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Friday, April 19, 2024

Henrietta Sowo Bassey Commissions Intellectual Impaired School in Bo City

By Jonathan Hindolo Kurabu Esq.

The Junior’s Place of Hope (JPOH), founded, by a Sierra Leonean, Henrietta Sowo Bassey, was recently inaugurated in Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone. With the full financial, legal and emotional support from her husband, Dr Edrissa Bassey, the dream of the Henrietta Sowo Bassey of establishing a Special Education School, not a Home, for children and young adults suffering from Autism, Cerebral palsy, Attention Deficit Disorder and other intellectual disabilities was actualized.

The Founder, Henrietta Sowo Bassey, passionately intimated how she would not have undertaken such an initiative without the financial support from her husband saying at the moment they are not getting any Government or external funding.  She pointed out how they have been receiving small donations from some family members and friends that have been helping them with fuel for the van to pick up and drop off the students and also for the preparation of food while they are concentrating on the bigger expenses of building the school and paying salaries. Henrietta appealed for continued donor support to ensure the sustainability of their noble cause.

Henrietta Sowo Bassey, CEO and Founder of JPOH, further revealed how the initiative was conceived in honor of her 33-year-old son, Edrissa Bassey Jr., born in the United States who is suffering from autism. She disclosed that upon her return to Sierra Leone, she was disheartened by the plight of similarly affected children facing societal stigma and parental neglect. Motivated by compassion, Henrietta, alongside her husband, established JPOH on Sowo Bassey Street near the CKC Cemetery in Bo City.

JPOH is presently offering academic, recreational, and vocational programs for individuals with diverse intellectual disabilities.

Commending the initiativ

 

e, the Mayor of Bo City Counc

 

il and the Chairman of Bo District Council pledged unwavering support from their respective Councils.

Hon. Mamusu Massaquoi, Deputy Minister of Basic Education and Guest Speaker, hailed  the initiative behind JPOH as a historic milestone aligned with the Ministry’s principles of radical inclusion further pledging additional government support, including inclusion in subsidy programs and school feeding initiatives.

In the ceremony when the aforementioned disclosure was made Rev. Shodankeh Johnson, QUROSA, relatives, friends, parents, and various non-governmental organizations made and pledged generous contributions.

Autism, a global neurological disorder, affects individuals worldwide. While its exact causes remain under study, common symptoms include challenges in social interaction, communication and sensory processing. With a prevalence rate estimated at 1-2% of the global population, awareness and intervention strategies are crucial.

Therapeutic interventions such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training play pivotal roles in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with autism, underscoring the importance of continued support and awareness efforts.

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