Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Calling on Dubai to give generously

All As One is an international charity and non-governmental organization in Sierra Leone, whose Dubai office is a registered nonprofit organization licensed through Dubai Aid and Humanitarian City. Through their orphanage, school and medical clinic in Freetown, they work to build a better future for the children of Sierra Leone. The orphanage however is in crisis due to the supply problems of water and electricity. For the last seven weeks the orphanage (and surrounding area) have not had a supply of water, which often happens but never lasting this length of time. Even with emergency measures, this has had an impact on the wellbeing and health of the children at the orphanage. The babies have been greatly affected and at most at risk.

For basic needs like washing and drinking – water is purchased and a truck delivers 10,000 gallons at a time. Over the year they have added additional water tanks to hold 7,000 gallons – but waste the 3,000 leftover due to the lack of storage. Matthew Morgan-Jones Country Director for All As One in Dubai, said, “We are desperate for additional water tanks that can hold the up to 3,000 gallons – to date we have not been successful in finding a donor – as its not the usual thing you have at the bottom of the garden!” In addition to the water problem, the orphanage has been without electricity for over a month due to much needed repairs to the generator. Unfortunately, the current generator is not repairable – and there is an urgent need for a generator to provide the electricity for lights in the evening so the children can play and study in the early evening. According to Matthew, “The centre requires approx 20KV generator to provide for the needs of the living and recreational areas, medical clinic, and baby room. However smaller generators would also be greatly appreciated”

There is a container leaving our shores in the next few weeks kindly sponsored by DHL/DANZAS that still has space to fill up. All As One is appealing to the generosity of people in Dubai to donate the items needed. “As you can imagine without consistent water and electricity – life that is already hard, becomes harder for the children and staff at the centre. We are really hoping that Dubai can help with this urgent need,” Matthew says. In addition, All As One and Cinestar have organised a charity screening tonight of the Warner Bros film “Blood Diamond”. AAO is hopeful that the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, will raise awareness about the decade-long war in Sierra Leone and the children who are still suffering its effects. With the purchase of each ticket, Cinestar will provide popcorn and a drink to all those attending the screening, while volunteers of All As One will be on hand to answer questions about the organisation and the orphanage in Sierra Leone. All proceeds from this special screening will go to the orphanage in Freetown, Sierra Leone.