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Local charity brings hope, health to Sierra Leone

Tanya Spoon, a private practice nurse practitioner from Silverdale, is heading up a team of medical and clerical staff with the mission of providing much-needed services to the people of Sierra Leone, especially the children, through the Children of the Nations organization. The team left July 18 and will return in a few weeks. - Courtesy photos
Tanya Spoon, a private practice nurse practitioner from Silverdale, is heading up a team of medical and clerical staff with the mission of providing much-needed services to the people of Sierra Leone, especially the children, through the Children of the Nations organization. The team left July 18 and will return in a few weeks.
— image credit: Courtesy photos

The African continent has been plagued by civil war and AIDS for many years and is now left with a group of orphaned children who are unable to get the care they need from their governments.

“Children of the Nations raises orphans in homes rather than an orphanage,” Tanya Spoon said. “They are raised like they are a family with an African woman to raise them. We give them school, medical and love of course. It’s the philosophy of COTN.”

Spoon, a private practice nurse practitioner from Silverdale, is heading up a team of medical and clerical staff to provide much-needed services to the people of Sierra Leone, especially the children, with the help of COTN. The team left July 18 and will return in a few weeks.

The organization was founded in Silverdale in 1995, according to Spoon, and its headquarters are on Clear Creek Road. They operate homes, schools, farms, skill centers, clinics and village feeding centers in an effort to give quality care to children.

The team is made up of mostly medical staff, according to Spoon, but some construction and administrative staff will be making the trip as well.

Kristen Childress, a nurse practitioner for Group Health, will be part of the medical team with Spoon and Margaret Orn, a nurse educator from Harrison Hospital. Jessica Gruber, a college student hoping to be a nurse, will also join them on this mission.

Jim Jackson, a Bremerton-based contractor, will be setting up water and electrical for the orphan homes and Elaine Jackson, a Bremerton paralegal, will be working with national staff on office organization.

The medical team will be establishing permanent medical records, conducting TB tests and doing physicals for all 100 orphans. They also will be part of a medical village outreach where they will travel to local villages educating villagers on subjects like wound and patient care. The group will be 200 miles outside of the main city of Freetown, in a very remote area.

“My team has received generous donations from local physicians and Harrison Hospital as well as many from our community,” she said.

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