Nigerians donate relief aid to orphans

A Nigerian battalion of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) on Tuesday donated food and other relief items to two orphanages in the town of Kamakwie in northern Sierra Leone's Bombali District, UNAMSIL reported.

NIBATT 11 handed over items including several bags of rice, vegetable oil and beans to the Children in Need Protection Centre and Help a Needy Child International. These community-based child protection homes house 45 and 50 children respectively. The children's ages range from two years to 15 years. Most of the children are former soldiers and unaccompanied children from Kamakwie township, according to Hawa Kallon, manager of the Children in Need Centre. In addition to providing protection and education, the centres run a programme to reunite parents with their children.

During the ten-year war between rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and pro-government forces, many children were displaced from their communities, separated from their families, orphaned and, in some cases, forcibly recruited as soldiers.