On behalf of the International Executive Committee and our entire membership, I would like to thank everyone for the continued support of AAPDEP and our work to create genuine development for Africa and African people worldwide. Our work is made possible through your donations, which truly are the life-blood of our organization.
As you may know, our programs in Sierra Leone have grown exponentially in the last year and a half. With the help of our donors and members we have established clinics, schools, and a number of community-based agricultural projects which address the health, education, and economic contradictions that have been imposed on African people in Sierra Leone.
While these initiatives are moving steadily toward our goal of self-sustainability, we are not yet there. Your contributions help us to bridge that gap.
AAPDEP School of Nursing
One of our most important projects has been the establishment of the AAPDEP School of Nursing in Allentown, just outside of the country’s capital, Freetown. The school, which just graduated our first class of 45 Community Health Nurses in January of this year, is one of only a handful of Nursing Schools in Sierra Leone, a country with a serious shortage of qualified medical personnel and well-equipped medical facilities.
Because of this shortage and the relatively high cost of medical treatment that is available, many Africans in Sierra Leone have no access to health care at all, contributing to a situation where one in eight women die in childbirth (highest in the world), one in 10 children die before the age of one, and the average life expectancy is 47 years of age.
While these Sierra Leone statistics reflect some of the worse conditions found anywhere, they are generally representative of the situation for all African people, especially those living in Africa itself.
This is the unfortunate reality at present.
With your support, we can contribute to creating a different, much brighter future for African people in Sierra Leone and around the world!
How can AAPDEP Nurses help to turn things around in Sierra Leone?
In 1920, Marcus Garvey formed the Black Cross Nurses Association as an auxillary of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). In the United States, Black Cross Nurses organized soup kitchens and other programs for the homeless and responded to the needs of Africans during times of disaster and flood. In Belize, Black Cross Nurses focused their efforts on community hygiene and infant and maternal health in an attempt to address the high death rates of expectant mothers and babies.
With the goal of producing well trained, African Internationalist nurses who can be deployed anywhere in the world in the service of African people, AAPDEP Nurses are the Black Cross Nurses of the 21st Century. We already see evidence of this fact. In April of this year, several of our most recent graduates were sent to live and work in Gbangbatoke, Sierra Leone, home of one of our largest AAPDEP branches, and the site where we are working to launch a community fishing project.
In order to address the health care needs of the community, our local AAPDEP office was turned into a clinic, staffed by our nurses, serving hundreds of people in Gbangbatoke and the surrounding area.
Nursing school needs your help
AAPDEP-Sierra Leone leaders have worked consistently over the last year to ensure that our school meets all standards for providing quality education for our students.
In order to continue to operate within the country, however, we must now become a government-accredited institution. Having met all other requirements of the Sierra Leone Nurses Board, we were just recently given a deadline of July 25 to pay the one-time accreditation fee of $5,000. Should we not meet this deadline, we run the risk of having the school closed until next year.
We need your help to make sure that the doors of the AAPDEP School of Nursing stay open!
Your financial contribution to this urgent fundraising call will ensure that currently enrolled students can continue their training uninterrupted. It will also mean that we will be able stay on our trajectory of creating a new reality for African people: one where our fundamental right to health care is not a pipe dream, but a reality.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this incredibly important effort to keep our nursing school open.
Go to our website at developmentforafrica.org and donate today. Enter your amount and select"Sierra Leone-Nursing School" from the drop down menu to submit your contribution to this cause.
But don't just let it stop there, post this notice to your Facebook, blog about it, and tweet #SLNurses to spread the word.
Without a doubt I know that “Together we will succeed!”