Africare-Liberia has started distributing 1030 pairs of shoes to students and instructors of public schools in Bong, Montserrado and Nimba Counties.
Africare-Liberia Country Director Ernest M. Gaie, who made the disclosure to the Daily Observer via mobile phone over the weekend, also revealed that the distribution is a joint partnership of Africare-Liberia and the United States-based Tom Shoes.
The uniformity of Tom Shoes is characterized by their unique black color “cooked” plastic-like leather.
Mr. Gaie said more than 200 public schools in the three counties are expected to benefit from the distribution through the Ministry of Education (MOE) offices in three counties. Public schools in Montserrado County will receive 900 pairs of the consignment and Bong and Nimba counties will share the balance 130 pairs.
The distribution is Africare’s contribution to buttress government’s efforts to ease the economic burden created on citizens by the Ebola epidemic, said Gaie.
“The exercise may extend to other schools in all Africare operational catchment communities, but that will require time and mobilization of resources,” Mr. Gaie explained.
“We need to step back and see how we can collectively work together to make sure that even in the midst of this epidemic, people are treated with dignity and respect.”
During the peak of the outbreak last year, Africare-Liberia directly reached approximately 100,000 residents in Bong and Nimba Counties with social and behavioral change messages.
Those exercises, Mr. Gaie said, were to create awareness in the fight against the further spread of the virus.
Africare, he said, aims to help restore the routine health services that the Ebola outbreak interrupted.
The entity is grateful for the support of its donors and for the partnership of direct relief in making other supplies available, said Gaie.
Africare Liberia continues to collaborate with other health-related institutions and the county health teams to ensure routine basic primary health services to primary health care facilities, he said.
With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW), Africare-Liberia is also supplying drugs as well as medical and non-medical equipment to protect clinicians while providing health services and making intermittent school interventions.
Meanwhile, the County Health Officers in Bong, Nimba and Montserrado as well as school administrations have expressed gratitude to Africare-Liberia for the donation and cautioned the beneficiaries, mainly students, to strive for academic excellence.