At the Legos Christian Academy in Rutile, Sierra Leone, there are hundreds of students who today have stepped into the digital age thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® and through our partnership with Computer Ministry in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
It all began last fall while our longtime partner in Sierra Leone, Rev. Francis Mambu, executive director of Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) which operates the school, visited the United States to meet with Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem.
While in the U.S., Beth took Rev. Mambu to meet with representatives of Computer Ministry to tell them about the need for computers in schools in Sierra Leone.
When asked how many computers the school needed, Beth told them that school has 300 students.
With that, they informed her they could provide 297 desktop computers which had been refurbished by their ministry and the partnership was formed.
Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, we were able to pay a nominal service fee to Computer Ministry which enables them to keep their electronics recycling operation going, as well as the cost of shipping the computers to Sierra Leone.
It’s difficult to describe the feeling we got when we received this short video from Pastor Rogers the school administrator showing the Legos students using their “new” computers.
While students in the United States could not imagine attempting to do their schoolwork without a computer, for many years these secondary school students in Sierra Leone could only dream of being able to search the internet for research for their studies.
The supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® made this all possible, as part of a joint mission together with Computer Ministry and Rev. Mambu and FHDO to bridge the digital divide literally across the ocean and we could not wait to share this success with you.
As Pastor Rogers says in the video, “We are very much grateful to Bread and Water for Africa® for helping us. This is the first type of school here with such a system ever in the history of this place.”
And vowing: “We promise to make the best use of it.”
Alisa’s tale is a story of tragedy and hope. The little 6-year-old had gone through a lot in her young life – being physically and emotionally abused and becoming infected with HIV. She understandably is emotionally disturbed and has difficulty concentrating.But all is not lost for Alisa thanks to our partner in Zimbabwe, Shinga Development Trust which operates the Lerato Children’s Village.
There, she has found a home filled with love from her “sisters and brothers” and more importantly Alisa has found a place forever in the heart of her new-found “mother,” Shinga director Margaret Makambira. As Margaret told us of Alisa and the other Lerato children, “Their stories are sad, and they don’t know what real love and genuine caring is.However, we are certain that Alisa, who started first grade this month, in addition to what she is learning in school, is also learning that lesson of love and caring more and more with each passing day.
As you read this, medical equipment and supplies valued at estimated $350,000 are crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia on their way to Cameroon where they will be put to good use – easing suffering, treating the sick, and, in many cases, literally saving lives.
This is all happening through Bread and Water for Africa®’s longstanding partnership with the University of Virginia’s MERCI program and the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital which donated the gently used medical equipment and brand-new, still-in-original-packaging medical supplies, and you.
Because of your generous support to Bread and Water for Africa®, we are able to cover 100 percent of the costs to ship the 40-foot container, filled to the brim with 16,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, to our partner in Cameroon – Hope Services.
In May, Hope Services founder and director Esther Ndichafah was in the United States and had the opportunity to visit our warehouse in Fredericksburg, Virginia and select the medical equipment and supplies most needed to operate the clinic which serves the most needy in Yaounde Cameroon.
Here is just a partial list of the equipment just shipped: four hospital baby cribs; three breathing machines; eight wheelchairs; two stretchers with mattresses; eight medical bedtables;
And all of that doesn’t include 341 more boxes full of medical supplies such as tongue depressors, gloves and procedure masks, isolation and surgical gowns, bedpans, bandages and tape…the list goes on and on.
And because the community has basic needs as well, we also shipped 400 backpacks full of school supplies and boxes of toys and bicycles
Bread and Water for Africa® and your role in all of this is covering the cost of shipping the supplies to Cameroon, and elsewhere in Africa – more than $6,000.
We believe that’s quite a bargain when you consider the huge return on investment!
In the past year alone, Bread and Water for Africa® has shipped well over $10 million worth of medical equipment and supplies to our partners in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone – and that doesn’t take into account the tens of thousands of dollars in personal protection kits sent to the valiant healthcare workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone.
On average, Bread and Water for Africa® ships out 10 similar containers each year. With the latest one on the way to Cameroon today, we are already planning for our next shipment to go out within the next few months.
That is why, today, we are asking for your help.
Will you become one of our “1 Percenters”? For $60 your gift will cover 1 percent of the cost of shipping out our next container of medical equipment and supplies.
We only need 100 “1 Percenters” (or 200 “1/2 Percenters” at $30) to reach our goal. Please join with us all – Bread and Water for Africa®, MERCI, Carilion, and Hope Services – and be a member of our lifesaving team.