Sierra Care completes its first mission to Haiti
Sierra Care was established with a single mission in hand – to touch the lives of amputees all over the world. Part of that mission was fulfilled on September 27th, 2010 when some of its board members successfully completed their first humanitarian mission to Haiti with due diligence, compassion and pride.
Many months after the earthquake, half the population of Port-au-Prince, who are now living in tents in camp settlements all over the city, continue to suffer. Nearly everyone has some extent of post-traumatic stress as was rightly pointed by residents of the camps themselves. Their stress ranges from hyper-vigilance, startled responses, sleep difficulties, intrusive memories, fear, anxiety to grief and anger.
It was from this vantage point that a team of humanitarians headed by Pastor Florence Kroma, Chairlady of Sierra Care, David Kessebeh, Executive Director and Christian Sesay, Treasurer and Texas News Correspondent flew to the Republic of Haiti on Thursday, September 23rd to undertake a ground breaking humanitarian venture. It was an amazing first hand volunteer experience. These compassionate ambassadors were not just eyewitnesses to the need for help, but they had the power and heart to help!
In traveling to Haiti, they had many opportunities to provide their skills, resources and efforts to help change an amputee’s life and the lives of the old and weak. As with any disaster type relief operation, there were immediate-needs type items. As they were planning, employees at the Dallas Independent School District led by Mrs. Marian Hamlett, Scoffield Church and Premier Soccer store, all in Dallas, contributed significantly to making the trip a success. They provided some of the basic items needed for the well-being of the Haiti people – items such as medicines, nail cutters, tooth brushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, combs, towels, soccer jerseys and other clothing apparels were donated.
In pursuit of making a difference in the lives of those who felt that there was nothing left for them to hope for, the team’s lives were impacted in the process as well. They learned from each amputee as they figured out their unique story of hope and compassion. “The experience was real, touching but above all rewarding”, said David Kessebeh, Executive Director, Sierra Care Incorporated. “Anytime you get to help other people, it’s very rewarding and it was even more so this time being that Haiti had just gone through a major catastrophe, he added.
Residents of the Cenas and Maka camps where the team spent most of its time and donations while in Haiti were very much appreciative of Sierra Care’s effort in sharing their time, energy and resources with them. The Camp Manager at Cenas, Mr. Luckner, admonished Sierra Care to continue doing the fine work that it has begun and should not relent in its quest for decency in humanity. He also requested the assistance of Sierra Care in setting up a computer training center for the camp. The goal is to utilize the skill set and time of the youths in a more productive way. Sierra Care is presently looking at ways to address this request before the end of the year.
In his introduction of the group to residents of Camp Cenas, Pastor Wawa Jean Baptiste, the Dean of Students at the Haiti Theological School, commended Sierra Care for its effort in reaching out to the people of Haiti despite our own problems in Sierra Leone. Residents in the camps were marveled at the fact that an organization that is predominantly Africans will put aside their own agenda just to lift others in a moment when all they have worked for is gone.
In her words of exaltation, the acting chairlady, Pastor Florence Kroma challenged the people of Haiti to have faith in all that they are going through now. She reminded them that God is on their side. “The same way that God delivered Sierra Leoneans from the claws of the rebels, will be the same way that God will deliver you from whatever you might be going through today”
Praise and worship songs were played in each of the camps that the team visited before presentations made. The team flew safely to Dallas on Sunday night feeling satisfied for a job well done.
By Christian Foday Sesay, Correspondent, Dallas, TX
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