Charity appeals for kit to help Ebola outbreak

James Fallah-Williams of Practical Tools Initiative
James Fallah-Williams of Practical Tools Initiative

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DEDICATED James Fallah-Williams is sending vital supplies to his home country blighted by war and the deadly Ebola virus.

The 42-year-old has set up a charity in Fareham collecting medical equipment and work tools for rural communities in Sierra Leone.

James, a former University of Portsmouth student, set up Practical Tools Initiative, which was formerly based in Gosport.

He said: ‘It’s quite a terrifying situation.

‘The community has really suffered under civil war and a few years after that we have the Ebola outbreak.

‘You can imagine how desperate people are.’

The charity needs donations of carpentry, blacksmith, masonry and plumbing tools.

It aims to give people skills to rehabilitate communities.

Already this year it has sent a 40ft container of tools to the country to help rural communities get back on their feet – another will be sent in December.

It comes after the 11-year bloody civil war, that saw thousands die, ended in 2002.

Now the need to send medical supplies has become more acute after the Ebola virus struck in the African country.

James added: ‘The rural clinics don’t have basic items to handle patients.

‘Ill people are carried in wheelbarrows. It’s quite a situation.’

A case of the killer virus has since been reported in Texas in America.

James started forming his plans for the charity back in 2001 after graduating from university and visiting his family in the war-torn country. The group also supports the country’s only young offenders’ institute in Freetown.

Dee Symons is an experienced charity worker who has made more than 100 visits to The Gambia to help people.

The 72-year-old, of Fort Fareham Road, Fareham, is hoping to convert her Ford 4x4 into an ambulance for the next shipment to Sierra Leone.

‘To have it as a little field ambulance would be a dream,’ she said.

‘People are dying because nobody knows about their plight.’

Send any donations to Fareham Community Church, in Russell Place, Fareham.

Call 01329 829 121 or 07800586533 or see practicaltoolsinitiative.org