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A journey with consequences...  

Road in Sierra Leone In February 2006 a small group of people from Germany made up for Africa. Precisely said to Westafrica. Even more precisely to Sierra Leone.

After a long rebel war finally it was possible to go upcountry, but the roads meant a big challenge to the people and the car.

BreakdownWe saw it coming: a broken v-belt in a small village upcountry. For the people in the village that event was of course a welcome change in their daily life. Within seconds we six perspiring and dusty Germans were surrounded by children, pregnant women and old men.   

What we have seen in this little village we cannot ever forget again: bare feet children with open ulcer and injuries and septic eyes, babies who were marked by diarrhoea and pregnant women, who were asking us for mineral water as there is no clean water and no doctor or nurse to contact.

At the villageAfter the v-belt had been repaired, we drove further to the next town, had to leave the kids and the pregnant women unprovided.

Having had this meeting in the village upcountry the idea of a mobile basic medical foundation care was born right after being back in Germany: the Driving-YMCA-Doctor for Sierra Leone.

 

The story of the project

The car is loadedWe had to go a long was to let the idea come true. Being back in Germany I didn´t get the pictures of these little village out of my mind.I thought about the Flying Doctors in Kenya. It´s just that Sierra Leone is too small for a Flying Doctor, but a Driving Doctor...

At first it remained only an idea. Many prayers and many conversations later and after a  participant of the journey, Wilfried Wobker, could imagine to support these programme we asked our friends in Sierra Leone whether such kind of project would be useful and practicable. On their sides there were also many prayers and conversations until we decided in April 2006 we would try it.

At the portA short time later we found just the right car and because of some donations we were able to buy the white Toyota only one month later.  

Many companies supported these project with donations in kind including the German Ministry of Defence within the scope of Humanitarian Aid. After a careful maintenance of the car by a local Toyota dealer, it was fully loaded with medicine and dressing materials and shipped to Freetown. At the end of 2006 I could personally become convinced that everything had arrived in a good condition.

At the Kori ChiefdomDuring my recent stay the project was officially brought on the way. It was presented to the Paramount Chief of the Kori Chiefdom. After his approval the idea was also introduced to the people. 

Start of the project in Sierra Leone Some weeks later representatives of YMCA Aberdeen, the partnerbranch of CVJM Stift Quernheim, representatives of the Taiama YMCA and the Development Secretary of the National Council once again drove to the Kori Chiefdom to identify the potential beneficiary villages.