By Minkailu Turay……….
The 2012 flagbearer of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio yesterday launched the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation and Education Support Fund for Ebola Orphans at a colourful ceremony held at the Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. The Foundation is to provide scholarships to children from very poor families in order for them to access quality education.
In his speech, at the mammoth gathering, Brig. Bio said the Foundation was registered in Sierra Leone and was launched in London on 30th May 2014 noting that a grand launch will take place in Freetown when situation in the country normalises.
He noted that, the Ebola outbreak will leave behind children that will need home to live, clothes to wear, food to eat, medicine and support for education. “In line with the objectives, Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation is establishing an Education Support Fund for Ebola Orphans”, Brig. Bio said.
He explained that the fund is to provide education support for children of health workers who have died in active service and all other children between 6 and 18 years whose benefactors have died of the Ebola virus.
The former flagbearer whilst making his statement contributed an initial seed capital of Le25 million to the fund which he said is only the beginning. He intends to call on government and stakeholders to care for these children. “I call on all to contribute to this fund and would like to call on the government to immediately commence the design and implementation of a holistic national programme for this new poor and vulnerable Sierra Leoneans” he said.
Rtd Brig. Bio further noted that, the fund will be managed by the Board of the Foundation and Special Management Committee comprising teachers, community leaders and other stakeholders. He said Dr. Kadi Sesay, a renowned educationalist will be the contact person. The name of the account he said is Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation Ltd, the account number is 201/3126282/1/1/0 and is opened at the Guaranty Trust Bank (SL) Limited.
Earlier, he said he donated 320 bags of rice to Ebola affected families in Kailahun, Kenema and other districts.
Making a statement, the National Chairman and Leader of the SLPP, Chief Somano Kapen lauded Brig. Bio for his initiative. He said Sierra Leoneans should act in a concerted manner to eradicate the dreadful disease and promised that Brig. Bio will have his fullest support.
The chairman of the august gathering, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie applauded Brig. Maada Bio and wife for the setting up of the Foundation. Dr. Wurie said the occasion was very unique because it brought SLPP stakeholders together. He said Sierra Leoneans have capacity to do things and that they should not rely on the international community for everything.
By Minkailu Turay……….