For fourteen years a charity in Sheffield has been working with partners in the north of Sierra Leone, West Africa. The charity, known as the Makeni Trust Fund, has channelled over £420,000 to partners working to meet the needs of the local community by delivering improvements in education and health. Much of this money has come from generous donors in the Diocese of Hallam, and especially Mother of God parish in Sheffield, and has been gratefully received by partners in Sierra Leone including the University of Makeni, Holy Spirit Hospital and St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired. Through these years the trustees of the Makeni Trust Fund, all members of Mother of God parish, have been pleased to facilitate a whole range of important developments including:
- Water wells drilled to provide clean water throughout the year at the University, Holy Spirit Hospital and St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired.
- Vital medical supplies delivered to the hospital and surrounding medical centres
- Students who couldn’t afford to continue studying helped to complete their degrees.
- Destitute families given food parcels at Christmas.
- Teaching staff at the University and the School for the Hearing Impaired supported to get further qualifications.
- Sheffield Masters students enabled to visit Makeni with some returning to teach there.
- Shipping containers full of furniture and equipment delivered to the University.
- Projects supported to improve the teaching facilities and accommodation at the University.
- Projects supported to improve security and facilities at Holy Spirit Hospital.
- Holy Spirit Hospital Diabetes Clinic kept regularly supplied with blood glucose testing strips
Many parishes in the Diocese are aware of these developments because they have supported the charity’s numerous fundraising activities, which always proved to be entertaining and enjoyable, as well as financially rewarding. But in a recent meeting, the trustees decided that while the partners in Makeni have become well established, with growing support from other quarters, making them now less reliant on the Trust’s support, the trustees’ own capacity for future fundraising events is reducing. They have therefore concluded that the time has come to conduct an orderly winding down of the charity’s activities.
While formally closing the charity, the trustees will encourage continued ad hoc support of the people of Makeni and its surroundings especially through the following charities that they have been pleased to work with in the past:
- Friends of St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired who support the school – www.friendsofstjosephskids.org
- Educaid who provide free, high-quality education to some of Sierra Leone’s most underprivileged young people within 5 model schools – www.educaid.org.uk
- Inter Care who send surplus medical resources to rural partner health units in sub-Saharan Africa – www.intercare.org.uk
- Help Madina who undertake medical projects under the supervision of Dr Patrick Turay, Medical Director of the Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni – www.helpmadina.org.uk
The trustees extend a very big thank you to everyone who has supported this work over the past fourteen years. They know that the people of Makeni are very grateful.