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Sierra Leone News: Dorothy Springer Trust unveils office

A UK registered Charity organization in Sierra Leone, Dorothy Springer Trust (DST), on Friday, officially unveiled their new offices at 8 Pultney Street in Freetown.
The aim of the charity is to transform the lives of people with disabilities in Sierra Leone by preparing them for skilled employment through the provision of a training scholarship in Information, Communication Technology.
The Chief Executive Officer, Dr Abdulai Dumbuya, said that at the age of five, he contracted polio which left him disabled.  He said he did his early education at the Leonard Cheshire Home in Freetown and at the age of 18 went to UK to further his education.
The CEO of the Trust, Dr. Dumbuya said that while at Loughborough in the UK, his tution fee was paid by an anonymous benefactor, Dorothy Springer.
The CEO said that the Trust was launched three years ago, by the First Lady, Sia Nyama Koroma in February, 2010.
He said they are producing the best IT professionals who happened to be disabled people during this period.
Dr Dumbuya said that in 2005, during a holiday in Sierra Leone, he noticed the devastating impact of the civil war on the lives of disabled people. Many were living in deplorable conditions and begging in the street.
He said, following this, he was inspired to set up a charity, the Dorothy Springer Trust to help fellow disabled people in Sierra Leone.
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mustapha Bai Attila, said that government has been relentless in providing an enabling environment for persons with disabilities.
He said the government has also established the Disability Commission and also passed the disability legislation to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in decision-making.
Attila said that persons with disabilities want to be integrated and independent.
The Deputy Minister said that the unveiling of the Trust offices in Freetown, symbolizes hope for the future of the disabled.
In his statement, Chairman of DST-UK Rob Lea, calls for more support to the running of the Trust in whatever ways to make the difference in the lives of  the disabled.
Assistant Inspector of Police, Al-sheik Kamara said that issues of disabilities are at the heart of the Sierra Leone Police.
He said that physical disability does not mean mental ability, adding that “we can use the mental ability of the disabled persons for our operational planning”.
AIG Kamara said that the disabled police officers  in the Force are doing extremely well in the Force and “we intend expanding to have many more persons with disabilities”.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Chief Komrabai Peter Penfold, the former British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.
Bursary certificates were given to the best students who had completed a three-month basic training on IT.
The opening ceremony was also witnessed by the daughter of the late Dorothy Springer, Margaret Atkins and other guests from the UK, the British High Commission, Nigerian High Commission, among other diplomats and dignitaries.
By Abibatu Kamara
Monday February 10, 2014

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