Sunday, February 08, 2009
Missionaries of Charity
The Mission is not funded by the Catholic Church but by a series of benefactors who come as Sister Rykter says, by “divine intervention”. One of the benefactors is the Makeni City Council who donated some land adjacent to the Mission for an extension. The Mission initially needed to enclose the land with a masonry wall and together with some Canadian investors a builder Mr. Sheik was selected to undertake the construction. Monitoring the work was a challenge since I live in the City of Bo about 7 hours away and so a Councilor Ismail Bangura offered to oversee the work. Some moral suasion was also added by the inclusion of the Paramount Chief into the contract. So on January 1st the contract was signed and Mr Sheik and his men got to work.
It is now just over a month into the expected 6 week project and there have been a few hiccups such as the quality of sand, the consistency of the concrete and the depth of the foundation. I found Sister Rykter to be an invaluable on-site inspector and irritant nag for the builder and crew. The Paramount Chief intervened once and very effectively applied suitable pressure. Ismail Bangura reports to me daily and I have visited 3 times to document the progress with photos and to authorise interim payments. Thanks also to Canadian Celine Savard for some photos.
The extension is now nearing the half way stage and it seems that the builder is on-track to complete although a little late. However I am definitely not ruling out the need for the services of the Paramount Chief again. Sister Rykter and the 4 other Sisters who run the Mission seem very happy with the progress after waiting for almost a year for the “divine intervention” They still have not given up on making a convert out of me.