Orphanage led by locals for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Rolal, Sierra Leonego Back
With the financial support of PfefferminzGreen, AIM began the construction of an orphanage in Rolal, Port Loko District, in August 2016. The need for a home for parentless children arose urgently during the Ebola outbreak of 2014. During AIM’s visits to communities in Port Loko District during which they offered food and medical supplies to families in need, Rugiatu Neneh Turay and her staff discovered dozens of children living alone on the streets, malnourished and neglected by the community out of a fear of contracting Ebola. Most of their parents had died from the virus, but the unknown causes of these deaths were explained locally by beliefs such as witchcraft, causing the community to abandon the children. The need to rehome the children was critical, but it was impossible to construct a new building during the pandemic and so the children lived inside a school built by AIM two years previously (also with the financial support of PfefferminzGreen).
The opening of the school at the end of the Ebola outbreak created a difficult situation for both the children and the quality of teaching. In February 2017, a new building for the children was finally completed and 37 orphans were given their very own home. The orphanage is located within the community of Rolal, right next to the AIM School and Kindergarten, meaning that the children are able to attend the nursery, primary and secondary school classes every day without walking very far. This also enables the children to grow up in the same traditional and cultural environment as their deceased parents and in this way learn about their roots, language and customs.
The new orphanage was financed with the support of the Rotary Club Frankfurt/Main-International and in addition to being a welcoming home, it also offers new hope for the future for many parentless and vulnerable children. The head of the orphanage, Mrs Margareth, looks after all 37 children with the support of two more women, Mariatu and Kadiatu, who provide help with the cleaning and cooking as well as the care of the little ones.