The Hope Lutheran Church in the United States of America has disclosed plans to collaborate with the Liberian government and the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) to improve Liberians’ standard of living in the areas of health and the provision of micro-finance.
Mr. Gus Gustafson, special representative of the Hope Lutheran Church, made the disclosure in an exclusive interview at the office of the Daily Observer in Monrovia this past Friday.
“We intend to focus mainly on malaria eradication in Liberia and the empowerment of people to engage in businesses to improve their living conditions. We shall work closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Lutheran Church in Liberia to carry out the program,” he disclosed.
He said to began the work they were in the country to visit hospitals to ascertain the level of health conditions.
“We intend to visit the Phebe Hospital and other areas in the country to see how we can help the citizens,” he explained.
Mr. Gustafson disclosed that their ministry is one of the largest in the world and is passionate in assisting humanity.
“We have one of the biggest Lutheran congregations in the world that have a lot of resources to reach out to poorer countries. This is why we intend to come to Liberia to contribute to its social and economic growth,” he stated.
He estimated the cost of the initiative at a half million United States dollars, and said it was designed to reduce poverty in the lives of rural citizens of Liberia.
According to him, combating malaria is a serious issue globally, noting that a child dies every 30 seconds around the world from the effects of the disease.
He said the church would be offering treatment to malaria patients both old and young people.
“The church will offer treatments free of charge to malaria patients. We will also be providing education to them on how to prevent and diagnose malaria at an early stage,” he furthered.
Furthermore, we will educate them on micro-savings to enable them to save their resources for a better tomorrow. The micro-savings education is another way of reducing poverty. This process is a long lasting process, which is why we want to begin building a relationship to enable smoother partnership’, he explained.
The Chief Ministry Officer said that it is the dream of the Lutheran Church family that its partnership with the Liberian government would contribute to making malaria outdated, and their ministry has no intention of stopping until its goals have been met.
‘We visited Ghana earlier and were able to work in 35 villages, since we left; there have been no reports of any form of death from malaria.
“I can only imagine what it means to go through 14 years of civil crisis, and yet the Liberian people still have hope for a better tomorrow,” he said with admiration.
In addition, Speaking was Mr. Walter Gwenigale, Jr. a Lutheran Church of Hope Board Member, who expressed his joy about coming home and working in the interest of his people.
“I am happy to return home today, and it pleases me to know that I am about to work for the people of Liberia, so together we can kick malaria out of Liberia,” he said.