On Monday 9th May, the CEO of Orange Liberia and Chairman of Orange Foundation Liberia, Mr. Jean Marius YAO along with the Executive Director of Orange Foundation and Orange Digital Center Liberia Ms. Sara E. Buchanan, presented the recently completed multi-purpose Orange Village & Maternity clinic in Mama Tormah’s Village, Brewerville to the community and invited dignitaries.
The Vice President of Liberia Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Mrs. Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr joined on the tour of the newly built facilities.
Making remarks during the tour, Mr. Yao explained that the Orange Foundation was heavily focused on the promotion of access to healthcare and digital education. He mentioned that Orange Foundation has worked closely with the Ministry of health to provide medical supplies to hospitals and recently made further donations to hospitals and various charities in Buchanan, Pleebo, Harper, Zwedru, Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor and Foya. He pointed out that the company was continuing its health initiatives with ongoing donations of medical and non-medical supplies to hospitals and clinics across Liberia as part of an ongoing Orange Money’s nationwide community engagement tour.
On education and access to digital, Mr. Yao explained that Orange Foundation had already launched two Women Digital Centers in Bong and Grand Bassa counties where semi-literate women learn using digital tools in collaboration with UN Women. Mr. Yao also discussed Orange Foundation Liberia current seven Digital Schools: “Orange Foundation has its Digital Schools initiative that we are currently running in 4 counties and impacting over 900 students. One of these schools is right here in the Mama Tormah’s school. This initiative brings technology tools to primary school students, including solar charging and thousands of free educational contents to bolster the education of young minds. We will launch another 10 Digital School in the coming month,” said Mr. Yao. Continuing with the focus on digital inclusion, Mr. Yao also mentioned the newly established Orange Digital Center located in Congo town where young employment seeking Liberian youth can come and learn various skills to improve their employment for free.
Also making brief remarks during the visit, Liberia’s Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah described the construction of health facilities as a “critical need” and thanked Orange Foundation Liberia for the initiative. She highlighted that Orange had been an important health partner with the Ministry since the outbreak of Covid-19 when the company donated thousands of dollars in medical and non-medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and several clinics and hospitals in Liberia.
The Liberian Vice President emphasized the words of appreciation by the Minister of Health and hailed Orange foundation for its forward-thinking efforts to support the Liberian government’s development agenda and termed the Orange Village and Maternity Center as a “dream come true.” The Liberian Vice President highlighted the struggles many villages in Liberia are constrained by including lack of water, education, and health care, and sustainability; all of which she said had been addressed for the people of Mama Tomah through the Orange Village project.
“The needs in this community and many communities in Liberia are a lot. We can see how far this village is from health facilities. The distance has historically made it difficult for our people to access proper health care. Thankfully, Orange Foundation has stepped in. The work that Orange Foundation has done here is generational. It will go beyond what you can even imagine,” said Madam Taylor. She went on to thank Orange Liberia and Orange Foundation for including other components including a digital classroom. Madam Taylor stated: “the truth is our education system is far behind when it comes to digital technology. I was therefore delighted to hear that Orange Foundation had included a digital classroom. When we begin these classes at the elementary level, it helps our children to advance and stay on par with their Western counterparts. We are grateful beyond the words.” The Liberian Vice President declared that her office and the Ministry of Health would work closely to find ways to buttress the efforts made by Orange foundation as an indication that the Liberian government viewed Orange Liberia as an important partner in progress.
For her part the Executive Director of Orange Foundation & Orange Digital Center Liberia, Ms. Sara E. Buchanan explained that the Orange Village project, a US$130,000 investment included a newly built canteen, small clinic and separate maternity clinic, conference hall, water tower as well as a renovated school and restrooms for the Mama Tormah’s village, which is a former Sande bush. “This Mama Tormah Village project may be our first in Liberia, but Orange Foundation has 100 of such villages across Africa and we expect to see more being built across Liberia” Ms. Buchanan explained. Ms. Buchanan also went on to reiterate that the event was to present all the facilities comprising the Orange Village project however only the clinic and maternity clinic will be handed ownership over and opened at a later date.
The representatives of Mama Tormah’s village expressed their gratitude to Orange Foundation for keeping their promise to make their village the first Orange Village in Liberia. They praised the fact that in addition to the health, education, digital inclusion, and access to water improvements made, infrastructure for sustainability were included in the project, which would allow the community to earn much needed income and empower themselves.