All news posts
A nurse from St George Church in Germany will be visiting the Centre from October to end of December. She will be concentrating on training the staff and the resident Centre nurse in particular.
It is also planned for her to be working on a programme with the severely disabled children, who have all improved considerably since Hilary visited the Centre earlier in the year. Even though Hilary was ill much of the time and returned early, it seems she has planted a seed that has been really positive for these children.
A volunteer student paediatric nurse is also going to visit the Centre in early October, as she has a nursing placement in two hospitals in Freetown. It is hoped that both she and St George Foundation will benefit from her visit.
We are hoping to have clean water piped in soon.
CRS (Catholic Relief service) bought land for a community group at Grafton, very close to the Centre. They have their own large dam that supplies them with water and the community is in agreement that St George can access that water, but it has to pass a neighbouring (industrial) property to reach the main road and then the pipes will be laid along the highway so avoiding private property and the scouts land.
We are also expecting to be connected to the electricity supply soon.
We have paid our deposit (50%), but the electricity company is waiting for the remainder of the neighbouring properties that want electricity to pay their deposits too in order to make the final connections. It seems that the electricity company is waiting for a critical mass to have paid to justify completing this.
Flooding Emergency in Freetown
There has been serious flooding, loss of life and displaced children in Freetown, who urgently need help. The following news appeal is provided by Justina Conteh from St George Foundation in Sierra Leone.
Tackling shocks and depression experiences by children affected by flooding in Freetown area
Over 2 months (August and September 2019), this project will provide temporal shelter, food and non-food items for 100 children displaced by flood waters in Bathurst, Regent, Kaningo, Culvert, Congo Town Bridge and Tombo communities in Western Area Urban and Rural districts. This would help the children to recover from the disaster, and prepare them to safely return to their families and begin schooling in September 2019. It will further help the affected children gain access to key facilities, like temporal shelter, food, clothing and learning materials to enhance short, medium and long-term growth and development.
100 children in Bathurst, Regent, Kaningo, Culvert, Congo Town Bridge and Tombo communities displaced by flood waters in Freetown and environs are protected through the provision of temporal shelter, and food and non-food items to help them recover from effects of depression and shocks experienced during the floods, and to better prepare them to return to their families and schools in good health.
The project will be led St George Foundation, in partnership with St George Foundation UK, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and participating communities.
Why it matters
On August 2nd 2019, Freetown experienced heavy rainfall causing severe flooding in the whole city including communities of Regent, Culvert, Congo Town Bridge, Bathurst and Kaningo. On the same day, a mudslide occurred in Bathurst community killing two persons; and flood waters damaged homes, wrecked household assets, and injured people particularly women and children in the above communities. On 6th August 2019 again, another devastating flood took place in Tombo, a fishing village very close to Waterloo which left hundreds of families displaced. It is estimated that over 800 flood affected children presently need shelter, food and clothing support.
- Collaborate with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs to enrol 100 flood affected children at the St. George Interim Care Centre in Grafton for 2 months
- Provide food and non-food items including learning materials for 100 flood affected children
- Reunite children with their families and communities
Overall budget: £5000
Why St George Foundation?
St George Foundation, Sierra Leone, has vast experience in humanitarian emergency work including children affected by flood.
As can be seen from the above SGF in Sierra Leone urgently need about £5000 in order to help 100 affected children. Please donate whatever you can to help.
Aruna has been the centre manager for several years. He is perfect for the role - very caring and responsible.
Unfortunately, he has discovered that his wife has a hole in the heart and needs an urgent operation. They are raising $6,000 in order to have an operation in Ghana. We have been raising funds specifically for this purpose, and hoped to raise up to $1,500. We have sent $750 already, so are hoping to raise more funds.
The 2019 AGM will be held on Saturday 30th November at the Paterson Centre, Swanmore with an update from founder, Philip Dean.
Where: Paterson Centre, Swanmore, SO32 2PA
When: Saturday 30th November. 10.00am to 12.30pm
A games evening is being planned for the Autumn – to be held in the Paterson Centre, Swanmore, SO32 2PA.
Date to be agreed. Watch this space!
Sierra Leone Update - August 2019
Children at the Centre
The 2018 intake of children at the Centre are reunified with relations, following an extensive tracing exercise. A new intake of around 30 children will then be rescued from the streets of Freetown. It is hoped they will have settled sufficiently to be able to attend school for the 2019/20 academic year.
Supply of Clean Water
The water pipes were previously connected to the dam but have been vandalised, and as the dam is some distance from the Centre it is difficult to provide security.
Water is urgently needed by the end of the rainy season (end October). It looks like we may be able to connect the Centre to another organisation’s own water source, with their agreement. We need to raise funds in order to pay for the necessary materials and labour. Budget awaited.
Up to now electricity has been provided by a generator, which has sometimes failed. We are now about to be able to connect to a mains supply. The cost is £1,000, and this has been provided by a generous supporter. Connection work is underway and connection should be made within a few weeks.
Tea Party 2019
Where: The Bishops Waltham Palace Ruins, SO32 1DH.
When: Saturday 29th June
We joined forces with the Bishop's Waltham Festival this year to create a tea/garden party with live music.
We had cream teas, cakes, BBQ, ice creams, 'guaranteed sunshine', plant sales and non stop live entertainment to listen to and activities to join in. This included:
- A jazz band playing,
- Chomp (a music band),
- A come 'n' sing choir,
- Irish Dance,
- Serena Lynn (Vera Lynne songs)
- Swanmore Wind Orchestra
- Ending with the very lively Southampton Ukulele Band
- Plus an African drum workshop for those that want to have a go themselves.
It was a great day and raised about £1,200. Click on the photos below to enlarge.
To be reprised next year when it will be even more fun!
Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge
Patrick and Kathryn completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks, walking 25 miles in 10 hours and 57 minutes on Saturday 15 June 2019 for the St George Foundation.
Patrick is a trustee of the charity and spent 6 months in Sierra Leone working with DfID and the MoD to defeat the Ebola crisis in 2015. During his time in Sierra Leone, Patrick was introduced the St George Foundation centre in Grafton, Freetown and spent much of his free time helping and supporting the charity’s work whilst working on the Ebola crisis.
To support Patrick and Kathryn, visit their JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathryn-harvey7
Huge thanks to them and really well done for raising in excess of £1,500 in total.
Mudslide Victim Snapshot - Abdul
Abdul is 13 years old and was attending the God’s Project Academy primary school at Regent. He was living with both parents at the above address.
Abdul deeply remembers the mudslide which took away his parents by surprise. He remembers when a sound struck like a thunder, but he was still asleep due to the down pour of rain at about 7:am. He was woken up from his sleep when his father told him to go outside the house and that something is about to happen, so he became afraid as many people were running from one point to another to protect their lives. As Abdul’s father tried to help them cross them over to the other side of the road, flood water sweep the entire family away, and Abdul was rescued from the flood water by another man who took him out to safety. He was admitted at the Connaught hospital, and was there for two weeks before he was referred us for temporary care and support. He was provided with support and psycho-social first aid treatment because of the trauma.
Abdul is now coping well with other children as his life has turned around again. He is happy and we're planning to enrol him in the coming school year, because there is a great potential in the little boy.
Mudslide Victim Snapshot - Fatama
On the 14th August, 2017 at about 7:00am in the morning, Fatmata was asleep with her two children in the same house (aged 7yrs and 1yr 10 months). At around 7:30am the rain was pounding the ground furiously she was not able to go out as usual in the market, after few minutes she overheard a strange sound like a crash nearby, her children were still sleeping enjoying the beat of the rain fall that wonderful morning.
She was so terrified when the land slide occurred within two seconds, Fatmata and her entire neighbourhood were covered in mud buried underneath the earth. She was absolutely in ‘a death row’ when well-wishers arrived at the scene started digging out the debris. Fatmata said she was very lucky to be rescued by the volunteers but could not find her two beloved children in the rubble. She sustained serious injuries due to the heavy rocks coming from the hills. She was admitted at the Connaught hospital for two weeks before she was later referred to us for temporary shelter and counselling.
When Fatmata arrived she was traumatized and could not see her two children. She started crying when she saw other children playing with their brothers or sisters. She was provided with daily to help de-traumatize her from this terrible event.
Fatmata was also provided with further medication and now her life is much more stable than before. She has started interacting well with others as she slowly recovers from pains and agony of disaster.
Fatmata plans to establish a business after this trauma with the support of St George Foundation to help her regain her confidence.
Freetown Mudslide and Flooding
We've been called into action by Department of Social Welfare and UNICEF (alongside Don Boscoes and SOS Children's Centre) to get involved with the emergency relief effort following the mudslide and extensive flooding to Freetown.
There are a huge number of children separated from their families, so the three organisations will work to register them and provide immediate care. We also being asked to provide counselling services.
We are aiming to prepare 50 beds on but do not have the funds to support this many children. We have requested assistance from UNICEF and others, but anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated - please click donate now button for ways to help
All our children and staff are OK, and we are not aware of any children being affected that have previously stayed with us. The hillside above the centre has suffered considerable deforestation and unofficial development recently and as a result a large number of rocks slid down the hill and crashed into our water reservoir. Damage to the reservoir and pipework means we currently have no water supply. It is however repairable and for the moment we will have to buy in bottled water until we can fix it.
John Vearncombe on BBC Radio Solent
John Vearncombe was interviewed by Julian Clegg on his breakfast show on BBC Radio Solent, to talk about his participation in the upcoming Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, which kicks off in a few days from Liverpool.
John aims to complete the entire 40,000 nautical mile challenge and is asking members of the public to sponsor each mile for the St George Foundation at £1/mile.
Cheer John on in his immense global challenge, and help save another child in need with the St George Foundation.
Round the World Clipper Race - John Vearncombe
Children’s charity the ‘St George Foundation’ named as charity of choice by John Vearncombe in Clippers 2017/18 Round the World Race
Southampton – 24th July 2017: Sierra Leone street child charity, the St George Foundation is proud to announce that Hampshire resident John Vearncombe has chosen to fundraise for the charity as he takes part in this years round the world Clipper race.
The race, which is due to commence on the 20th August will find the team sailing from Liverpool for the first 5,200 nautical mile leg journey. John and his team will board the Clipper yacht ‘Liverpool’ named after the city itself, which is 1 of 12 identical Clipper racing yachts taking part in this 40,000 nautical mile race around the world.
“I started sailing at the age of 28 after moving to Dundee, where I was able to join a local sailing club and fulfil my interest in sailing. It was here that I first came across the Clipper Round the World Race, and so began my journey to be a part of the most gruelling amateur global sea race known to man” said John Vearncombe “As I take part in this once in a lifetime challenge, I want to use my experience to help others. This is why I chose to fundraise for the St George Foundation, asking people to sponsor each mile of my journey where I will dedicate the entire £40,000 sponsorship target to helping the street children of Sierra Leone”.
The St George Foundation has been helping homeless orphans from the streets of Sierra Leone since 2004, providing shelter, education, medical care and reconnecting the children with lost family once settled. “We are extremely honoured and grateful to John for choosing the St George Foundation as his charity of choice as he takes on this enormous human endeavour” said St George Foundation Co-Founder, Philip Dean “We desperately need the support of people like John if we are to continue our work to help the hundreds of children left to fend for themselves after the years of civil war in Sierra Leone. We wish him all the best, and will be following him through his blog, as he circumnavigates the globe and achieves each challenging leg”.
To follow John Vearncombe, and to sponsor each nautical mile of his 40,000-mile challenge go to roundtheworld.blog
15th July - Thank you to everyone who came and supported our St George Foundation charity fundraising Garden Party this Saturday. It was a truly successful and enjoyable day, with huge numbers in attendance from the youngest to those who (like us) are young at heart.
Luckily for us, the weather played a positive part in the proceedings, and the sun shone on our happy open air garden party staying dry and rather sunny :)
We would like to also add our special thanks to Kings Church Bishops Waltham for supporting us with the delicious cakes/cake sale, the volunteers from St Barnabas, Swanmore and Locksheath Free Church, to Brian Pancott for taking some very lovely pictures of the event on the day, and to all those supporters and volunteers without whom our day would not have been possible - Thank you to you all!
We hope to see you all again at the next St George Foundation charity event and hope that you will continue to support us to help the hundreds of children in desperate need of our help in Sierra Leone.
We've been busy over the last few months continuing our work to help even more homeless children off the streets of Sierra Leone. However, while we have been working hard there, we have also been working hard here.
Over the next few weeks, you will see the launch of our brand new St George Foundation website, as well as increased news and events being publicised via our social media channels.
Look out for the news, follow us, and please continue to support the work we do each day in Sierra Leone to help the hundreds of children left to fend for themselves without the care or love of their immediate family - something we all very much take for granted.
We're award winners!
‘’Give honours to those who honours are due’’ This is the direct quotation of His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, during his special award giving ceremony organised for deserving NGOs, INGO, Individuals, private institutions and MDAs at the State House on State Avenue, Freetown. St. George Foundation-SL was one of the NGOs that received the special presidential awards as one of the outstanding organisation that championed the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.
The Director of Ben Hirsch Child Protection on the left and the Executive Director of St. George Foundation, Justina Conteh, on the right with the Sierra Leone Director of GOAL-Ireland in the middle.
Football superstar Samuel Eto (UNICEF, Goodwill Ambassador) visited the ST George Foundation Interim Care Centre at Grafton, Freetown, Sierra Leone as part of the FIFA Eleven for Health campaign. He was joined by FIFA's Chief Medical Officer Professor JiÅí DvoÅák and President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Mrs Isha Johansen.
They were touring facilities being utilised by Ebola affected children, child survivors and extremely vulnerable children, and our centre was chosen as was one of only two centres accredited by the Sierra Leone government.
28th October 2015
Congratulations to Laura who completed both the Tough Mudder & Great South Run.
Thank you for fundraising and well done on raising over £650!
21st October 2015
Well done to both Stacy and Corin who took part in the Zip Wire Challenge on the 18th October, together they successfully raised £310!
17th October 2015
Well done to all our volunteers who supported the Romsey Market Stall event on the 17th October, we raised an amazing £1,045.88!
Huge thanks to; Bradbeers who gave us the market stall, WHSmith, Boots and Waitrose who allowed us to collect outside their stores & La-di-da, Auntie Annes, Belinda Clark Confectionary, Cambrooks Foods, Murray's Chocolates, Odihamam Cake Company, Popcorn Kitchen, Rich Products and the Real Macaron Company.
7th October 2015
Stacy Burton is also taking the 450 Zip Wire Challenge on the 18th October at the Hampshire Cricket Ground, the Ageas Bowl!
Thank you, Stacy and best of luck!
To support Stacy visit her JustGiving Page: www.justgiving.com/Stacy-Burton2
30th September 2015
Corin Bowley our events fundraiser is taking part in a sponsored 450 Zip Wire Challenge on the 18th October at the Hampshire Cricket Ground, the Ageas Bowl.
If you are also interested in also taking part, please do get in contact.
To support Corin visit her JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/Corin-Bowley/
15th September 2015
Laura Cambrook is supporting the St George Foundation Charity by running the Great South Run on our behalf! Read her story below and why she is supporting;
"The Great South Run is on Sunday 25th October and is 10 miles around Portsmouth. I've decided to run for the foundation as I was in Sierra Leone with the military for 4 months at the end of last year/beginning of this year. We visited the site just before Christmas and brought loads of presents to the kids, I was awe struck at the centre and what you do for the kids. Because I've seen first hand what amazing work you do I felt it was probably the best charity I could run for, especially with the Ebola crisis on going and the fall out from it being an unknown quantity at this time. Sierra Leone has a long road to recovery ahead and I think your foundation is probably going to need a helping hand to do all you can to help those children who need it most."
We wish her the best of luck and thank you for all her hard work fundraising.
To support Laura visit her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/LauraLindsey/
24th August 2015
A Danish TV programme following the story of Ebola orphans, and based on the work of the St George Foundation, is being aired today. We very much hope that new Danish friends will soon be helping us.
The film can be found on the DR TV website: www.dr.dk/tv/se/horisont/horisont-2015-08-24
21st August 2015
Sierra Leone has its first 7 days with no new Ebola cases. Great news and potentially great progress.
August 2015 - British Army at St George
British Army – throughout the Ebola crisis, members of the British Army have been visiting St George children’s home in their spare time as well as on official duties. They have been a great source of fun for the children but most amazingly have transformed our buildings. They have tackled the plumbing, built an incinerator, supported the staff, and have stunningly decorated the buildings.
Huge praise and thanks for those involved…it's stunning!
The British Army are now back in the UK. Members of the British Army have returned and met us with stories of what a fantastic job our team on the ground are doing. The consensus is that St George stands head and shoulders above everything else they witnessed. We are now working with them to find ways to raise the standards of other orphanages through a proposed mentoring scheme.
We have started assisting children in another area – Port Loco. It is an area near the Guinea border where Ebola has hit very hard and left many children in an extreme state. We have managed to get 200 back into school and are monitoring 500 families to spot those in the most desperate need.
29th July 2015
Tulip Mazumdar revisits Sierra Leone to follow up on Augustine's death and his legacy. Check out the BBC news article here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-33581446
Ebola cases and the pressure on the teams in Sierra Leone and UK are gradually easing. Despite being very tired and having suffered huge stress the team in Sierra Leone carries on with supporting orphans.
Update, August 2015: With the benefit of hindsight we realise this, Easter 2015, was a turning point.
EVERY SINGLE STAFF MEMBER stayed at their post despite huge risks and real fear and pressure and handled with dignity the loss of a much loved and valued team member when the manager Augustine Baker himself contracted and died of Ebola.
23rd March 2015
We are delighted to have news that Augustin Baker's three children are also now out of quarantine and all healthy. They are temporarily in care while final arrangements for their future are being sorted.
12th March 2015
The quarantine on our orphanage has now lifted and all children and staff inside are healthy which is fantastic news.
Augustin and Bundu Baker's children will remain in quarantine (not at the St George site) for a further ten days following Bundu's death on 4 March.
4th March 2015
Announcement following BBC News at One report today:
4th March 2015
We have just received the terrible news that Bundu Baker, Augustin's wife, died of Ebola this morning. Our thoughts are with Augustin and Bundu's two young children at this awful time.
The St George Foundation will be looking after their children (a girl aged 7 months and a boy aged 7 years) and will ensure they get a good education when the Ebola outbreak is over.
If anyone would like to support these children please make donations directly to us but use the reference "Staff orphans" on the bank transfer or cheque, or contact us after donating to let us know your PayPal/JustGiving donation is for these children.
3rd March 2015
Some good news: the four children who were sent to an observation unit and tested for Ebola have all had negative (i.e. Ebola-free) results.
2nd March 2015
Update on Ebola quarantine at St George Foundation orphanage:
Sadly Augustin Baker's wife, Bundu, has also now been taken seriously ill with Ebola.
In addition, four children in our care have developed temperatures so have been taken to an observation unit. We should have test results back within a couple of days.
We will post updates here in due course. Thank you for your thoughts at this difficult time.
26th February 2015
News of Augustin Baker's death and a tribute to him was given this morning on BBC Radio 4's Today program. You can listen to the clip below:
25th February 2015
It is with great sadness we share the news that Augustin Baker has died after contracting Ebola last week.
Augustin has worked tirelessly to help children in our care orphaned by the disease and has been particularly active reaching out to help Ebola orphans in affected communities. His loss will be very greatly felt by all of us at St George Foundation.
Augustin featured in the BBC News report broadcast about the St George Foundation last month, and his death has also been reported on their website: bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31624149
22nd February 2015
A St George Foundation staff member has contracted Ebola:
On Wednesday 18th Feb, staff member Augustin Baker (featured on the BBC broadcast) collapsed and rushed to the hospital.
Augustin was transferred to Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Centre on Thursday 19th Feb and Ebola was confirmed. Four staff were exposed while assisting Augustin to hospital
On Friday 20th Feb the St George children's centre put under quarantine. 10 staff and 25 children confined to the centre for 21 days.
As of today, Sunday 22nd Feb, Augustin is as well as can be expected at this stage and was transferred to the British centre for Ebola volunteers who may become infected.
BBC News article on 23rd Feb reporting on the current situation at our centre: bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31587180
21st February 2015
Fleet Rotary club raise £780 pounds for St George Foundation. Some very generous donations and well done to the team - it was freezing out there! Thank you!
20th February 2015
We are delighted to announce that Cradleoak will be supporting St George Foundation, donating a percentage of their income from their events this year.
Cradleoak runs a small social enterprise in Wiltshire organising social events to care homes for the elderly.
When asked why they chose to support St George Foundation, they answered: "We were moved by the plight of the orphans affected by Ebola and want to make a difference to their lives. In addition, we wanted to contribute to a charity that does not carry a large staff, so funds go directly to this worthy cause."
We would like to say a huge thank you to Cradleoak for your support.
21st January 2015
Philip Ide is running the London Marathon for the St George Foundation!
He says: "I went to Sierra Leone in late December 2014, as a Photographer for the Mail on Sunday. When I was there I visited an orphanage run by the St George Foundation. It was both extremely inspiring, but very upsetting at the same time. In fact, I found it difficult to talk about it, for a few days. I will be donating a sum of money myself and hope you will join me!"
Join in donating to help reach Philip's target on his JustGiving page: justgiving.com/philip-ide
20th January 2015
Watch this video of the great evening on 15 Jan at Merchants restaurant, Southampton, where Lou Taylor had his dreadlocks cut off to fundraise for the St George Foundation and our current work with Ebola orphans.
Lou has now raised over £1000! You can still donate to support him here: justgiving.com/loutaylormusic
16th January 2015
BBC News recognise the incredible work of the St George Foundation in saving the lives of children who have suffered or lost parents through Ebola.
You can also listen to a similar report broadcast on the Today program (16 Jan 2015) on BBC Radio 4:
15th January 2015
Lou Taylor is cutting off his dreadlocks and raising money for St George Foundation!
Lou Taylor, a community leader in Southampton, is having his two foot-long dreadlocks cut off on Thursday 15th January, to help raise money for the thousands of children in Africa who have been left orphaned by Ebola.
He has arranged an evening of musical entertainment at the Merchants restaurant in Ocean Village which starts at 7.30pm, with bands and singers such as LST performing before and after the main event of the night – one definitely not to be missed!
Lou is hoping to raise around £500 for the St George Foundation, and is so close! If you are unable to make the event, but would still love to help Lou reach his target, please click on the link below to donate:
Take a look at the Daily Echo article with a little bit more information about Lou Taylor’s story.
This is going to be such a great evening and the St George Foundation is extremely grateful to Lou Taylor and everyone that has supported him so far.
We hope to see you there!