RPCV-NJ held its first crowdfunding campaign in 2018. In partnership with Africa Surgery, Inc., a NJ-based non-profit organization established by RPCV Tom Johnson, funds were raised to provide medical intervention for Francess Kabia, (pictured) an 8-year-old Sierra Leonean. The campaign, spearheaded by NJ RPCV RJ Harper, successfully raised $2,350.00 and the funds received from Indiegogo after the close of the campaign were paid out to Africa Surgery in December 2018.
The funds raised supported not only Francess’s surgery but also, in order to fully utilize the funds, medical/surgical assistance was provided to one or more of the following Sierra Leoneans (all of whom are from small rural villages from different parts of the country):
Mariatu Koroma, age 14-15, whose left jaw has been swollen for over a year due to a decayed tooth. She has already had one surgery but might need a further one. She is staying at Africa Surgery, Inc. rented quarters in Freetown to be able to have regular check-ups and medical treatments from the oral surgeon in Freetown.
Kenfalah Kamara, age 32, also had his jaw swollen for over one year due to a decayed tooth. He too has had his first surgery and is staying at Africa Surgery, Inc. quarters in Freetown and is receiving ongoing treatment as he waits to see if he will need any further surgery to remove infection and ensure regrowth of his lower jaw bone. (The lower jawbone is the only bone in the human body capable of regeneration under certain conditions).
Fullahmusu Kabia, age 35, had a tumor of her parotid gland which was removed by the oral surgeon in Freetown. She is currently staying at quarters rented by Africa Surgery, Inc. in Freetown while getting regular check-ups and medical treatments.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey and Africa Surgery, Inc. thanks are extended to those who contributed to this campaign and for believing in the importance of assisting unfortunate citizens in a country that has suffered a devastating civil war and an epidemic of ebola in recent years.
Thanks to Tom Johnson for his longstanding and continued work helping Sierra Leoneans, to RJ Harper for managing the crowdfunding campaign and sincere appreciation is extended to NJ RPCV Ilwon Kang who was extremely helpful in generating support for this campaign.