By Theresa Kef Sesay
Sierra Leonean students pursuing various courses in the Arab Republic of Egypt recently received financial support from the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in that country.
The Embassy ,under the leadership of His Excellency, Ambassador Morie Fofana and his abled team of Diplomatic Staff donated on 16th April 2020 the sum of twelve thousand Egyptian pounds (LE 12,000), which is equivalent to ($765) as financial assistance for 20 students currently living in Al Azhar dormitories.
Presenting the money to the Students’ Union President, the Humanitarian Officer in the Embassy of Sierra Leone Embassy informed the Students’ Union President that the Embassy is aware of the difficulties facing the students during these trying times and assured them of continued support from the Embassy to alleviate the sufferings of Sierra Leoneans in Egypt and in all countries of accreditation.
Receiving the package, the Students’ Union President expressed his profound appreciation for the good gesture extended to his Union by the Ambassador and Staff of the Embassy. He described the Embassy Staff as brothers and sisters in need. He promised to distribute the money to the intended beneficiaries.
The President thanked His Excellency, Ambassador Fofana and his staff for the assistance and emphasized on the students’ gratitude to the Embassy as it always support the Sierra Leonean community in Egypt both morally and financially for which they are very grateful.
The novel corona virus pandemic commonly known as Covid-19 has seriously affected the lives of millions of people around the world as a result of its unabated spread globally. Subsequently, countries around the world have been forced to impose precautionary and preventive measures in their efforts to end the spread of Covid-19.
The Arab Republic of Egypt, which is the host country of the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone is also accredited to other four North African countries. These are: the Republic of Tunisia, the Republic of Sudan, the State of Libya and the Republic of Chad.
The Arab Republic of Egypt has taken series of precautionary and preventive measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus. These measures include a curfew that begins at 7: pm and ends at 6: am, banning public gatherings, restricting people’s movements etc.
There are over 500 Sierra Leoneans that are currently residing in the Arab Republic of Egypt among, whom are students, housemaids, Sierra-Egyptian (children born to Sierra Leonean fathers with Egyptian mothers), and few Sierra Leonean expatriates who work in regional and International Organizations.
The majority of Sierra Leonean students in the Arab Republic of Egypt pursue their studies under the scholarships of the world renowned Islamic University of Al-Azhar. Around 90 percent of these students live in Al-Azhar dormitories in an area called Darassa.
Given the danger that could be caused by the viral disease within the students’ community in the dormitories; the authorities of the dormitories headed by a superintendent imposed partial measures to ensure the safety of students, including entry and exit restrictions to prevent students from contracting the virus.