Diaspora Focus Donates PPEs & Raises Awareness on COVID-19 to Residents of Waterloo Community

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The International Director of Diaspora Focus, Dr. Emmanuel J. M. Stafford handing over the items to Residents of Waterloo

By Foday Moriba Conteh

In a bid to complement the efforts of the Government to reach out to communities with preventive messages on COVID-19 in the country,  one of Sierra Leone’s most proactive organizations, Diaspora Focus, on Friday 12th June 2020, embarked on a sensitization drive on the causes and prevention of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and also donated Personal Protective Equipment worth millions of Leones, viz:  25 Veronica buckets, 25 waste buckets, 45 packets of soap and 1,500 facemasks, to residents of the Waterloo Community in the Western Area Rural District.

In his welcome address, Alhaji Chief Pa-Alimamy Sieh Turay expressed appreciation to Diaspora Focus for being the first organization to engage in such a massive sensitization exercise in the Campbell Town Community saying the Coronavirus preventive materials donated will help them immensely in the fight against the virus.

He lamented that they have been ignored in the fight against the disease and called on the authorities to involve all stakeholders, including traditional leaders, religious leaders and local representatives in the fight against COVID-19.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the ceremony, Rev. Dr. Momodu Conteh, admonished the people to continue to abide by the do’s and don’ts of the World Health Organization (WHO) admonishing residents to continue to wash their hands frequently, maintain social distancing, observe coughing ethics and wear face masks in order to curtail the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

On her part, Miss Diaspora 2019, Favour Sesay, encouraged her female compatriots to take the front stage in the fight against COVID-19, noting that if any member of the family falls victim to COVID-19, the mother of the family will suffer the most. She admonished them to wash their hands after returning from the market and to encourage every member of their families, including their husbands to wash their hands before entering the house and to clean and disinfect common areas regularly.

The International Director of Diaspora Focus, Dr. Emmanuel J. M. Stafford, expressed gratitude for the presence of key stakeholders and representatives, including the Deputy Chairman of the District Council and the Hon. Member of Parliament, youths, women and other stakeholders for gracing the occasion. He informed the gathering that Diaspora Focus comprises members both at home and abroad and that the items donated came from contributions made by both group of members in Sierra Leone and the Diaspora.

He expressed appreciation to members of the Diaspora Focus who contributed towards making the donation of the said items possible, including the Chairman of the Ireland Branch, Benoni Maurice Samuels and team in Ireland, Madam Henrietta Cole, Sento Conteh and team in UK, Andrew John Simbo, Amb. Malisha da Queen and others in USA, Alfred Minah in Liberia, Amb. Omrie Gollie and other key stakeholders like Rev. Dr. Chambers, Dr. Ramesh and himself.

Presenting the COVID-19 preventive materials, Dr. Stafford appealed to the beneficiaries to ensure that the items are used for their intended purposes.

Giving his keynote address, the Deputy Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council, Cllr. R. A. Browne, expressed appreciation to Diaspora Focus for the gesture, describing it as very timely. He noted that this is not the first time Diaspora Focus is supporting the District, furthering that during the outbreak of the Ebola disease in 2014, Diaspora Focus also supported the District with Personal Protective Equipment, which he said, contributed tremendously in the fight against Ebola, expressing hope that with the items donated to the district such will help in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

He assured the International Director of Diaspora Focus, Dr. Emmanuel J. M. Stafford and team that the items will be used for their intended purpose.

Other members present including representatives/leaders of various communities, organizations and groups, Chiefs, Headmen, Councillors, Okada Riders, farmers associations, musical artists, Youth leader, women organization etc expressed similar sentiments.

The items were distributed amongst the various stakeholders amidst strict adherence to all Coronavirus protocols.

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