BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – For the holiday season, a local charity organization, Smile With the Future, has provided gifts and toys to over 1,000 children from four towns in Grand Bassa’s first district. The organization also repaired damaged handpumps in those communities.
The founder and chief strategist of the organization, Richlue Burphy, said children were selected from four towns, including Ben Town, Jahn Town, Saye Town, and Noryou Town.
“This program aims to reach out to underprivileged children and their families,” Burphy said. “We try to identify with one village each year during a major holiday in a county, but we have to combine four villages because we saw the need to do so.”
The children were presented with items such as clothes, toys, footwear, and juices. The organization conducted a series of programs where the various donations were made, including a football match and a candlelight program.
On December 23, the group dedicated the renovated handpumps. Richlue said the damage to the pumps meant that residents had been drinking from nearby creeks.
“When we entered this town, they told us that their hand pump [was] damaged and there was no good source of water,” he said. “And so, taking into consideration the importance of safe drinking water, we renovated the pump.”
The group also distributed 23 bags of rice to households in Ben Town.
Speaking to The Bush Chicken, one of the beneficiaries, thanked the organization for their gesture. John Gargar said the handpump had been damaged for quite a long time. He highlighted the health hazard of drinking water from the creek.
Richlue, the organization’s founder, estimated that the donations cost the group US$5,000, an amount that was collected from members who he said were dedicated to helping underprivileged rural populations. He promised that such donations would continue as long as members continued to support the organization.
He added that Smile With the Future has been carrying out similar programs for the past years in Bong, Margibi, and Bomi.
Featured photo by Sampson David