Alton Bendu, a Sierra Leonean philanthropist residing in Norway, on Saturday donated one thousand bags of rice to respective resettlement camps for the feeding of children displaced and orphaned by the historic flash floods and mudslide disaster that struck the city mid August this year.
Don Bosco Fambul, which opened its humanitarian doors to hundreds of children who lost their parents in the disaster, was one of the identified recipients of the one thousand bags of rice.
Speaking at the Don Bosco donation ceremony, the daughter of Alton Bendu, Mariatu Bendu, said his father has always given to charity during trying times like this. “During the Ebola scourge, he shipped home a forty-foot container holding cartons of PPEs and other medical supplies to help create firewalls against the spread of the disease. That also coincided with his project to support quarantined homes with over three thousand bags of rice. All this and a long list of many more will help explain how much this man has been identifying with the situation of the country and its people,” she said.
Receiving the biggest rice donation ever from a single individual, the Administrator at Don Bosco Fambul, Fr Jose Valiplackel, thanked Alton Bendu, his family, and all those who supported his initiative to help children and women in need. He promised that the donation will be used in the right way as it is timely.
With a chorus of approval, the children thanked Alton Bendu in the manner in which they could, swerving over the bags of rice in fulfillment of a new hope.
The second donation was carried out at the Juba Flash Flood camp, which provides temporal shelters for over three hundred people, mainly women and children.
The Coordination Pillar Lead of the Office of National Security (ONS) at Juba, Philomina Isatu Turay, thanked the Bendu family for the selfless gesture. She said at a time like this, government has many things to do and so it lacks the capability to providing all that the survivors need at a go. “People like you have really helped salvage the situation by making us happy. The donation will help to rebuild the hopes of those who survived the crashing blows of the mudslide and flooding. You have shown us that in Sierra Leone we are all one family,” she remarked.
In addition to the donations made at Don Bosco Fambul and the Juba Flash Flood Camp, over three hundred people who were indirectly affected by the historic disaster benefited from the rice donation.
With appeals for baby foods and clothing going wild, the Sierra Leonean philanthropist has promised to come in again to meet such pleas in due course.
Within a month since the launch of this rice project, Alton Bendu was able to garner resources through the kind gesture of Atea AS, Erna and Knut Eng Children’s Foundation, Jacan AS, Lions Snaroya, Lions Rustad, Eikeli Senior Secondary School, and his family members including friends and individuals that showed up in their own little ways.
This donation is one among the unstinting support Alton Bendu has given to humanity. In an attempt to protecting children from falling in the hands of rapists and kidnappers in a countryside where hope is drenched in the ditch, he provided safe-drinking water to Rotifunk Township to mark his second major development venture to the town since the beginning of this year.
Records about his support to girl-child education, health, scholarship to pupils coming from poor rural and urban homes have earned him recognition and humanitarian awards from credible global organizations.