After being awarded a United States Agency International Development through the American Schools and Hospitals, Healey International Relief Foundation on Friday 18th November 2022 launched the ‘Innovate Your Future’ Project to support at-risk youth in Sierra Leone. By extension, the project will provide eight Universal Anesthesia Machines to be placed at “four faith-based” hospitals in Sierra Leone. The project is a two year long project.
The launching kick-started with an opening prayer from Reverend Father Peter Conteh, the Board Chair of Healey International Relief Foundation Sierra Leone followed by a brief insight into the work of Healey in Sierra Leone by the Country Director Mr Ishmeal Alfred Charles.
Speaking to journalists at their office in Kingtom, Mr Charles said the project is consist of two phases; the first phase will support faith-based hospitals with Universal Anesthesia Machines and the second phase will support at-risk youth in Sierra Leone by sensitizing them about the significance of teamwork, science and innovation and how these components will help solve economic and healthcare challenges in Sierra Leone.
Four faith-based hospitals in each of the four regions in Sierra Leone will benefit from the Universal Anesthesia Machines (UAM). These hospitals will be equipped with eight UAMs two for each. These teams will help to address the major challenges faced by these hospitals like the lack of electricity supply and medical oxygen.
The second phase of the project will see the implementation workshops and sites visit for youths aged 10-19. The workshops and sites visit is to teach and direct these allocated youths how to use the Universal Anesthesia Machines to save the lives of their community compatriots and work towards improving healthcare services in their various communities. This phase will also see the teaching of the seven American values.
The seven American Values, which are Individualism; Equality; Informality; The Future, Change, and Progress; Achievement, Action, Work, Materialism; Directness and Assertiveness; and Time, will be used to teach the youths to better their communities and country as a whole. These values, according to Mr Charles have been an integral part of the transformation of American society and have over the years helped the United States of America to achieve great things thereby making them the superpower they are today. When asked “why these (the American values) values and not the ‘Sierra Leonean values’”, Mr Charles noted that it’s important to learn from the success stories of countries like the United States of America. He continues by saying the United States is an inspiration to many developing countries in Africa and the world so implementing their values with ours will see a transformation in our motherland.
Healy International Relief Foundation has been operating in Sierra Leone since the year 2001. The foundation started its operation in Sierra Leone during the post-war conflicts that saw the death of over 70,000 Sierra Leoneans and hundreds of thousands displaced. Healey has been partnering with Caritas Sierra Leone, one of the oldest charity organizations in Sierra Leone, to assist and complement the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone by rendering disaster relief support; delivering healthcare services and education in Sierra Leone.