Sierra Leone Bottling Company (SLBC) on Friday 10th October 2008 launched a business initiative to support Amputee Entrepreneurship in the country at an auspicious occasion held at the SLBC Canteen in Freetown.
Sierra Leone Bottling Company (SLBC) Managing Director, Mr. Erick Djibo said his company recognizes the plight of the less fortunate citizenry, adding that he feels morally obliged to start a business initiative which will improve their standard of living in the long run.
"We were the first company to start engaging amputees for employment immediately after the war in Sierra Leone," he said, while adding that the launch marks another milestone in the history of the company.
Mr. Erick Djibo expressed happiness in presenting thirty mini table equipments to enable amputees start a business enterprise, adding that it would make them more independent and self reliant.
"Within the next two weeks these mini tables manned by amputees will be spread across Freetown and its environs," he disclosed, adding that each set of equipment comprises of a collapsible table, ice chest and umbrella plus two creates of soft drinks inclusive of the empties.
The MD intimated that the company’s sales supervisors have organized special training sessions for the recipients on how to handle the equipment and the Coca Cola profit story, adding that the training session was very successful and the recipients were enthusiastic and eagerly looking forward to the equipment.
"The cost of each set of equipment including the soft drinks which will serve as the working capital is estimated at Le800, 000," the MD disclosed, adding that his company is spending over Le25, 000, 000 to make sure that the lives of some of the less fortunate Sierra Leoneans are capacitated.
APC Member of Parliament, Honourable Julius Nye Cuffie commended the SLBC for initiating such a wonderful project for amputees, adding that it will enhance capacity building and recognition for amputees.
"One of the major challenges amputees faced is that they are not recognized by the society," Honourable Cuffie said, adding that other companies should emulate the good work of the company to eliminate the begging syndrome of amputees.
Presenting the equipment to amputees, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alimamy P. Koroma commended the company for such a laudable promotion, which will help the restoration of integrity and respect of amputees in society..
He urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity accorded them.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.