Provides Updates on Initiatives
By Alvin Worzi
With a call to invest more in health, education and agriculture, Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF) yesterday highlighted several of its ongoing initiatives, including agro businesses in Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties and the payment of WAEC exam fees for 3500 students for the past two years.
Making the disclosure yesterday at a press conference in Monrovia, CAF country director Fatu Gbedema said, “The foundation has done some research on food, and based on the results, we think it’s better to support the agriculture sector through women’s empowerment projects.”
“There are areas in Liberia where women are involved in agro businesses, and CAF intends to support them fully,” director Gbedema noted.
On CAF’s health initiatives, Gbedema said the foundation is targeting referral hospitals which serve several counties, for example, C. H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata serveing Margibi, Bong, and Montserrado counties.
“CAF believes in helping the public, and we try to identify situations that are not profit driven so that more people can have access to better healthcare in the country. We are focusing on the rural areas, because we want everyone to feel included, as Monrovia is not Liberia,” Madam Gbedema said.
She said six hospitals across Liberia will shortly receive donations of medical supplies and equipment valued at US$500,000 from the Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF).
The health centers will include Grand Bassa Government Hospital; JJ Dossen Hospital in Greenville, Sinoe County; CB Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County; the Lutheran Curren Hospital in Zorzor, Lofa County; C. H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County; and the Fish Town Hospital in River Gee County.
Strengthening Liberia’s healthcare infrastructure remains cardinal to the foundation as reflected by its support to medical centers around the country.
“The six health centers were identified through CAF’s education project,” Gbedema said. “Visiting the counties, we realized that those health centers were in need of medical supplies and the recommendations were made.”
Dr. Gerald Tamba, a CAF volunteer, said that the foundation has been engaging farmers in Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties on agriculture initiatives that will empower them by addressing some of their pressing needs, including paying school fees for their dependants.
“We are in the first phase of the project and are currently in Bakoni, Grand Bassa County, to help the community to process coconut oil,” he disclosed.
“The farmers have a problem, because they are harvesting but don’t see the money. They are not able to properly process it and get money out of it to support their families, and so CAF plans to help them to benefit from their produce.”
Dr. Tamba emphasized that the foundation is helping to bring farmers together from various communities to ensure that they have maximum benefits from their produce, which will help them take care of their homes and increase farming activities.
Farmers are experiencing problems getting their produce to the markets, something that CAF plans to address by offering farmers with links to sell their produce, he said.
“We want to ensure that agriculture impacts the farmers’ lives. We want to see the farmers involved in value addition and so we really want to leverage our resources in helping these communities become sustainable at their own level,” Dr. Tamba said.