Struggling Orphans Smile

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MAID students and children of the Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage

— As MAID students COVID-19 initiative donate to Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage.

By Titus Barbu

The MAID students’ COVID-19 initiative has donated food and assorted materials to children of the Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage.

The event took place on July 8 at the main compound of the orphanage, which is located in 1st Sherman Farm, Bong Mines Road, Margibi County. Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage has been struggling to cater to the needs of the children at its orphanage.

According to the group, which comprises largely students of the Master of Arts in International Development (MAID) at the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) University, they have recognized that a key part of their responsibility as emerging development practitioners and diplomats is to foster change, motivate and contribute to society in times of peace or crisis.

The MAID project donated over 12 bags of (25kg) rice, 2 cartons of locally-produced washing soap and 1 carton of toothpaste to the Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage. In addition, the group also distributed candies, chocolates and cheese among the orphans.

The proprietress of the orphanage, Madam Miatta W. Sayklon, said the donation came at the right time as the Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), an international organization that used to support them, stopped assisting the Orphanage in 2017. Since then, she said, the orphanage has been struggling to care for orphans and keep the school running. “CAM was supporting us until they came up with a standard in 2017, that all supported orphanages should be fenced and we did not have money to fence the compound.”

Madam Sayklon said she doesn’t have the financial strength to fence the orphanage, adding that she is now single-handedly sponsoring the orphanage’s programs. She said it is a huge task to take as a female and that she cannot send these children back to where they came from because they do not have parents.

“We currently have 69 children under our control, with 9 of them in Kakata City attending high school. Most of these children are below the age of 14. We also run the Sayklon Community School that is a host to the surrounding communities, but we find it difficult to feed these children. Now with the school, we are facing a lot of problems. We face problems with paying our staffers, our caregivers, and even purchasing instructional materials so as to give our children quality education,” Madam Sayklon noted.

Madam Sayklon also added that because of the lack of support, they depend on subsistence gardens in order to feed themselves. “We grow cassava, potato-greens, eddoes and palava sauce, which we harvest and sell some for food. At times, the cassava root can’t even grow well; we root it out just to find food for these children to eat for that day,” she said.

Recently, the MAID project successfully implemented their first project, with over L$50,000 donated to four independent media outlets in Liberia to support COVID-19 awareness and its preventive measures. The beneficiary media entities included OK FM (99.5), Kool FM (91.9), Truth FM (96.1) and the Daily Observer newspaper.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 and 3, which began on July 8, 2020, with the donation of over five hundred locally-produced nose masks, along with hand-washing barrels and detergents (powder soap and Chlora) to seven educational institutions in Liberia, including four hundred 12th Graders across six secondary schools in Kakata, Margibi County, which is one of the regions hardest-hit by COVID-19 in Liberia.

The group put the cost of the items donated at L$115,500.

The targeted secondary schools are St. Christopher Catholic Senior High School, George V. Gibson Memorial United Methodist Senior High School, St. Paul Lutheran Senior High School, Albert Orsborn Salvation Army Senior High School, Sayklon Community School, Lango Lippaye Senior High School, as well as Kakata Community College.



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