HealeyIRF Team Headed to Sierra Leone — Including me!

Travel Sierra Leone

The HealeyIRF team is headed to Sierra Leone next week and I am very excited to be participating in this trip. I have wonderful memories from my visit in December 2015. I hope everyone is making extra plantain chips for me, as they were delicious!

Catching up with our team in Sierra Leone is top on my list – Father Peter, Charles, Theresa, Michael, Albert and so many more. I can’t wait to see what has been happening in their lives.

But the critical part of the trip is work and reviewing our programs and ensuring that they are meeting the needs of the people.

Sierra Leone visits to Serabu, Father Dan Clinic and Our Lady of Guadualpe

First on our list will be a visit south to Serabu Hospital as HealeyIRF has a long association with this facility. It is about five hours away from Freetown but a beautiful drive. We will talk shop but also share what music we are listening too. This is an added benefit of the trip – I come back with new music to listen to. Music I am going to share – my favorite songs from the Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ –which I have not seen but love anyway!

We will also visit the Monsignor Dan Sullivan Clinic in Newton. Named in Father Dan’s memory it is always moving to hear people talk about the impact he had on their lives. You can visit ‘Our Story’ on our website to learn more about Father Dan.

A trip up north is planned to visit one of our recent additions to the Charity Health Network – Our Lady of Guadualpe Clinic at Mile 91, run by the Clarissan Missionary Sisters. Serving a population of approximately 8,000 it is a mode of efficiency and quality healthcare. 

A visit to Sierra Leone would not be complete without a trip to their beautiful beaches! Luckily we will be touring a construction site that is very near to River #2. So my fingers are crossed that we will take a quick stroll on the beach.

Many, many more meetings are planned but these are some of the highlights. Stay tuned!


A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.

–Tim Cahill


 

Donation a Cheerful Addition for Children

donation children

 

HealeyIRF feels it’s the little details that bring a sense of home and bright smiles to children’s faces.  At our two Interim Care Centers (ICC) a recent donation from our partner Goods360 of bed linens has added a cheerful addition to their dormitory rooms.

Sister Agatha Kamara, House Mother noted, “The linen makes sleeping an art and joyful.”

Donation of pillows delight children

An earlier delivery of pillows was greeted with great delight.  Can you imagine the joy of having your first pillow?  Summing up the children’s feelings nicely, 11-year old Josephine at our ICC in Kline Town said, “Oh, Sister, I feel like sleeping right now.”

donation children


Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee

All through the night.

–Harold Edwin Boulton

Memunatu’s Story—Shy Now Bold

orphan

Our  In-Country Program Manager, Ishmeal Charles, sent us this recent update on our orphan and vulnerable children program in Sierra Leone.

Message from Charles: The support from the Healey International Relief Foundation (HealeyIRF) to the Interim Care Centers (ICC) has made great difference in the life of the children. It was observed that these children who were very reserved are now bold in both their school and at home. 

Looking back at their individual profiles, some of these children were admitted into the home when they seemed lost in their lives. Most of them had only started going to school when they came into the Interim Care Center.

Today some of these children, who were not able to read, can now read and express themselves very well.

Memunatu makes great progress

Our Star girl for the month is Memunatu Dumbuya, pictured in the middle. Before she was admitted to the Newton ICC she was not able to go to school and could not read or write. But now Memunatu can read well and construct basic English sentences with ease. With the help of the reader textbooks that were provided by the Healey International Relief Foundation her reading skills are improving everyday.  She loves to read!

Shy when she first came to Newton, Memunatu now interacts with the other children in the home and is very open and friendly. The teachers at school now describe Memunatu as bold and outgoing.  Both the teachers and her caregivers at Newton (The children call them their Aunties and Uncles!) say she also loves to help others. The nurturing care, safe environment and educational books and toys provided by the HealeyIRF program has had a very positive impact on Memunatu and her future looks bright.


It Takes A Village to Raise a Child.

-African Proverb

Donated Items Bring Joy During Holiday

Donated Items
Thank you from Sisters for Donated Items

 

Dear HealeyIRF,

May the love, joy and peace of this special Season be with you and all at the Healey International Relief Foundation Headquarters.

It was with great joy that we all received the items you sent. We really appreciate all and are very grateful for everything. The children are extra happy and now go to school looking smarter than ever. What great relief the items have brought us all. Our printer is just amazing, we can now do a whole lot using it, may God almighty bless and richly reward you for all you have been doing for us.

Wishing you A Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to come.

Lots of love and hugs from all of us!

Please we are sending some pictures through this mail and more will follow soon.

With prayers,

Bernadette and Agatha

Fatima House Interim Care Center – Freetown, Sierra Leone

December 2016


Joy To The World!


 

Fire at Holy Spirit Hospital

Hospital Holy Spirit

On November 3rd, we received the devastating news that a fire at the Holy Spirit Catholic Hospital in Makeni totally destroyed the Molecular Biology & Immunology Laboratory, Physiotherapy Unit and Drug Store. Luckily, there were no fatalities and many of the other structures, such as; the main hospital and the recently constructed maternity ward, were not touched by the fire.

But the loss, in particular of the Molecular Biology & Immunology Lab, is a great setback to efforts to strengthen the healthcare system following the Ebola epidemic.

Hospital Grows From Small Beginning

Since its inception as a one room clinic in 2002, under Dr. Patrick Turay’s direction, Holy Spirit Catholic Hospital has grown to 70 beds and is a model and groundbreaking private hospital in Sierra Leone. Describing his approach, Dr. Turay notes, “Every day, we try to make things just a little better for the people here. That’s the key — always improving; always moving forward.”

The Molecular Biology and Immunology Laboratory was one of Dr. Turays’ visions in moving forward and creating a better future for those in Sierra Leone. The Ebola virus that infected 14,000 and took nearly 4,000 lives in Sierra Leone, laid bare the healthcare systems inability to properly diagnose deadly viruses. Makeni, where Holy Spirit is located, was one of the “hotspots” for the virus.

Hospital Key In Fight Against Ebola

Understanding that properly identifying the Ebola virus was a key component to defeating the epidemic, Dr. Turay worked with partners in constructing needed structures and acquiring equipment to establish the Laboratory at Holy Spirit. As a result , reports credit this Laboratory, which opened in early 2015, with saving 100,000 lives through improved diagnosis.

But this Laboratory was also important to improving and protecting the health of future generations. With all the necessary equipment to be able to diagnosis emerging viruses and ongoing viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus, the Laboratory was a critical component in efforts to strengthen the healthcare system in Sierra Leone.

In the months ahead we will be working with Holy Spirit Hospital to help them rebuild these needed capabilities.