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Aid Project Sierra Leone
START

5. November 2021

STATUS

ongoing

FOCUS

Education and hygiene


Relief Project – Emergency Measures After a Truck Explosion

About the Project

Project start: November 2021
Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Status: Completed
Focus: Medical Supply

Mission

To deliver vital medical supplies directly to local emergency responders.

Vision

On 5. November 2021, a serious explosion occurred in Wellington, a suburb of the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, when a tanker truck collided with another vehicle. The incident killed a total of 151 people and hospitalised more than 300. However, due to a shortage of essential medical supplies, local emergency services were unable to adequately treat the fire victims, prompting both the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Freetown City Council to request Aid Pioneer’s assistance.

Impact

Thanks to the generous donations of our German partner hospitals and pharmacies, we were able to procure a variety of medical supplies. In exchange with the local hospitals and their chief physicians, we conducted a needs assessment in advance, which enabled us to fly in only urgently needed goods. Within just two weeks, we completed our mission and sent 74 different and a total of 30,000 medical items to Sierra Leone. In addition to other vital medical supplies such as antibiotics, we managed to organise a complete kit for skin grafts. In this way, Aid Pioneers was able to support the local hospitals in providing adequate treatment to the victims of the explosion.


Uman Tok Cooperation

About the Project

Project start: June 2021
Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Status: Ongoing
Focus: Education and hygene

Mission

To support Uman Tok in improving and destigmatising menstrual hygiene in Sierra Leone.

Who are Uman Tok?

The NGO Uman Tok focuses on the production and distribution of environmentally and socially sustainable menstrual kits, as women’s period management is a massive social problem in Sierra Leone. Women’s menstruation is considered a taboo subject, so there is an urgent need for education on menstruation and menstrual hygiene to destigmatize the issue. In addition, in many parts of West Africa, hygiene standards – such as access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities – are extremely poor, making it even more difficult for young girls and women to manage their periods. 

Uman Tok has its reusable menstrual kits produced locally by seamstresses, also creating additional jobs. The kits include several cloth pads that can be discreetly replaced and washed with the included bar of soap. One kit can be used for up to three years. The NGO also carries out valuable educational work in schools, both to help the girls themselves gain more self-confidence and knowledge and to generally rid this taboo subject of its stigma.

Influence

Through the Dutch textile manufacturer Burtex, we were able to secure 2.3 tons of flannel for Uman Tok. The flannel was transported to Freetown in several flights with Brussels Airlines. With this flannel, 12,600 menstrual kits for girls and women can be sewn locally. At the end of February 2022, the AP Sierra Leone team went to Freetown for the first time to finally meet Uman Tok and their whole team directly, as well as to visit many other local NGOs. Currently, Uman Tok employs 18 seamstresses, but unfortunately they only have a limited number of functioning sewing machines at their disposal. Through a partner organisation near Hamburg, which restores old sewing machines, we have recently procured and transported 27 more sewing machines for Uman Tok, thus increasing Uman Tok’s production capacity sixfold. This will enable Uman Tok to produce up to 200,000 menstrual hygiene kits per year in the future.


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