Amputees Cry For Free Education

The Sierra Leonean amputees’ community has appealed for greater inclusion into the free quality education programme of the New Direction Government.

The amputees, who made the appeal at the week at Rokel Village, say since the launch of the flagship programme of the ‘New Direction’ Government, their involvement has been limited due to the limited schools approved by the government in their locality.

Rokel Village is located a few kilometers on the outskirts of Freetown and there are only two approved schools in the whole area, meaning many of the children of the amputees are forced to enroll in private schools that do not benefit from the scheme.”We are appealing for the amputees to be given special attention in the free quality education initiative,” said the Secretary General of National Amputees’ Association of Sierra Leone, Pastor Tamba Finnoh.

He was speaking at a ceremony marking the handing over of learning materials donated to the community by the Melqosh Mission International. The handing over was done by Pastor Sister Faith, the Head of Melqosh Mission International and pioneer of the donation with support from GTBank. The package included school fees targeting at over 50 amputee school children. The Melqosh Mission has over the years been very supportive of people with disabilities, including supporting over 350 pupils in the community during the last school year.

Pastor Finnoh also used the opportunity to call on President Julius Maada Bio’s attention to the plight of the amputee community in the country. Eleanor Massah Abdulai, a Melqosh Mission Advocate, who is also an amputee, stressed on the need of empower female with disabilities in health, jobs and education. Another amputee, Mariatu Mayango also emphasised the need to empower the amputees.

The amputees also used the opportunity to narrate some of their ordeals, ranging from encroachment of their lands by able bodied neighbors to stigmatization and discrimination.

Speaking on behalf of GTBank, the General Manager, Mr. Ade Adebiyi stressed the need to support the free quality education programme of the New Direction Government. He assured of his bank’s continuous support to education.

The chief benefactor, Pastor Faith, who is Founder of Melqosh Mission International, called on the government, local and international partners to support persons with disabilities. She explained that her organisation felt obliged to support persons with disabilities, especially amputees, after seeing what they go through in the streets across the country. Pastor Faith said she wanted them to live independent lives devoid of begging.