The Chairman of the Port Loko District Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES), Serry Bangura on behalf of Port Loko District Ebola Survivors expressed appreciation to the Minister of Social Welfare, Dr. Sylvia Blyden and her Deputy Madam Rugiatu Neneh Turay for their unflinching support to improve the welfare of survivors not only Port Loko District but the country as a whole.
He revealed that for the shortest time the two Ministers assume office, survivors has benefited a lot adding that the two Ministers have done remarkable work to strengthen and improve the status of Ebola survivors.
Serry Bangura however expressed deepest frustration over the failure by the National Executive SLAES to involve them in activities of survivors adding that the predicament they faced in Port Loko District is cut across the district’s borders asserting that most of their plights are never consider by the National Executive and appealed to the two Ministers to close the gap between the Regional, District and National Executives.
He continued that as the two Ministers are very effective and appealed to them to ensure that all district heads be involved in the National Executive, a development that would lead to effective and efficient as well as transparency in the system.
According to Serry Bangura, the National SLAES centers everything in Freetown continued that they also want the Ministry to look into the survivors certificates that is a main concern for them, he disclosed that the Ministry should now help survivors with sustainable projects that would continue earned them their living.
He said most of the non-governmental organizations championing survivors’ issues are not involve them directly and further appealed to the Ministry to put a stop to those who solicit funds in the name of survivors but are not benefiting directly adding that the Ministry has never informed them about funds and projects intended for them.
In her statement the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Madam Rugiatu Neneh Turay expressed thanks to the Port Loko District Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES) for invited her to such timely and very important meeting disclosing that such meeting would create a platform between the Ministry and Survivors for national concern.
Madam Rugiatu Neneh Turay admonished the Port Loko District Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES) to team-up with other districts and write a letter to her Boss and the Ministry and stating all their plights and concern so as to address not only for Port Loko District but the entire country adding that concerning their monies she said, the Ministry has Le1.9 billion for survivors in Sierra Leone.
She continued that her Boss Dr. Sylvia Blyden is very much concern about the welfare of all survivors in the country stressing that with the letter, Dr. Blyden and the Ministry would address all concerns of not only the National Executive issues but their other difficulties and concerns raised.
The Deputy Minister revealed that the Ministry is facing with falsification of survivors certificates admonished them to stop those who want to become survivors by falsifying certificates and warn that anyone found wanting would face the full force of the law.
She further admonished survivors to be patience as they are new Ministers but would do all within their powers to ensure that their concerns and predicaments become a thing of the past and appealed for collaboration, ‘visit the Ministry regularly to map out the way forward to solve any concerns raised for your welfares’ She stressed.
Madam Turay disclosed that other INGOs including DFID, UNICEF and Local NGOs are coming up with programs for survivors and appealed for oneness for the benefit of not only survivors but other Ebola affected women including Ebola widows, deprived children and families.
She informed that her Ministry is working hard to ensure that all Survivors get ID Cards disclosing that all survivors are now receiving free treatment in all hospitals nationwide and assured that the Ministry is on documentation to see how best to help survivors to engaged on sustainable projects with the Le1.9 billion.