Sierra Leone

Providing a Better Environment for the Visually Impaired Children

News and Press Release
Originally published

Since 2015, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (BTCF), along with its partners including Caritas Freetown, Healey International Relief Foundation, and Lanyi Foundation, started to deliver humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable populations in the Republic of Sierra Leone. In the country, BTCF mainly focuses on supporting the livelihoods of the Ebola survivors, orphans, people with disabilities, women and girls, and flood survivors, through the distribution of food items and non-food items including rice, blanket, multigrain powder, clothes, shoes, and others. Additionally, BTCF also sends its aid to various governmental and nongovernmental institutions including the health facilities, orphanages, and schools.

Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals, BTCF always prioritizes the well-being of the vulnerable children in Sierra Leone through the provision of basic necessities, ensuring the safety of the living and learning environment, and the promotion of humanistic culture. BTCF advocates for the advancement of equality and inclusivity of all children, particularly those that have disabilities, in terms of receiving the same quality education, access to resources, and the dignity to live normal lives. BTCF has been continuously supporting the children with disabilities, such as visually impaired children and children born with developmental defects, in the Western and Southern provinces of Sierra Leone.

On June 30, BTCF completed a reconstruction of the dormitories and dining hall of a school in Bo district, namely Paul’s School for the Blind, which has provided basic education to more than 57 visually impaired children that live around the community. Ensuring a safe environment for the children, BTCF renovated the damaged parts of the building including the floor, walls, ceilings, tables, and the staircases. As a means to empower the local community, BTCF purchased bed frames from the Grafton Polio Community, Freetown, and donated them to the Paul’s School for the Blind, Bo, providing an opportunity to advance the local economy and for the vulnerable populations to learn that they are capable of making contributions despite limited. BTCF believes that everyone has the capacity to give and to provide, regardless of their socioeconomic status, age, gender, race, among others. Incorporating this principle in all its work, BTCF has empowered tens of thousands of volunteers, coming from various poor and vulnerable communities around 100 countries, to lead and to implement the development programs that have improved the lives of those populations.

BTCF will continue to strengthen its efforts in addressing the needs of the vulnerable children in Sierra Leone, creating inclusive and safe communities, in which all children could enjoy the same opportunities in receiving a quality education and a holistic livelihood development. With the existing partnership and collaboration, BTCF will continue to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance as well as community development programs, to make Sierra Leone a better place.

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