When disaster strikes in Sierra Leone, the Healey International Relief Foundation and its partners are among the first on the front lines. Providing immediate relief through food, blankets, clothing, and cash funds, our goal is to uplift affected communities and help them get back on their feet for the long-term. To increase our impact, along with Caritas Freetown, Tzu Chi Foundation, and Lanyi Foundation a consortium was formed, Partnering to Serve Humanity, which allows us to better coordinate our resources and provide a more effective response.
On the evening of March 24th, a fire started in the slum community of Susan’s Bay in Freetown. Fire services were unable to access the community to put out the fire. It burned for nearly seven hours.
Over 7,000 individuals were affected in nearly 1,600 households. Thousands lost everything. Through Partnering to Serve Humanity an emergency feeding program was quickly set up to provide hot meals to the victims. Each day nearly 3,500 received a hot meal and water. The feeding program continued through the middle of May. Clothes, shoes, baby items and household supplies have also been provided to families.
To help fight against the spread of the coronavirus we distributed personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks, and coverings throughout our Charity Health Network. In addition, through Partnering to Serve Humanity we provided veronica buckets and handwashing supplies to vulnerable populations and schools.
In recent years, Sierra Leone has experienced increasingly heavy rains that have caused devastating floods. Floods and a mudslide in Freetown in August 2017 killed hundreds and left thousands without food and shelter. Through our partnership with Caritas Freetown and the Tzu Chi Foundation we immediately began providing care and comfort to the thousands impacted. Over 19,000 hot meals were served and nearly 2,500 received medical care. We continue to provide support to this vulnerable population with a yearly distribution of rice.
From May 2014 until March 2016 the Ebola crisis raged in Sierra Leone — over 14,000 confirmed cases and nearly 4,000 deaths. HealeyIRF was one of the first on the ground bringing food and medical supplies to those in need and providing training to communities on how to fight and defeat Ebola.
Through the Healey Ebola Lifesaver Project (H.E.L.P) over $5.8 million in medical supplies and food relief was provided. H.E.L.P supported community engagement trainings, and social mobilization workshops for leaders of all denominations, traditional heads of villages and those prominent within the community. This allowed over 200,000 in the Western Area to be provided critical information on safe burial practices and proper sanitary procedures.
Each year since 2015, through Partnering to Serve Humanity, we have provided rice to Ebola survivors. In 2020, 21,000 bags of rice were distributed to 3,800 survivors.