RFA Argus Charity Fund Raising in Sierra Leone
Sailors, Airmen, Royal Marines and Medics are stepping up their efforts to help youngsters orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone – without even leaving their ship.
The 350 Naval Servicemen and women aboard aid ship RFA Argus are rowing the distance from the ship’s home in Falmouth to Freetown – donating a day’s pay and asking friends and family to donate £1 for each kilometre covered on the machines in the gym.
Argus is home to three Merlin helicopters, supported Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, plus medics from all three Armed Forces, delivering aid to remote communities and treatment centres as part of Britain’s commitment to the international fight to stem the tide of Ebola in West Africa.
The row is brainchild of Petty Officer (Aircrewman) Diccon Griffith of 820 Naval Air Squadron, who was struck by the plight of youngsters during flights into Port Loko, one of the worst-affected towns in Sierra Leone.
“I had the privilege of speaking too many of the children and captured some powerful images using the squadron camera,” the senior rating said.
“Each and every face I saw seemed so happy that we were there, many of them quoting the slogan that is seen stickered on many of the UN vehicles out here – togeder, we de fet Ebola – together we will fight Ebola.”
The money raised will go to charity EducAid which is setting up two care centres in Sierra Leone for the orphans of Ebola as well as providing schooling, care and shelter.
“These orphans have seen the worst of Ebola – many of them have seen parents and siblings taken by the virus. They’ve spent months isolated, without any pastoral care of any kind and now need help,” said 820 Naval Air Squadron Observer, Lieutenant Bobby Crewdson