, 18 September, 2020 / 9:00 PM
The charity arm of Sierra Leone’s Archdiocese of Freetown has reached out to several families of police officers whose houses were razed down and their properties destroyed following last week’s inferno at the Kingtom Police Barracks, which is within the precincts of the Archdiocese.
Caritas Freetown Programs Manager, Ishmeal Charles told ACI Africa on Friday, September 18 that the September 7 inferno, which was caused by an electrical glitch, left at least 20 people from five families homeless and were now living at a school without help from the government.
“At the moment, the police officers and their families are living at a school because learning is not going on. Most of them don’t know where they will go next,” Charles said.
Partnering with Healey International Relief Foundation, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and LANYI Foundation under the umbrella organization, Partnering to Serve Humanity, Caritas Freetown has donated food and non-food items including blankets, shoes and sandals and clothing.
Police officers in Sierra Leone face a myriad of challenges at work including low salary and limited accommodation, according to the Caritas Freetown official who told ACI Africa that the officers lack sufficient resources to enable them carry out their responsibilities well.
“Caritas Freetown has a very good working relationship with the Police and the Government. Our role is to complement the work of Government. Government has the sole responsibility to care for its citizens, hence our services are complimentary,” Charles said, noting that the Charity arm of the Church in Freetown did not segregate when reaching out to those in need.
At the distribution ceremony on Monday, September 14, Fr. Peter Konteh who is the Executive Director of Caritas Freetown empathized with the homeless police officers and encouraged them to hold onto the little donation they received from charity.
“We know that what we are giving is not commensurate to what you have lost but we want to identify with your situation and be in solidarity with you in this moment of difficulty,” Fr. Peter, a member of the Clergy of Freetown Archdiocese, said.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa