P.J. Cole makes case for Sierra Leone’s Ebola orphans
The Executive Director of Lifeline Nehemiah Projects at Kuntorloh in Wellington, east of Freetown, has said that their next focus is to offer assistance to children who have been orphaned by the Ebola virus disease.
In an interview over the BBC Newsday programme hosted by Alan Kasujja in London on the morning of Tuesday, 6th January, 2015, Mr Philip Joel Mandewa-Cole, popularly known as P.J., said that those who have been most affected by the disease are the children who have lost their parents and have no one to take care of them.
He maintained that they see their intervention in assisting these orphans as a divine call as well as a social obligation.
Dilating on the inspiration for this intervention, Mr. Cole said that they believe in serving the people from their meagre recourses and not waiting for what people will do for them.
He noted that even as they pray for divine intervention, they have to do what they can do with what they have until the intervention comes.
He pointed out that with love and care, one can move mountains, stressing that their mission holds these virtues as cardinal foundations of their work.
Giving a brief background of the Lifeline Nehemiah Projects, P.J. Cole revealed that their Christian based organisation was founded by his late father, Reverend Richard Mandewa Cole to rehabilitate and reintegrate ex-child combatants from the brutal civil war waged by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) from late March 1991 to late February 2002, propagate Christianity, establish Churches, schools, agricultural, technical and vocational institutions, and intervene in other social issues in the communities.
He said when he was last in the country he often shed tears at the sight of the destruction that the Ebola has wrecked on the nation.
Referring to Ebola as the unseen enemy, he noted that with the war, one could see his or her enemy and escape from him or her, but that with Ebola, one does not see the enemy and it lucks in every corner. “Honestly, the sight of the destruction by the Ebola virus and the fear it has created in Sierra Leone, breaks ones heart,” he lamented.
He revealed that his top management team consists entirely of rehabilitated ex-child combatants who are now university graduates with families while they have turned out hundreds of others who have acquired other skills and are now employed.
He concluded that his team is very excited in intervening to rehabilitate the Ebola orphans as they maintain that, “Someone did it for us so we too should do it for others.”
By Abdul Hassan Fackie
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