December 13, 2022
Sierra Leone Outreach Program
Open Hands Community Care is an umbrella of many vital community services. Under the direction and vision of the Co-Founders, Sheriff &MariatuJalloh, in conjunction with The House of Prayer, Open Hands Community Care has been blessed to be able to stretch forth its arms and carry out works not only within Australia but Internationally as well, through our Charity Foundation in Sierra Leone, and four (4) Churches in Liberia – West Africa.
Outreach programs with the Open Hands Foundation banner (OHF) is part of the not for profit arm that focuses on contributing to the capacity, building and transforming of lives of Africans through economic empowerment schemes.
Formed in 2017, the foundation currently operates in the Makeni City of Sierra Leone, West Africa, seeking to ensure the welfare of youths, children, men and women alike. The “Take a Step to Empower a Child in Need” program is one of many that is currently in operation by the foundation, which aims to offer 30 orphaned and/or underprivileged children Annual Scholarships with the inclusion of the following:
- Provision of school stationery items and support supplies.
- Payment of tuition and schooling fees.
- Regular home, school and welfare visitations.
- Provision of welfare, food and medical supplies etc.
The Foundation works closely with other youths and child protection bodies in Serra Leone to help advocate for their rights and cater for their individual wellbeing.
This is the case for children like Ramatu Conteh, a sponsor child of Open Hands Foundation (OHF) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Her mother Mrs FatmataConteh, a widow of 3 children currently residing in the city of Makeni, Sierra Leone couldn’t hold back her gratitude when she spoke with OHF staff;
“Som tem den ar kin kraiwaear nor ebul ep mi pikin den wit den skulbiznes, en for ivingidem tin for eit. Nar all dis mekardaeselchakole for kip bodienwatatogedawaear nor get betehmoni for ad pan mi bizness. Wi don ucenaw for eit wan tem pan daewaewi nor abuleitthri tem” (Krio)
Translation: I sometimes burst into tears knowing I’m unable to afford my children’s schooling and provide them with good food to eat. This has therefore led to me selling charcoal at home just to keep body and soul together since at the moment I can’t afford reasonable capital to start up a reasonable small-scale business. It has been normal for us to only eat one per day since I can’t afford three square meals a day, as a widow.
As a recipient of the program, this has meant that her daughter has benefitted from the giveaway of food items, provisions and clothing, but most importantly, the payment of her daughter’s schooling expenses, which has been of tremendous assistance to the widow, providing relief, consistency and hope.
Ramatu (OHF’s Sponsor Child) has been providing excellent performance in school with good grade scores, especially in the 2021 BECE exams, where she was placed with great aggregated results. This, therefore, meant that the young girl was elected as a Head Girl in her school due to her great academic performance.