Yesterday afternoon, VSL successfully handed over items donated to the victims of the mudslide and flood by the VSL Community via our website. The items were donated to the ‘Pentagon Community’ which had been moved to a camp in JUBA HILL. The camp has 362 inhabitants but there is a verification process still ongoing.
Through discussions with some personnel on site, there is still a real need. It appears that the real problem now facing them is bureaucracy. There are items which have been donated to these communities but are locked up in storage as the process for release is slow. In some cases, items in storage become destroyed. I suspect after coming under criticism for its handling of the EBOLA funds, the authorities do not fancy any such repeat of controversy. An external auditing firm has been contracted to oversee the entire process, but it sounds (from the community we visited anyway) that this is creating a bottleneck between request and action. They sounded incredibly frustrated and I can only hope that these issues are smoothed out as soon as possible.
They were extremely happy to have received these items from the generous folks that donated through our website. THANK YOU! As a company, we also donated Le2m and $200 of baby food as we were informed a few days ago that there was about 35 children under 5 and zero baby food. Water was also badly needed and we have supplied enough water to keep them going for a while. Our modest contributions have made a huge difference.
The total commitment of the donors was 23 bags of rice, 13 mattresses and 582 bundles of water. There was no press of fanfare, but some photos are below. For more information see: Certificate of Receipt and List of Donations.
Thank you also to Dr Shekou Sesay of the Mama Pikin Foundation who was instrumental in identifying this community and facilitating contact.
Thank you all so much.