Augustinian Recollects in Sierra Leone open doors to help combat COVID-19

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The Augustinian Recollects of Sierra Leone have made their BawBaw facilities on Peninsular Road, Freetown as a quarantine center for the Filipino community in the country who are suspected to have the coronavirus. The official request was made on April 6 by the Philippine Honorary Consul in Sierra Leone, Flipe Neri Velasco, to the head of the Augustinian Recollect Mission, Fr. José Prudencio Castillo, OAR.

As of April 28, the units have been refurbished according to the requirements established by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and the Freetown facilities are already a recognized quarantine center against COVID-19. All the equipment and materials necessary to convert these infrastructures into a suitable place for quarantine have been provided by the Filipino community, which numbers about 2,000 in the entire country, with the advice of the Red Cross. The assignment commitment includes the return of the facilities in perfect condition and duly disinfected once the health emergency ends.

On the other hand, the Augustinian Recollect missions of Kamabai and Kamalo have already begun the distribution of food packages for 10-15 days of consumption, to the members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity of Sierra Leone and to the volunteers of both missions. This food aid is expected to be received by around 1,220 families of the teaching and non-teaching staff and students from St. Paul in Kamalo and St. Thomas in Kamabai schools. The planned investment in this food assistance program is 18,000 euros, of which ARCORES International has already contributed a quarter.

The food assistance program, in the case of students, is for the children who are duly registered and have their personal identification as citizens of Sierra Leone. This is one of the priorities of the educational centers of the Catholic Church: to ensure that all the children in their schools are duly registered and have all the rights as citizens of Sierra Leone.

The country is currently in full expansion of the pandemic. As of April 28, 104 cases have been reported. The country has hardly any sanitary facilities (eg, 13 respirators are available in the country). At the same time, the country is at the end of the dry season, which in many parts means a lack of clean water and basic food such as rice. Due to the confinement and paralysis of economic activity, people cannot move, as they used to do at this time in search of other job opportunities in construction or transportation to cities.

Many people in Kamalo and Kamabai are already in need. Even the school of the Augustinian Recollects in Kamalo has requested authorization from the local authorities to open its doors so that the population can enter to fetch water from the well in the center that still has water. Thanks to this well, hundreds of families have drinking water at this time.

If you want to donate to the missionaries in Sierra Leone in their fight against COVID-19, please visit

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