Roswell-based nonprofit starts clinic in Africa

Hope2Live raises funds for Sierra Leone

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ROSWELL, Ga. – The unfortunate death of a young local boy has spurred a flurry of charity, most recently investing in Sierra Leone for the creation of a clinic.

Beginning Feb. 16, Alpharetta-based nonprofit Hope2Live Ministries will sponsor a $16 for 16 Days donation campaign to raise money to stock the Sanders Marshall Memorial Christian Clinic in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The clinic is named after Sanders Marshall, a Webb Bridge Middle School student who passed away Feb. 16, 2011. He and his parents were heavily involved with Hope2Live.

To mark the occasion of his death, the fundraising campaign kicks off with the goal of supporting the clinic and its operation.

“I first went to Sierra Leone in 2007 with a small group from the First Baptist Church of Alpharetta,” said Hope2Live founder Steve Meeker. “When I came back, I felt very strongly that I needed to stay involved with the people over there.”

Through Sierra Leone Pastor Jeremiah Mansaray and his Christian ministry called Fire Tabernacle Outreach Ministries, Hope2Live has contributed funds for the building of a health clinic. FTOM is comprised of 12 churches, a primary school, the clinic, a computer school for adults, a micro loan program and a new secondary school for teens.

Sierra Leone consistently ranks at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index as one of the poorest nations in the world. Most women receive no prenatal care during their pregnancies and the country has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.

The Sanders Marshall Memorial Christian Clinic is located in Hastings, a rural, impoverished village east of the capital city of Freetown. When the clinic’s new building opens this year, it will serve the needs of the local community with a maternity ward, newborn nursery, urgent care unit, lab and pharmacy. Medicine will be provided through the pharmacy at reduced prices in order to make them more accessible to local communities.

Fundraising through the residents of Alpharetta’s Glenn Abbey neighborhood has fully funded the construction of the clinic to the tune of about $100,000. Now the nonprofit hopes to raise enough to support and run the clinic for six months, until it is self-sustaining.

“[The clinic] creates jobs and people can take care of themselves ultimately,” Meeker said.

For more information on Hope2Live Ministries, the SMMCC clinic project, the summer mission trip to Sierra Leone or to make a donation for the $16 for 16 Days campaign, please visit www.hope2live.org.