– Diompillor Liberia chapter coordinator sounds SOS appeal
A little over 150 documented Ebola orphans in some poor communities in urban and rural Liberia need urgent socioeconomic and educational assistance in order to achieve their dreams.
Reverend Saa S. Blama, national coordinator of the Diompillor America Incorporated Liberia chapter, made the SOS appeal in a recent interview with the Daily Observer in Monrovia.
In the chapter’s update that covered the Ebola crisis from inception to date, Rev. Blama disclosed that between August 9-13, a two-man team headed by Dr. Ivan F. Camanor delivered several critically needed relief aid, including food, non-food and medical items, to the worst Ebola affected citizens of Foya District in Lofa County.
At the time of that grave emergency, Rev. Blama said the relief items were donated by former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai as their initial humanitarian assistance to the Ebola affected citizens.
He also disclosed that the donated items included 150 bags of 25 kilogram medium sized bags and 120 liters of cooking oil, adding that the items were presented to administrative and health authorities.
Besides, Rev. Blama pointed out that needs assessment of the community’s radio station and Ebola survivors were carried out by the two-man team in Foya Statutory District for future relief and humanitarian assistance.
Asked to shed light on the purpose of the needs assessment, he said at the end of the exercise, it was hoped that it would make a case for the need for psychosocial counseling and welfare service programs aimed at reducing the stigma and perception of Ebola survivors in the communities they lived.
On the current needs of the Ebola orphans, Rev. Blama noted that an increase in financial and material assistance should now be at the hearts and minds of all well-meaning Liberians at home and abroad in order to help ensure that the orphans remain in school.
In a related development, in October 2014, Diompillor America made its second donation of US$3,000 to Kissi Ebola victims living in Monrovia through Dr. Ivan F. Camanor to bolster the efforts of the Liberia chapter.
Rev. Blama also disclosed that a second assessment was carried out in 15 communities in Monrovia and Paynesville intended to identify survivors, widows, widowers and orphans aimed at giving them economic and social assistance.
However, Rev. Blama intimated that not all communities that were assessed were covered under the second donation and distribution of relief items the group delivered during the height of the Ebola crisis in 2014.
On what is being done about the post Ebola recovery, Rev. Blama disclosed that another assessment was carried out during which 136 Ebola orphans were identified in Monrovia and the group started an educational assistance project providing tuition for the students.
He placed the cost of the educational assistance project at US$10,400, adding that US$2,600 has been paid through Dr. Masoka Fallah, a member of the Board of Advisors.
Rev. Blama said that a request was made to Diompillor USA for additional financial assistance in order to pay outstanding school fees to institutions that had accepted the Ebola orphans.
“We are yet to get a kind response for the initial request made to our generous and kindhearted supporters and partners,” he added.
He indicated that the outstanding payment owed to the schools is placed at US$8,146.43, adding that an additional US$14,105.95 is expected to be provided for the purpose.
In closing, Rev. Blama made an urgent SOS appeal to well-meaning Liberians, charity institutions and foundations, and embassies near Monrovia to come to the aid of the post Ebola orphans.