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Mansfield Soroptimists give girl a ‘new’ life

Posted onPosted on 12th Jan

A caring Mansfield group has come to the rescue of a 12-year-old girl in Sierra Leone.

Jestina Josiah, who lives in the remote village of Warima, had suffered with a very large umbilical hernia since birth.

It increasingly hampered her life on a daily basis and affected her attempts to be ‘normal’ and attend school.

To reach her nearest village school, she has to walk several miles to a large river, where she and other pupils cross in a canoe, before continuing their journey on foot.

A bright and promising pupil, it became apparent that Jestina needed corrective surgery.

Her family and the village’s residents are very poor and could not afford the £150 needed for the surgery and a recovery stay in hospital.

On hearing of Jestina’s plight from a member of Soroptimist International Maidenhead, Mansfield Soroptimist Club immediately transferred the money to a trusted elder in the area, who arranged for the journey, surgery and recovery stay in Bo Hospital.

Mansfield Soroptimists have been told that Jestina is recovering well. It is hoped she will regain her strength, return to school and her studies, and eventually use her skills and expertise learnt for the benefit of her community.

A spokesman for Mansfield Soroptimists said: “Full marks to Jestina for her motivation and perseverance, while coping with a potentially lethal health issue.

“It is justification, if any were needed, that if you are determined to help in any way, big or small, issues can be resolved and lives enhanced and empowered.”

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