We don’t always realize how fortunate we are that our mothers had access to prenatal services and a hospital to deliver us in. In Sierra Leone, most women give birth alone in their homes with no midwife or medical aid, putting them at serious risk for complications. Many women die during childbirth due to these complications. Sierra Leone boasts one of the lowest life expectancies in the world.
Our partner Faith Healing Development Organization’s (FHDO) clinics in Kenema,Bo, and Rokel and Bunumbu, Sierra Leone are managed by a remarkable woman, Mamie Baindu. She works to provide pregnant and lactating women with services to ensure a safe delivery for mother and child, as well as post-delivery healthcare.
Many years ago, a woman named Ballu came to Mamie after hearing of the high-quality care provided by the clinics. Ballu was facing severe pregnancy complications that could have proved fatal. Thanks to Mamie and her nurses Ballu delivered a healthy baby girl. Ballu’s daughter, Hawa, who is now a grown woman living in the city of Freetown chooses to return to the clinic that saved her mother’s life for her health care.
Today Mamie and her colleagues deliver up to 15 babies per month at their clinics. They also provide 24-hour emergency care to their surrounding communities. The ongoing support by our friends makes the life-saving, and life-giving, operation of these clinics possible.
Kobby was abandoned when she was only 7 years old and the first home she can remember was the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
At Lewa, Kobby has everything she needs.
“I am happy,” she says. “We are fed well every day, we eat a balanced diet, and we are given enough clothes and shoes.
“We are not all the same age, there are small babies brought to the home and I enjoy helping them in the mornings and evenings because I love babies so much.
“In the mornings when we wake up we are well, we play in a clean field, the place where we sleep is clean, we have cupboards to put our clothes, there are toilets.”
In school, her favorite subject is Christian Religious Education where she learns about the Bible and the story of Jesus and his disciples.
“We learn how God created the earth and we learn so many things I can share with others,” she said.
She does acknowledge that some subjects are more challenging for her than others.
“I learn well, but sometimes I can’t understand some subjects,” she told us.
Only a fifth-grader, Kobby already has big dreams for her future.
“When I grow up I want to be a doctor because I want to help those who are sick,” Kobby said. “I want to treat them so that they can enjoy their life again. Even when my family, friends, relatives, and others become sick, I would like to treat them so that they can be healed.”
Kobby has years to make her dream a reality.
For now, she can enjoy being a child without worry or fear for the future thanks to Phyllis.
“I cannot remember when I lived, or my family, but I know my home is the Lewa Children’s Home,” Irene said. “Life here at Lewa is cool and I love being here.”
This past June, we organized our very first 5K run to fundraise for a water well in Kombolcha, Ethiopia. We are happy to announce that the water well, after months of geological surveys and site adjustments, is finished!
Ethiopia was gripped in a devastating drought that was affecting hundreds of communities this year. Farms were drying out, people were becoming ill, and livestock was dying. Parents were keeping their children from going to school because of lack of water close to the school. Bread and Water for Africa selected to build the well at Harb Full Circle Elementary School! Their primary source of water before the well was unprotected springs, the only source for bathing and cooking.
Now, with the water well at Harb Full Circle Elementary completed, the enrolled class of 2,840 students of grades 1-8 will benefit from clean water. Attendance will improve and children will get the education they need for a bright future! The school will be able to retain its teaching staff of 50 professionals and support staff because having a clean water source is ideal for employment. We cannot wait to hear about the increased performance the school will inevitably report in the coming semesters.
We are extremely grateful to all the runners and walkers who raised the money needed. We would like to thank the local DC staffing and consulting firm, Eliassen Group for their contribution and runners as well as the local talent agency, Pinch Harmonics for their support! We also are appreciative of all the donors and volunteers who made this event possible and water well a reality!
Life is hard for the nomadic people struggling to survive in the arid Afar region of Ethiopia. For generations, they have managed to be able to keep themselves and their cattle alive in the drought-prone region. But this year’s severe drought is the worst these people have seen in their lifetime.
“By now the number of drought victims in Ethiopia has reached 7.8 million people suffering from widespread drought,” reported Yimer Mohammed, Director of the Yeteem Children and Destitute Mothers Fund, our long-time partner.
The severity of the drought has prompted Mr. Mohammed to make an urgent request for emergency drought food aid citing crop failure and food shortages “which aggravates the vulnerability of household livelihood through the devastation of livestock resources.”
And we could not refuse his request for funding for wheat flour, vegetable oil, biscuits and rice which will go towards sustaining an estimated 12,000 children, women and men on the brink of death during this period of extreme hardship – and thanks to our supporters, we did not have to.
Local Partner: Haramaya Health Center/Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital
Program Director: Professor Augustin Sesay
Area Served: Eastern Ethiopia
Program Goal: To provide health care services to the people living in and near the village of Baite where there is high unemployment – 75 percent to 80 percent – and many of the poor work as peasant farmers to sustain themselves. Haramaya Health Center serves a community of 200,000 individuals. In the hospital, the greatest morbidity problems relate to upper respiratory, urinary tract, or pneumonia. Most mortality is related to pneumonia, intestinal problems, and septicemia which the hospital is striving to address.
Program Service provided: Haramaya Health Center provides primary medical treatment both inpatient care and outpatient care, and has obstetrics services.
Number of program Beneficiaries:
Current Need: While the clinic is small, it is organized to handle a large number of patients and emphasis is placed on prevention. However, there is a constant shortage of supplies and equipment and serious cases must be referred to other facilities. Needed items include ultrasound equipment, surgical operating room lights and a surgical table. At the hospital, the needs are described as enormous and urgent. The need at the hospital is primarily a lack of supplies and modern equipment, combined with a shortage of doctors.
Program Summary: The focus of the hospital is general medicine. The hospital’s strength is that it is a regional hospital for the eastern part of the country which became a teaching hospital in 2011. It also offers specialties that small clinics cannot offer.