The Liberian government has been urged to prioritize welfare programs for women and children who survived the devastating Ebola Virus Disease.
Speaking at the launching of the non-profit organization, Liberia Women & Children Teenage Mothers Assistance Program, (LICWETMP) yesterday, Mrs. Christal-Dionne Reeves Da-Thong, said women and children were particularly vulnerable in the crisis.
Mrs. Da-Thong, a marketing and communications professional and a humanitarian, quoted a UNICEF report, that said 75 percent of Ebola cases involved women and children.
Quoting the UNICEF report during a program at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Monrovia, she explained that 4,519 children were by February this year affected by the outbreak.
To counter this Ebola’s negative effect on children and women, Mrs. Da-Thong said the Government of Liberia and its partners must increase their intervention programs to the “most vulnerable groups” in the country, who are women and children.
Among other negative by-products of Ebola, she stated, “is stigmatization that can affect children and women’s self esteem.”
“It is therefore necessary that our efforts are geared towards programs that are designed to help women and children,” Mrs. Da-Thong suggested.
She commended LICWETMP for its bold initiative to concentrate its intervention on children and women in this critical period in which Ebola seemed to be out of the country.
Mrs. Da-Thong, with extensive working experience in the non-governmental sectors in the United Kingdom and Liberia, said LICWETMP’s psychosocial and educational welfare support to the more than 50 children and women need local and international support.
“To be able to help many more women and children,” Mrs. Da-Thong said, “The LICWETMP will need international support.”
She also commended LICWETMP for its feeding program, which she noted is vital to create support for children and women who lost parents and spouses.
“These women and children must now depend on the goodwill of society to attend to their needs and your organization has started the ball rolling,” she noted.
Yesterday’s program was attended by over 50 Ebola made orphans and women who are being supported by LICWETMP, according to its acting executive director David D. Dennis.
At the end of the program, an assortment of school supplies, valued at over USD5,000 were presented to the children.