In Memory Of Dora
This morning my heart was broken to learn of the death of Dora Tullah, daughter of Bassay, sister of Michael, predeceased by her mother. Dora was a delightfully charming child with an infectious sense of humour. She had recently left Mapaki to live with relatives in a bigger town, where she took ill and died. Dora's death follows that of Margaret Conteh, primary school teacher, adult literacy worker, mother, and only female teacher in the chiefdom, whom I had hoped to work closely with. The deep sadness I feel about these deaths is tempered with some bitterness as I think about their senselessness. It seems that every time I hear news from Mapaki, I hear of another death. This reflects, I suppose, the fact that despite its rich natural resources Sierra Leone has one of the highest mortality rates in the world, especially for infants and mothers. As I think about the people I've come to know and love, I also reflect on the structures that have created and maintain this state of affairs, which we all have a role in addressing (see global issues link). I also realize how crucial it is to take a holistic approach to the work we do, linking health, education, agriculture, trade, global relations, etc. One of my first stops will be to see Theresa, the village health worker. Take a detailed look at Sierra Leone's standing (second last) in the United Nations Human Development Report. Meet Dora's big brother, Michael, in this video.