On Saturday and Sunday 27-28 August 2022, heavy rains overwhelmed the community of Culvert, in the east of Freetown. Several buildings were destroyed and more than 20 families were displaced from their homes. The Freetown Cheshire Home and School are located very close to the Culvert community and several children from the school live in the flood affected area.

Alhaji Gillen, Vice Chair of the Freetown Cheshire Home said, “The flooding is a natural disaster and we have more than four children who attend the school living in the affected communities.”

During the night of 27 August 2022, staff of the Cheshire Home reacted to desperate calls for aid. By Sunday 28 August, the management of the Home, teachers and security staff were on the scene and opened their doors to members of the community who were most affected, starting with those children living with a disability.

Adama Turay, a single mother of three from the Culvert Community, lost all of her belongings in the flooding, including the roof of her home. Like 15 other families, Adama and her children were rescued by the Cheshire Home where they lived for three days. She received a mattress, blankets, rice, tarpaulin, used clothes, and two bars of soap on Friday 2 September 2022. She expressed her appreciation to Freetown Cheshire Home for rescuing her and her children during the flooding and later supporting them with the donated items.

Abdulai Dumbuya, the Chair of the Cheshire Home, and CEO of the Dorothy Springer Trust, thanked the generous UK donors – East Hampstead Baptist Church (EBC), Andover Baptist Church (ABC), Fuller Baptist Church (FBC) and all the individual donors who contributed toward the purchase of items for the flood victims of Kanikay/Culvert communities. Dumbuya said, children were their first priority during their rescue operation, especially those living with a disability.

“We donated these items as a token to sympathise with the flood victims. We are their neighbours and anything that happens down there will affect us here as well,” Dumbuya said. He added, “An initial £1000 was sent by Rob Lea of EBC and the team were able to purchase: foam mattresses, blankets, tarpaulins, soap, bags of rice, blankets and used clothing,” which were distributed on Friday 2 September 2022.

Salamatu Komrabai Dumbuya, Chairlady of FCH and a nurse residing in one of the affected communities, said the flooding and the reports she received were very alarming. “I received distress calls of a huge tree that fell down, electricity was cut off, water was everywhere, houses were destroyed, and people lost properties,” she said.

Don Ahern, the Political Secretary at the British High Commission, addressed the families and sympathised with the flood victims.

He said unity and solidarity in these difficult periods is key. “In a disaster, we need to come together, community, friends and supporters,” he said.

Ahern helped distribute the recovery supplies to 18 families affected by the floods.