much Britain is spending on global poverty, I thought maybe the infrastructure might be better this time. But now, seven years later, it seemed even hotter, the humidity felt worse, as did the living conditions.
Liberia is among the 15 least developed countries in the world according to the Human Development Index and continues to struggle with its post-war recovery. There is very limited statutory support currently available for those suffering from amputation. Today, we support 15 child amputees across the country, also responding to their medical, educational and psycho-social needs of child amputees.
“So many people were hungry, dreadfully hungry”, Doe Kantley Jacob said, referring to what he felt was the worst aspect of the seven month Covid-19 lockdown in his home country of Liberia, between March and September last year. “It was awful,” he said, “our country struggles anyway because our economy is in such a mess and the government promise but don’t deliver, and during the lockdown it was worse because even food was in short supply. Some people were so hungry they were driven to suicide.” I have visited this delightful country in West Africa a couple of times, six years ago and again in 2019. With a stunning Atlantic coastline, plenty of trees and an abundance of natural mineral resources it has huge potential to provide its relatively small population of five million with a wonderful standard of living. However, in common with many other sub-Saharan countries, Liberia is not a country that properly looks after its people – for many years it has been one of the poorest countries in the world, and still is; things we take for granted such as a roof over our head that doesn’t leak, healthcare when we need it, education for our children and a full stomach are simply not a given for Africans living in these countries. ….
In India, an estimated 9.9 million people are amputees and the level of lower limb amputations is among the highest in the world. The lives of people with disabilities are often defined by poverty and marginalization. In September 2015 Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope launched a new project which is now providing 79 child amputees with our long-term and holistic support, including access to prosthetics, surgeries and emotional care.
Please find the attached report from Heal, about the support we have – together – given our Indian amputee beneficiaries during the pandemic. We are so proud by our wonderful work with Help and Education for All – which is now into its sixth year.