As part of its COVID-19 global pandemic intervention grant, the United Methodist Church (UMC) National Women’s Organisation has donated various food and non-food items worth $9,000 to the aged, single mothers and children benefiting 200 households in the Western Area, Moyamba West, Pujehun, Lunsar and Port Loko District.
COVID-19 preventive items like veronica buckets, hand washing soap, flyers/posters and face masks were also distributed to the beneficiaries.
The UMC National Women’s Organisation appealed to its sister organization in America that provided the funds for the purchase and distribution of the items targeting districts that did not benefit from the Women’s Empowerment/Income Generating Skills Project in Makeni in the Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone.
Prior to the distribution of the items in the various communities, prayer and worship sessions were conducted by the women who also sensitized the beneficiaries about the preventive measures for the COVID-19 after which each beneficiary received a bag (made by the women) containing toothbrush and paste, soap and other toiletries.
The donated breakfast and other food items included cocoa, sugar, bake beans, mayonnaise, rice, tomato paste, salt and onions as well as biscuits and sweets for the children.
Three people shared a bag of rice with each getting 30 cups.
Before the distribution, the pastors in charge of the various churches choose the beneficiaries after which the lists were sent to the UMC National Women’s Organisation in Freetown for verification.
In an interview at the UMC Mission House on Lightfoot Boston Street in Freetown, Pastor Mrs. Ethel Sandy said they give God the glory as the distribution exercise was not an easy task adding that the beneficiaries are very much appreciative of the gifts and observed that some of the people did not even have money to pay their return fare while some of them cried as they did not expect such gifts.
For the distribution in the Western Area, the women divided the churches into two zones – East for churches from Goderich that assembled at the King Memorial Church, Regent Road and West for churches that assembled at Brown Memorial, Kissy in the East of Freetown.
Pastor Sandy concluded that the distribution was done during the lockdown, the period that was not easy to move throughout the country as they had to hire vehicles and buy fuel recalling that during the distribution in the Western Area, it rained heavily but that those who could not make it but were registered came the next day and collected their packages observing that on their way to Pujehun, police almost apprehended the overloaded vehicle but gives God the glory.
She also disclosed that old and sick pastors who are housebound, like Rev. Esther Aruna and Rev. Nancy Showers, also benefited from the laudable gesture.
The Sierra Leone team of eight for the distribution exercise was divided into two with Pastor Mrs. Ethel Sandy, Mrs. Sarah Jalloh and Ms. Edith Rogers in one team while the other team included Sylvanette Tower and Mrs. Sarah Kargbo.