By Foday Moriba Conteh
In commemorating the 74th International Children’s Day, which is celebrated on the 1st June every year in China as a holiday that celebrates the happiness, healthy growth and bright future of children around the country, the 24th Batch of Chinese Medical Team to Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has on Friday 26th May, 2023 donated non-food items ,which include footballs, school bags, stationeries etc. as well as a free medical consultation activity for orphans at the Network for Children in Need Orphanage Home. The event was held at the Orphanage Home on Alusine Street, Allen Town in Freetown.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wang Qing said children represent the future and the hope of a nation and its development and in recent years, thanks to the continuous efforts of the international community, national Governments and the Civil Society, the global endeavor to promote the rights of children has made good headway..
He added that China attaches great importance to the protection of the rights of children, both domestically and internationally and that the country has about 280 million children among the countries with the largest child population.
Wang Qing pointed out that China also takes an active part in international cooperation to strive for “a world fit for children” and that Professor Peng Liyuan, wife of H.E. President Xi Jinping, has always cared for African women, children and youths.
He stated that in 2020, during the special period of fighting COVID-19, Professor Pen advocated to donate several batches of anti-epidemic supplies and vaccines to African women, children and youths, vividly illustrating the sincere friendship between China and Africa for shared destiny and mutual assistance and that on the occasion of the International Children’s Day, Professor Peng has proposed an initiative “Warm Children’s Hearts: A China-Africa Joint Action” together with the Organization of African First Ladies for Development, hoping to convey warmth and care to the children, and help them to grow up healthy and happy.
The Ambassador maintained that China and Sierra Leone are good friends, good brothers and good partners and China always stay committed to help Sierra Leone in economic and social development, including enhancing the well-being of children..
“Today, the Chinese Embassy has prepared some gifts for you, conveying the love and warmth from China. Here we have footballs, school bags and stationery, dolls of the Chinese national treasure “panda”. Hope you like it. In the future, China will continue to uphold the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, work closely with Sierra Leone, strengthen cooperation in various fields so that more people will benefit,” he concluded.
The Leader of 24th Batch of Medical Team to Sierra Leone, Dr. Chen Yongjun, said malnutrition and diseases are two important factors that threaten children’s physical and mental development, and have attracted widespread attention from the international community, adding that in order to care for the health of African orphans, the First Lady of China, Professor Peng Liyuan, proposed the Association of African First Ladies to jointly hold the “Programme of Warm Children’s Hearts: A China-Africa Joint Action”.
He said therefore the China medical team is pleased to carry out a medical free consultation activity for orphanages on the occasion of the 74th International Children’s Day of which he said free consultation will cover the nutritional status assessment, malnutrition recovery, prevention, screening, and treatment of common diseases for orphans, and distribute love supplies.
Dr. Chen Yongjun concluded by encouraging children to have the confidence to overcome various difficulties, grow up healthy and strong, become useful talents for social development when they grow up, achieve their personal life goals, and continuously pass on the “love and warmth.”
On her part, the Minister of Social Welfare, Baindu Dassama Kamara on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone expressed appreciation to the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the 24th Batch of Medical Team to Sierra Leone for supporting the Network for Children in Need Orphanage Home with donation of non-food items and the free medical consultation.
She described the support as very important towards complementing the strides of the Government of Sierra Leone towards the development and wellbeing of children.
Baindu Dassama Kamara maintained that China has always been a trusted partner to Sierra Leone, adding that the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has always supported the people of Sierra Leone in most difficult times.
The Proprietor of the Network for Children in Need Orphanage Home, Inna Kamara, also expressed appreciation to the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the24th Batch of Medical Team to Sierra Leone for the support.
She said that the donation and the free medical came at the right time, adding that this is a crucial moment for the Orphanage and that with this support it will cushion the burden on them.
Inna Kamara maintained that one of the biggest challenges the Orphanage Home is faced with is the issue of rent payment as the current building the Orphanage Home is housing is not owned by the Orphanage but rather they rented the building and that they are challenged to mobilize funds to pay the rent and to up keep the children at the Orphanage.
She used the opportunity to call on all to support the Orphanage Home especially with the aspect of the rent and the welfare of the children.
Closing the ceremony was the official presentation of the donated items to the Proprietor of the Network for Children in Need Orphanage Home, Inna Kamara by the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone Wang Qing which was followed by the free medical consultation which covered the nutritional status assessment, malnutrition recovery, prevention, screening, and treatment of common diseases for orphans.