Earlier this year HealeyIRF was approved to participate in USAID’s Limited Excess Property Program (LEPP). After completing our training and squaring away our paperwork our first shipment is on its way to Sierra Leone.
The LEPP program has been around since 1987. It allows NGOs, like HealeyIRF, to access federal surplus property to support our work in Sierra Leone. Under the program we can request up to $1 million in surplus equipment and supplies. Currently, HealeyIRF is one of 16 organizations in LEPP.
Through our participation in LEPP we will obtain items for our three major program areas: health system strengthening, orphan and vulnerable children program, and emergency relief efforts.
Our first order will support our health system strengthening efforts and includes folding table, lateral files, metal file cabinets, file charts, stackable and stuffed chairs, and wheelchairs. These items will improve the efficiency of the administrative operations of our partners, Caritas Freetown, and the Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone.
Hospitals and clinics expressed a need for items to support staff efforts to better organize patient records and to move medicines and medical supply items more efficiently from storage areas to the patients. So, the various file cabinets and metal carts are to support this request.
The stackable chairs and folding tables will be used by the hospitals and clinics in a variety of ways. Some facilities have requested chairs for their patient waiting rooms and others needed tables and chairs for use in their triage areas when checking in patients and taking their vital signs. Tables and chairs will support staff meetings and capacity training sessions for the staff’s professional development.
The stuffed chairs and wheelchairs are for use by patients and their families. Many rural facilities have maternity houses where at-risk pregnant women come a few weeks before their delivery. Sometimes they will have a family member come with them. The large chairs are placed by the beds for the family to sit or sleep while they stay with the mom-to-be. Wheelchairs are always needed at facilities to assist patients. These wheelchairs are particularly useful as they are extra-large heavy-duty and will be helpful in certain critical situations for moving patients.
Caritas Freetown Health Administrator Sister Josephine Amara noted, “These items are very difficult for us to find, but they will help the staff at our health facilities be more efficient and organized. We are happy to be a partner with HealeyIRF and USAID in this program.”
Additional items included on shipment
In addition to the LEPP items we managed to squeeze in a few other items on the shipment. We are especially happy to be sending the children at St. Mary’s Fatima ICC copies of two books written by HealeyIRF supporter, Craig Beresin. We didn’t know we had a writer in the HealeyIRF family! Copies of Craig’s Michael Mickelstick Saves the Day and Michael Mickelstick’s Worst Birthday Ever are on their way. We know the kids are going to really enjoy reading them!
Finally, through our partnership with Seeds Program International we are sending over several boxes of Chinese cabbage seeds. Caritas Freetown uses these seeds to assist women in not only growing food for their families but increasing the number of food items they can take and sell at the market.
“The seeds that come from Seeds Program International are very good quality and much appreciated by the women,” said HealeyIRF In-Country Program Manager Ishmeal Charles. “With the added income from the additional crops they are growing they can afford to pay the school fees for their children. This gives them great hope for their future.
The shipment will arrive in Sierra Leone in early December.