|The Old Guys are home safe and sound! |
We’ve had about a week to reflect on the amazing experience that was
the CAUSE Canada Tour de Sierra Leone.
Here are a few of our thoughts as we process the experience.
2. The birthing hut program will make a difference. We saw these huts in operation and met some of the Maternal Child Heath Care Attendants. The huts are well constructed and equipped. The attendants are dedicated and trained. On average 25 at-risk women use the services of each of these facilities on a monthly basis. At over 250 women per hut per year, times the 12-15 that will be built because of this initiative, over 3000 women will have dramatically higher chances of surviving and thriving through childbirth…each year.
What’s more, CAUSE Canada has applied for matching grants for the funding provided through the Old Guys in Action initiative. We anticipate that your donation will be matched on a 3:1 basis. This means your donation will make three times what is already a very significant impact!
3. The issues that led to Sierra Leone having the highest maternal mortality rate in the world (1 in 8, versus 1 in 11,000 in Canada), are complex. They are the product of history, culture, war, poverty and other factors. Birthing huts on their own will make a big difference, but we applaud holistic approach we witnessed that CAUSE Canada is taking involving education, women’s literacy and empowerment, nutrition and health training, agriculture, clean water and micro-enterprise. CAUSE’s long-term commitment with its national staff and community leadership and involvement are having a sustainable impact.
At a more macro level, we were encouraged to see an increased level of economic activity, investment in infrastructure, and focus on local and national governance that bodes well for the future of the country. At the airport as we were leaving the country, Paul Carrick, CAUSE Canada Founder ran into a former CAUSE national staff worker. He had worked for CAUSE at a refugee camp after the war and honed his leadership abilities to the point that he was subsequently hired by the UN in Sierra Leone. Fast forward…this gentleman has since earned a PhD from England and holds a leadership position with the UN with responsibilities in other countries in Africa. A good news story where investment in good people at the local level by CAUSE Canada is having a significant international impact.
The purpose of Old Guys in Action is to provide opportunities to Learn, Engage, Network and Support best-in-class organizations working to address complex development issues. CAUSE Canada is such an organization. We feel privileged to have partnered with them on the Tour de Sierra Leone, and we encourage you to continue supporting CAUSE Canada on an ongoing basis.
On behalf of “Old Guys” Jon, Bernie and Ross,
CAUSE Canada staff in Canada and in Sierra Leone
and the many thousands of beneficiaries of your generosity…
as they say in Krio…