As part of their continuous support to vulnerable people in the country, especially the disabled, Orange Foundation Sierra Leone, on Monday 19th April, 2021, donated assorted food items worth 85 Million Leones to the Sierra Leone Autistic Society for children living with Autism in their school. The event took place at the Sierra Leone Autistic Society care center at Babadorie Hill, Lumley in Freetown.
The donated items include: 70 (50kg) bags of rice, 70 cartoons of tin tomato, 67 gallon of cooking oil, 70 bags of onions, 70 bags of sugar, and 70 bags of medicated soap. These are to be distributed to children with Autism at the Sierra Leone Autistic Society care center.
Welcoming the Orange Foundation delegation, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society Board, Gibrilla Jalloh, noted that the Sierra Leone Autistic Society is pleased to welcome them to their care center.
He further extended appreciation to the foundation for thinking of them in making such a huge donation to them as a society, he assured that the Sierra Leone Autistic Society will ensure that the donated items is given to its beneficiaries as they are meant for the children living with Autism.
Manager Orange Foundation, Desmond Spaine applauded the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society Mary Penntimity for the initiative in caring for these children living with Autism, adding that such move by the society is a laudable one which they should be commended.
He admonished the parent and guardian to see these children as very important children in society regardless of their current situation.
He maintained that Orange Foundation as a responsible foundation they thought it fit to make this donation on behalf of Management and that they are doing so with the strong belief that such could be helpful especially at this decisive moment.
Handing over the food items to the Sierra Leone Autistic Society, the Director of Orange Foundation Sierra Leone, Jestina Betts, said Orange Foundation is very happy to hand over the assorted food items to Sierra Leone Autistic Society to support children living with Autism, adding that as a company they want to be touching their lives and making sure they continue to support them during difficult periods.
The Director stated that the donation is evidence that they do not take their Corporate Social Responsible lightly, which is pivotal to their business as a Telecoms Company. She further revealed that they have been supporting different vulnerable groups in the country.
She revealed that when she took over as Director of the Foundation she had the passion to do something especially with regards addressing issues relating to children in the country saying that children living with Autism need more attention, furthering that growing up she came across children living with Autism and that she has always wanted to help these children living with Autism of which she said they are very proud to say the said donation is in fulfillment of the foundation commitment in supporting less privileged groups in the country.
The Director noted that they are very committed to see that they render their support to them in order to include them in digital inclusion, furthering that although they have disability they should not be discriminated against but rather should be seen as very important children in society.
Receiving the donated items, the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society, Mary Penntimity, expressed appreciation to Orange Foundation for the kind gesture which she described as the biggest donation they have so far received as a society.
Mary Penntimity noted that her organization has been providing support for autistic children, young people and their families in Sierra Leone since inception, adding that they started with few children but now runs play schemes, have youth groups and support groups, furthering that their activities include providing vital community support and reducing the profound and dangerous isolation of autistic children furthering that they have also succeeded in establishing a school for these children.
She noted that with these support from Orange Foundation it will surely contribute tremendously towards supporting these children living with Autism and their families.
She also assured that the items will be given to the children as beneficiaries of the donated items and their families which she said will surely held in a decisive moment like this in the country.
She ended by calling on all to stop the discrimination against children living with Autism but rather should see them as very important children in society and help in creating the enabling environment for them as children.
Mabinty Kamara, a parent of the beneficiary, expressed her appreciation to Orange Foundation for donating the assorted food items to Sierra Leone Autistic Society in order to support their children living with Autism in the country.
She noted that such donation to them is not only important, but a very timely intervention in sustaining the livelihood of these children and their families.
She assured all that they will use the donated food items in order to support their families.