By Fatmata Jengbe
In its efforts to mitigate the spread of the corona virus pandemic (COVID-19) in Sierra Leone, the Irish League of Credit Union Federation (ILCUF) Limited in partnership with the National Cooperative Credit Union Association (NaCCUA) on Friday 8th May 2020 donated facemasks, Veronica buckets, containers of liquid soap, hand sanitizers, assorted materials on COVID-91 and 5 Android mobile phones all estimated at Le57 million to various Credit Unions in Sierra Leone under the National Cooperative Credit Union Association of Sierra Leone at an impressive ceremony at ILCUF’s 45 Fort Street headquarters in Freetown to be distributed to over 5,000 of their committed/active members nationwide. This is in accordance to some of the cooperative principles which talks about Cooperation among cooperatives and concern for the community.
The items were distributed to among others Bayconsfield, Local Food Sellers, Mount Auroel, Yams Farm, Goderich, Passionate Progressive and Tawopaneh Credit Unions. Other items are for Credit Unions outside Freetown.
Handing over the items to the Chairperson of the National Cooperative Credit Union Association of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Lillian Songo, the General Manager of ILCUF, Mr. Solomon Mwongyere revealed that ILCUF and the National Association are concerned about the welfare of their members and the communities in which they operate underscoring that members of Credit Unions must abide by the mandatory government law to wear facemasks in public and appealed to them to use the items to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the country.
According to Mr. Solomon Mwongyere, the coronavirus pandemic is a global concern that has affected the entire world, that they are looking at ways to prevent it, that Credit Unions are financial institutions working continuously in spite of the outbreak and promised to monitor the beneficiaries to ensure that the items are judiciously utilized recalling that Credit Unions in the provinces are sending pictures of their members’ compliance with the preventive measures.
The General Manager also encouraged all to abide by the preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, to contact his office in case they need help as well as to call and make suggestions through the program Talk Your Mind initiated by ILCUF with NaCCUA and to remain safe revealing that members send daily reports of their financial transactions through the Android phones donated by the ILCUF to ensure the safety of their members’ savings and even themselves.
He also sensitized the people about the prevent measures of the corona virus pandemic like frequent washing of hands with soap and clean water, to avoid crowded places, wearing of facemasks in public, encouraging the sick to go to the hospital, to stay at home stressing that the donation is a little support to Credit Unions to give to their members.
Receiving the items, the Chairperson of the National Cooperative Credit Union Associations of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Lillian Songo, on behalf of her members, said they are highly delighted to receive the items even in these trying times all over the world, expressed thanks and appreciation to the donors and their partners in Ireland and observed that only one who loves you can make such a donation during this global pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus and promised to sensitize her members about the preventive measures of the pandemic.
She furthered prayed for the a swift end to the pandemic for people to return to their normal lives, that most of her members are illiterates for which she commended ILCUF for producing and distributing posters of the preventive measures that her members better understand and underscored that they are concerned about the communities in which their members operate.
Representatives of the different Credit Unions expressed appreciation and similar sentiments to the donors. The Chairperson of Tawopaneh, Mr Issa Bangura, mentioned that this is a big boost to their Credit Unions and he pledged that members would always wear facemasks each time they coming to their Credit Unions and public as per government directives.
The facemasks were locally produced by S.A. Sports Wear of 4 Sanders Street in Freetown.