We are really sad to announce the death of a boy we have been working for.
After the fire a few months ago we discovered one of the boys we took in at the time had a persistent breathing problem. We discovered he had a hole in his heart.
With great work from our team in Freetown they secured funding for him to travel to India and have a life saving operation and we were just getting his passport sorted.
He has sadly died from heart failure while waiting on September 13th.
Grafton Site purchase - update
Thank you for all your donations and support so far!
We're now getting nearer to our goal of purchasing the Grafton Site land. Read more about our plan to purchase the site announced earlier this month.
Grafton Site purchase
The St George Foundation has been given the opportunity to purchase the land used for our site.
We have managed (with the Scouts goodwill I have to say) to agree price probably about a third of the true market value. That came about by taking into consideration the developments that we have created over the years. The prices have rocketed in the last few years since a main road connected the area directly with Freetown city. In order to make it affordable we have split the site into two plots...the part we use on a daily basis and absolutely have to have, and a section that we would like for future development which we also currently occupy (if we can raise the funds).
We have agreed a price for the priority bit of $35,000 (US dollars; approximately £25,000) on around 2 acres which includes all the buildings.
The market value is about three times that and the Scouts have in fact sold an adjacent piece of land for the full value. On top of this there are also expenses and taxes due (much like our own stamp duty that need to be covered).
Following some fundraising, we now have $27,500 (£20,000) available and we are appealing to supporters to make loans for the remaining balance?
We currently pay $10,000 per annum in rent and so this will no longer happen and we propose that any money loaned is paid back out of the sum over the next few years until the money is repaid.
Of course if anyone would like to donate the money we would be very grateful.
The main objective in buying the site is that it gives security to continue the work over the coming years and at some point a new generation can take over.
St George 17 years old today!
It is a big day in St George Foundation today.
May the 5th 2004 (17 years ago today) Justina and a group of volunteers she had from church and her college days fed a group of 35 children some lunch and supper in the grounds of someone else’s orphanage and filled their afternoon with some activities. It was all out of their spare time and my spare money and some inspirational support from people around us.
The following day Justina called in a bit of a state…there were 50 children at the gate before she even got there! So they all got fed and they all joined what was to become the St George family and they all became brothers and sisters and all the volunteers became aunties and uncles. By the August holiday we had rented the first house and moved 68 children in and the St George work really began to grow into what we have done ever since.
We will be holding a prayer service on the weekend to give thanks to God for his blessings and especially for blessing the lives of the children we have worked for and always seeing us through the challenges we have faced.
Duke is doing great. He still has to have his operation but he is now quite well and joining in life with the other children and is now just one of the kids.
The children from the fire were able to benefit from a social centre we opened (in a tent provided by the Red Cross) along with the Catholic Church locally to give counselling support, meals and school activities and some fun for the children who lost their homes in the fire. Thirty five children actually came to live in with us who were in the most need and a couple of them that were suffering from smoke inhalation are now recovered.
A week ago we were donated a bus for a day and managed to take 80 children for a visit to the university and a tour of the highlights of Freetown followed by cultural talks from some visitors.
Life goes on
A special thanks to all of you that support us both financially and morally through all the times we have had.
With very best wishes
Devastating Fire Hits Freetown Slum
Guinea Ebola outbreak
There has been a small outbreak of Ebola in nearby Guinea over the past few days. The Sierra Leone government has taken measures to close its borders and we expect there will be measures in place to protect the population very quickly.
It is a concern - but we do not expect a major outbreak as previously as a great deal was learned at the time and medical advances made which should keep the outbreak under control.