By Hassan Ibrahim Conteh
The head of a famous orphanage home in Kissy Town, Waterloo, has said that they have experienced acute food shortage due to the seizure of donor support amidst the corona virus crisis.
Mohamed Conteh, Managing Director of Mercy Ship Orphanage, says they are grappling with the “pressure” of feeding over 180 children owing to the “cut down” of church donations based in the United States.
“We often get donations out of some members’ church offering. But the church, in USA, has been closed due to this corona,” he explained.
The order, by President Donald Trump, to close down religious places, including churches, followed a hike in the number of corona virus cases in some states in USA. It was part of the drastic measures undertaken by governments around the world in a bid to curtaining public gathering with an effort to keep the virus from spreading widely. But Conteh said the Orphanage has seriously been affected by the church closure.
A church group called ANGLACOMA, based in the United States, was largely helping Mercy Ship Orphanage home with food supply and other items.
The orphanage, which is owned by Rev Hassan Mansaray of the Lord’s Vision church, is named after Mercy Ship departure from Kissy Town. After its operation ceased, Mercy Ship gave access of its office building to the Lord’s Vision church for an extension of its orphanage situated at Melon Street, Wellington in east of Freetown.
Mercy Ships is a charity group founded by Don and Deyon Stephens in 1978, which mainly focuses on providing free surgical operations and community based preventive health care across Africa.
Conteh says, during Sierra Leone’s three (3) days lockdown, WHO supplied them foodstuff such as beans and rice, adding that government also assisted them with food supply through Japan food donation. But the Orphanage is currently battling with food shortage, making the children starve with hunger.
“We really want government to continue their support and to concentrate more on the orphans because they are very sorrowful,” he said.
The Lords Vision church orphanage, which is now popularly known as Mercy Ship Orphanage because of people’s familiarity of its building, came into existence since 2002.
“Since 2002 we have produced many students and almost 40 graduates from FBC, IPAM, EBK and UNIMAK across the country,” he boasted.
Conteh said the Ministry of Social Welfare usually brought them children for “interim care.”
The Wellington Orphanage is also owned by the Lord’s Vision church.
The orphanage has both a primary and a junior school. But, Conteh said, most of their orphanage pupils who are transferred, after promotion to the next level, to attend Perry Alliance Primary and Secondary, clicked the first-three positions in classes in the senior level.
Asked how the kids are being treated, Alie Kanu, a security officer, attached at Mercy Ship Orphanage, expressed sympathy for the orphans.
“It is a Godly work; when taking care of children you need to know how to deal with them,” he said.