So, today (Wednesday) we arranged the same kind of donation as we did in Culvort yesterday but this time for children in Regent. The people that lived in the landslide affected area Regent have been moved to disaster shelters established by the national government and big NGO:s like UNICEF. A woman representing ministry of health and sanitation helped us to identify children in the camp that are in school age and in need of new things for school. Although everyone in the shelters were in need of medical, food, shelter and clothing, the vast majority of these extremely impoverished people had been trained from previous natural disasters to react to the arrival of the international NGO:s and jump in the line for anything they can get. It’s important to keep in mind that Sierra Leone has among the lowest income citizens in the world with an average annual income of roughly $500/year. Since our aim with the donation was to target those people that were actually affected by the landslide the help we received with the identification was really grateful.
The donation was supposed to take place at 12 p.m. but as most times in Sierra Leone it got delayed, so instead it started around 5 pm. That’s something you just must accept when being in Sierra Leone – events will never happen at the time you schedule them to happen. If you have a meeting you need to be prepared for at least one hour delay. So, we were in the shelters waiting to start the donation for some hours but that didn’t matter because it gave us the opportunity to play with the children and talk to people that are staying at the shelters. It has gone 6 weeks since the landslide occurred but you can still see the injuries on many people, it was especially hard to see children with plastered arms and legs.
When we eventually started the donation, everything went very well. It takes a lot of work to arrange those kinds of donations but when you see the happiness in the children you get it confirmed that all the work is worth it.