Letter from Charity President
Progress at Support for Africa has been solid over its first five years.
Our objective and mission is:
“To prevent the transmission of HIV and Malaria in the whole of Africa, to provide medical care, prevention and awareness through education, and all manner of support for African communities stricken with HIV/AIDS and Malaria, and to generally alleviate the impact of these epidemics in Africa.”
In order to carry out these aims and objectives, Support for Africa has already built and equipped four primary healthcare Clinics, which also serve as Community Centres and we plan to expand all over Africa whilst concentrating on education about AIDS with the objective to help, as best we can, to remove the stigma associated with the epidemic. We are focused on education to stop the spread (particularly from mother to child) as we realize that, as yet, there is no cure for the disease and the drugs used to prolong victims lives in the West are, in the main. too expensive and inaccessible to African countries, until such time as local generic drug production programmes can be introduced widely in Africa, which is also something which we hope to be able to support. We believe that prevention by education affords the best immediate route to alleviation.
We make certain that there is a lot of media coverage of my visits to Africa and this is an important part of our awareness programme to promote the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. As we build each Clinic, we have created the situation where local fundraising and financial support for the Clinic is set up, with the intention that each community we enter with a Clinic, will be responsible for the up-keep and operation of their own Clinic. Self sufficiency is our goal so that the Charity can focus its further fund raising efforts on building more Clinics in even more rural African communities.
Media coverage is given to the launch of each Clinic with the help of local and national celebrities, and Clinics are named after stars who help us by giving their time free to support us, thus the Rumoukurisi Clinic is named after Sir Cliff Richard and the Okpanam Clinic is named after Gabrielle, both of whom starred in our last concert here at the Royal Albert Hall. The Cameroon Clinic is to be opened by and named after Lauren. the famous football star of Portsmouth FC, whose help and promotion of the Charity has been so much appreciated.
In addition to our own fund raising activities; like this wonderful Concert here at the Royal Albert Hall, we have also attracted sponsors to help finance the building of each SFA Clinic, Orleans Invest sponsored a large proportion of the cost of building our second clinic at Rumoukurisi, Timi and Alaere Alaibe financed the opening of the third Clinic in Opokuma and Unite Group Plc have sponsored our Cameroon Clinic. Richard and Nina Pomerenke (Social Workline) have kindly sponsored our next two Clinics. We are immensely grateful to them all, without whom we could not have progressed this far.
The land on which we build has so far always been donated. In Nigeria, my family were the first to provide land for our Clinic in Okpanam in Delta State. HRH Eze Clinton Orianwo donated land at Rumoukurisi for the second Clinic in River State and the third piece of land was donated by Mr and Mrs Timi Alaibe for the Clinic in Opokuma in Bayelsa State. In Cameroon the land was donated by the chief of the village and Prof. Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuente for our Clinic at Bayangam and sponsored by UNITE Group PLC. We are also in talks with supporters in The Ivory Coast, Malawi, Ghana, other African countries about building SFA Clinics, two of which have been sponsored by Richard and Nina Pomerenke (Social Workline).
Our flights to Africa to open all these Clinics have been kindly sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Airlines and our hotels and transport are generously sponsored by our supporters. Mrs Grace V. Coker, our African VP, is based in Nigeria and gives her time free to supervise the building and maintenance of the Clinics; without her tireless efforts we could not have achieved the progress thus far and indeed we would not be able to make any kind of impact.
SFA Clinics play a role in creating awareness and in educating rural communities about HIV/AIDS and Malaria through outreach programs such as leaflet distribution, as well as providing counseling to sufferers of these diseases and we hope to extend the programmes to encourage the communities to be creative in a commercial and educational sense so as to be better able to be self sufficient.
I have realized, as we build, that although we are getting our message over to the women in the communities that we touch; it has been hard to get through to the young men particularly. In order to rectify this problem I decided that if we could enlisted the help of the Football World we would attract the attention of the young men who idolize football stars like Lauren, Thierry Henry, David James, Sean Davis and Didier Drogba. These stars have given their time to support us and the whole Football industry is following their example. Today’s concert is entitled “Football Reaching Out For Africa” to reflect their kind involvement with us and will, I am sure, hail the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
I do hope that we will be able to count on your help and support for our efforts. We are aware that what we have done is just a small beginning, but I have no doubt that we will be able, in the future, to generate the kind of massive support from the rest of the World. its leaders, Bankers and other commercial institutions as we progress.
Support For Africa