The German Embassy near Monrovia has presented a certificate of honor to Margret Gieraths-Nimene, operator and owner of the GerLib Clinic and other facilities in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. She was presented with the award for her humanitarian works with less fortunate Liberians.
The honor represents Germany’s Federal Order of Merit with approval from its President, Mr. Joachim Gauck.
Mrs. Nimene is a German, who was married to the late Dr. Domo Nimene, a Liberian who was killed in 1998 by rebel soldiers during the Liberian civil crisis.
German Ambassador, Ralph Timmermann, recounting Mrs. Nimene’s achievements in Liberia, recalled that in 1985 she (Mrs. Nimeme) opened a clinic in Paynesville that offered treatment to its patients at a low cost; she later established two more.
Ambassador Timmermann further indicated that when the brutal civil crisis began in December 1989, the couple did not flee choosing to stay in Liberia; a decision that caused them to suffer humiliation at the hands of rebels.
The Ambassador noted, “In mid 1990, things became so bad that they were forced to flee the country, but Mrs. Nimene could not let go of Liberia and everything she had left there, so she returned to Monrovia six months later on a ship.”
According to him, the ship on which she sailed arrived with doctors and was filled with 1,500 tons of rice, relief goods, and medical supplies, which paved the way for her to organize a relief operation in the war-torn city of Monrovia.
The doctors and nurses on board the ship reportedly saved thousands of lives during that time.
Not deterred by the effects of the war, which caused many of the establishments to be destroyed, according to Ambassador Timmermann, Mrs. Nimene reconstructed the GerLib Clinic with support from the German Embassy and private donations.
In addition to the clinic, she also opened a community center in Paynesville where free education, skills training, and adult literacy programs are offered for children and young people in the community.
“Mrs. Margret Gieraths-Nimene has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the poor. She never received any salary for her work at the clinic, and all her savings have gone into her work for the community; something I believe distinguishes her from others. That is why I believe she deserves this honor bestowed upon her,” Ambassador Timmermann said.
Mrs. Margret Gieraths-Nimene in a brief interview following the honoring told this paper that her passion is developed from the view point that most of the people benefiting from her humanitarian works are poor without employment opportunities.
She said with assistance from friends she is able to underwrite the cost of medications and other needs the beneficiaries need, and was happy to have this honor.
However, Madam Nimene stressed that Liberia is her second home now having married to a Liberian, and she does not intend to stop from this work she is called to do.
She came to Liberia in 1983 and has been here since. She said even though she is aging and there may be challenges, she cannot predict whether she will go back home until the need arises.
At the Mamba Point Hotel where the honoring ceremony took place on December 6, several pictures showing Liberians with different health conditions were displayed.
Each individual had two photos, one showing the time of his/her illness or living condition, and the other showing improvements that have come through the intervention of Mrs. Nimene.
Although Mrs. Nimene’s work is an individual initiative developed from passion couple with marital tie between her and her late Liberian husband, it remains clear that German is a long standing friend to Liberia in history.
Germany opened the Bong Mining Company in the 1950; they have had a history of improving the Agriculture Sector of Liberia prior to the war. Bong Mines supported the Nimba County Rural Development Project (NCRDP) and Bong County Agriculture Development Project (BCADP), which brought new style of agricultural activities to the rural dwellers of those counties.
Since the end of the Liberian civil crisis, Germany has contributed to post-war development of the country through logistics to the security sector, funds for the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee hydro plant, and focusing on gender related programs.
The German non-governmental organization, Welthungerhilfe, is operating in south-eastern Liberia in the Agriculture Sector to elate Liberians there in food production and security.