DHL supplies emergency airfreight to African children in need
UAE residents donate essential shipments of baby formula, nappies and detergents to provide basic comfortDubai, 05/15/2008, 11:30 AM CEST
DHL Express UAE, recently mobilized the company's global logistics capabilities to assist African children in need, through the shipping of essential supplies, donated by UAE residents, to help the impoverished children of Sierra Leone, Africa.
The logistics provider organized and delivered a shipment, containing baby formula, nappies and detergents, all items that were urgently required to serve the growing number of critical cases helped by the "All As One" (AAO) children's charity in Freetown, the capital of the African state.
AAO strives to support abandoned, disabled, abused or destitute children through the provision of basic necessities such as food, housing, education and medical support necessary to offer a minimum quality of life.
Janet Jweihan, DHL Express Country Manager, UAE, says "The nature of our business is such that we carry essential items every day that have a major impact on individuals and businesses on many levels, but in few instances are the items so imperative to basic human existence".
AAO plans to expand our work by building a new centre Sierra Leone
Matthew Morgan-Jones, Country Director of AAO, explains the impact of the partnership with DHL, "The orphanage is dedicated to rescuing orphans and children who suffer from critical circumstances. We aim to offer such children shelter, education, medical care, social interaction, love, and a chance for a better future. We plan to expand our work by building a new centre in Grafton, Sierra Leone, to help better accommodate the many children in need, offering extended services and improved facilities.
"We are very grateful for the quick response and generous donations received from residents in Dubai, and the tremendous support from the DHL team, that shipped the supplies. This intervention and support was imperative because a chronic water shortage is proving a major health risk and the need for disposable nappies has become an absolute necessity.
Sierra Leone does not have a manufacturing base which means that items such as disposable nappies have to be imported, making them extremely expensive to purchase. We face the same problem with infant formula and powdered laundry detergents," Morgan-Jones added.
The organisation's role extends to educating the people of the UAE and to creating awareness about the nature of conditions in Sierra Leone. It is estimated that only 36% of people in the African state have any access to medical care and approximately half a million children do not have access to basic education. Research indicates 340,000 children are orphaned and desperately alone. Sierra Leone has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the world and is ranked as the least developed country.
DHL are privileged to share the responsibility with AAO
"In Africa, many people live in abject poverty and their life conditions are severely limited. AAO plays a critical role in giving shelter to these children as well as supporting families and single mothers, as there are no government funded social programs offering assistance," explains Jweihan. "DHL are privileged to share the responsibility with AAO to help better the living standards of less fortunate people."
DHL has been associated with the charity for several years and moved the first shipment of regionally donated Christmas present to Sierra Leone in 2004. Currently, DHL is transporting air freighted shipments quarterly, containing medicine, clothing, washing powder and other supplies. In addition, DHL organizes the collection of donations from houses and businesses, facilitates the storage of the items in secure warehouses and then ships the goods to the orphanage.
The charity has plans to expand its facilities to enable the organisation to double the number of children that it can accommodate and offer assistance to more families. DHL will play a crucial role in shipping all of the necessary building supplies and equipment required for the development, which will also include an extension of the school services to offer primary, junior and senior secondary schooling and computer literacy together with enhanced medical services.