Helping Children Worldwide
Helping Children Worldwide – Child Reintegration Center – Mercy Hospital – Sierra Leone
HCW’s African Programs are conducted in partnership with the Sierra Leone Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The vision of the initial project to help 40 children orphaned by the war has consistently grown, and goals set year-by-year have transformed the mission into a child welfare and health system that serves over 15,000 people annually and provides support for effective local ownership, control and management of local problems in a low resource environment. HCW has supported other child welfare initiatives over the course of its history, and continues to operate in a “global” mindset, consistent with its aspirational name, but the mission in Sierra Leone that was the genesis of the organization has been an ongoing venture since its inception.
HCW partners with the UMC to deliver needed education and medical services in Sierra Leone through two primary programs – the Child Reintegration Center and Mercy Hospital, and through training and mission support services and mission deployment in-person at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and via virtual mission using technology. Despite the onset of CoViD19, both institutions in SL and the US operations have managed to continue to find ways to serve the target population and to increase impacts on poverty, education and health. CRC and Mercy continue to expand services to rural populations where the impact of poverty is extreme.
The Child Reintegration Centre’s (CRC) focus is nurturing families, and providing educational scholarships, educational, social and community services, case management and family support and strengthening programs to keep children in school and families intact and functioning. The CRC directly serves over 600 children and their families in Sierra Leone. In addition, CRC and HCW collaborate to provide coaching, education and training services to other child welfare organizations around the globe to teach them best practices.
Mercy Hospital offers holistic, community-focused health care to anyone in need, regardless of ability to pay and does not turn away anyone who can be properly treated. Mercy Hospital works collaboratively through community outreach to neighboring villages, to provide programs focused on malaria treatment and prevention; HIV/AIDS awareness and education, testing and counseling; nutrition clinics for children under five years old; and prenatal care. Mercy has the only functioning ambulance service in the Bo District, and provides community information and education on health, and collaborates with the Bo government to provide child welfare health and abuse assessments. A research and clinical lab, pharmacy, HIV clinic and prosthetics limb-fitting center are located at the hospital campus, and a fully functioning OR deemed “the best in Bo” began providing surgical services on November 8, 2018. Mercy serves between 14,000 and 17,000 patients annually, and reaches 50 remote villages through clinic services in 11 locations.