Memunatu’s Story—Shy Now Bold


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.

Freetown Floods Again

flooding Freetown

During the rainy season flooding is frequent in Freetown.  Our in-county manager Ishmeal Charles describes what this flooding is like and the toll it takes on the people.

Report on flooding in Freetown

Driving along the streets of Freetown makes one worried. Freetown residents are crying. If higher grounds flood like this, imagine what’s happening in the slums and lower ground areas. My city underwater. My spirit prays. 
My heart breaks. My people suffer.

The rains fall so much that many people who are into petty trading, street hawking and many other means of survival have had their livelihoods seriously interrupted and this increases poverty further.

As rains intensify,  desperation rises.  Consequently, hunger increases and the difficulty to fend for oneself surges. Ebola survivors are one of the most vulnerable groups in post Ebola era Sierra Leone and need support in order to overcome their sufferings.

Rice delivery to Ebola survivors

Among the greatest need for this population during these trying times is food. As a result, the Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation donated rice to help. With support from Healey International Relief Foundation the rice was shipped to Sierra Leone. Finally, Caritas Freetown cleared the rice through Customs and coordinated all the distribution.

Several meetings with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, the Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Association National, and District Executives were held and a comprehensive list of all survivors was developed.

The distribution began at the Goodrich community center on 25th July 2016, serving a total of 50 survivors. They received a minimum of 30 kilograms of rice (3 bags of 10 kilograms) and a maximum of 40 kilos (4 bags of 10 kilograms each). Women, 16 years and older receive more because in Africa, they run the food affairs at home.

Holding additional distributions to Ebola survivors another 3,500 individuals will receive rice.