By Bampia Bundu
One of the leading commercial banks in Sierra Leone, the First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited (FI Bank) on Saturday, February 18 this year, dined with pupils of the National School for the Deaf and Dumb at the school campus at Wilkinson Road in Freetown.
Addressing the pupils, the Bank’s Group Head, Marketing Production and Business Development, Mr. Ben Okike, noted that they decided to dine with the pupils because they thought it fit to interact with them in order to understand their peculiar situation and needs.
He also stated that the food and drinks they provided for them is just the starting point of their partnership, as they intend to continue visiting the school and supporting them.
He encouraged the pupils not to blame themselves or their parents for their conditions as it the will of God for them to be like that.
“Don’t punish yourselves for your conditions because it is not your fault, it is the will of God for you. You should thank God for allowing you to continue staying alive,” he observed.
Mr. Okike admitted that their presence at the school was not only to dine with them but to also know the challenges they face in their school and see how best they could come to their aid.
He called on them to focus on their education as it is the only instrument that will help them progress in the future. He noted that they were ready to help them at all times.
In her statement, the Bank’s Head of Marketing, Production and Development, Madam Harriett Macauley expressed her appreciation for the warm deception they were accorded.
She stated that that even though they could neither talk nor hear it was heart-warming to realize that their brains are functional which gives them the opportunity to communicate with each and learn useful skills. She assured them that there are more opportunities that the bank will provide for them in the future.
Receiving the items, the Head Teacher of the School, Madam Winifred Williams, commended FI Bank for their support and for considering them in their corporate social responsibilities.
She lamented that they were going through several challenges to teach the pupils sign language as most of their Teachers have not gone through the proper training.
She also stated that the support they get from the Ministry of Education was very small for them to run the school with which is why they are very appreciative of supports like these.
She disclosed that most of the pupils end their educational pursuits at Junior Secondary School level as they find it difficult to continue their education due to the challenges they face in normal schools.
She assured the management of the bank that they will remain grateful to them for their kindness.