DST Concludes 3rd Quarter Support, Benefiting 170 Children and Young Stars with Disabilities

By Foday Moriba Conteh

As part of the third-quarter initiatives under the 2023 Child Empowerment Program, a Project pioneered by the One Family People organization, with the support of Liliane Fonds, the Dorothy Springer Trust (DST), a partner organization of One Family People, distributed essential supplies and support to 170 Children and Young Stars with Disabilities (CYWDs) in Freetown. The event was held at the Freetown Cheshire Home/DST Compound, Race Course Community in the  East End of Freetown.

In his opening remarks as Chairman, One Family People’s M&E Officer, Sorie Ibrahim Koroma, explained that the organization, in collaboration with Liliane Fonds, allocated funds to partner organizations, including Dorothy Springer Trust, to support children and young individuals with disabilities in various areas, aiming to create an inclusive society where no one is left behind.

He commended Dorothy Springer Trust for its dedication to the program and encouraged parents to maximize the opportunities provided to support their children living with disabilities.

A Representative from the Community Stakeholders applauded Dorothy Springer Trust for their tremendous efforts in supporting Children and Young Stars with disabilities in the country.

He assured all of the community’s support towards the organization and persons with disabilities especially Children and Young Stars with disabilities.

The representative revealed that some of the efforts of these organizations have been able to mitigate some of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities of which he called on all to support them in making society a better place for them.

Saa Lamin Kortequee, the Executive Secretary at the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, expressed his appreciation for Dorothy Springer Trust’s ongoing support, emphasizing the importance of the support to these Children and Young Stars with Disabilities.

He said that the program looks at four key areas which include health, education, livelihood, and social inclusion, adding that the importance of these areas on these children cannot be overemphasized as through this support they will be able to go to school, learn skills and live healthy lives like other children.

Saa Lamin Kortequee said accessibility and inclusiveness, especially in schools, are still challenges for these children but commended the Government of Sierra Leone for the radical inclusion policy which he said has been able to mitigate those challenges affecting the children in schools.

He stressed the significance of believing in persons with disabilities and not to discriminating against them, stating that persons with disability are breaking grounds in society.

The Ministry of Social Welfare’s Senior Social Services Officer, Alhaji Morlu Kanneh, commended Dorothy Springer Trust for complementing the Ministry’s work and urged parents and guardians to ensure that the support benefits the children with disabilities.

On behalf of the Ministry, he assured Dorothy Springer Trust of the Ministry’s continuous support towards addressing some of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities especially Children and Young Stars with disabilities in the country.

Dorothy Springer Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdulai Dumbuya, expressed gratitude to One Family People organization and Liliane Fonds for funding the program over the years which has helped them support these Children and Young Stars with Disabilities.

He stated that as part of this 3rd quarter’s efforts, the organization conducted a needs assessment to better understand the specific requirements of the children especially on the 4 focuses of the program which includes health, education, livelihood, and social inclusion.

Dr. Abdulai Dumbuya said that on health the organization is providing anti-epilepsy medication for these children, assistive devices, including crutches, eyeglasses, and wheelchairs to these children, furthering that on social inclusion the organization is doing a lot of advocacy on acceptance of these children both in their communities and schools in order to stop the discrimination against them.

On livelihood, he disclosed that DST is supporting these children to access vocational training like tailoring, bead work, carpentry etc. by covering fees and purchasing their equipment.

In the realm of education, Dorothy Springer Trust ensured access to transportation, home care, toiletries, and school supplies for pre-school, primary, and secondary school pupils.

The CEO stated that they are with the strong conviction that through their support in these four support pillars these children will be empowered to do so many things and most importantly become independent people with disabilities as well as to be valuable members of society.

He concluded by encouraging parents to make good use of the opportunity by ensuring that the items are utilized for their intended purpose by these Children and Young Stars with Disabilities.

Parents of the beneficiaries present at the ceremony expressed appreciation to Dorothy Springer Trust, One Family People, and the Liliane Fonds for the support given to their children.

They assured that the items will be used for their intended purpose in order to support their children.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of an award to the Chief Executive Officer of Dorothy Springer Trust, Dr. Abdulai Dumbuya by Students with Special Needs, University of Sierra Leone for his immense contributions and support to them followed by the official distribution of essential supplies to the children, accompanied by their parents or guardians.


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