As part of its humanitarian assistance program last Friday, the Liberia Ghana Missions (LGM) provided an initial financial assistance of US$10,000 to 60 children who lost their parents to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The beneficiary children are from several communities in Monrovia and its environs.
The amount covers the 2017/18 academic year.
Reviewing the financial packages to officials of the Ministry of Gender & Social Protection (MGSP) in Monrovia recently, scholarship coordinator George Sarwah Stewart said the assistance to the Ebola orphans is a priority of the LGM.
Stewart said the verification process that led to the presentation of the financial package is a normal procedure set by the LGM administration.
He said the LGM is catering to about 6,000 students nationwide through financial assistance, which is one of the mission’s core values.
Stewart lauded LGM’s partnership with the MGSP and promised to work together to ensure that the Ebola orphans are assisted in every way to fulfill their dreams of getting an education.
In a statement, LGM CEO Rev. Emmanuel J. Giddings said the goal of the mission is to respond to the growing educational needs of the Ebola orphans.
CEO Giddings noted that although they had received several requests for assistance from social and educational institutions, however, the one from the MGSP regarding the Ebola orphans claimed their attention.
Rev. Giddings said during the Ebola crisis in 2014, the LGM directed the bulk of its financial resources to assist communities that were gravely affected by the deadly Ebola virus.
To memorialize those who succumbed to the EVD, he said the LGM proposed the erection of a monument at one of the locations where the remains of those who died from Ebola were buried.
Giddings, however, said the fact that the MGSP initiated the tracking down of children who lost their parents to Ebola prompted the LGM to place it on its priority list to make financial assistance available for their education.
He lauded the MGSP, principals, and school administrators for their patience in the face of delay in processing tuition payments to their institutions.
The LGM CEO said the suggestion by the scholarship coordinator to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the MGSP is realistic, and suggestive of empathy on the part of the institutions.
He said providing urgent financial relief to the Ebola children could enhance their well-being in their communities.
Victoria Zaway, director for Children’s Protection at the MGSP, said the ministry was touched by the LGM’s financial gesture towards the Ebola orphans.
She said MGSP is in contact with 8,699 Ebola orphans who deserve every support, and noted that placing such children in orphanages should not be the solution.
Zaway, however, noted that the Liberian government has been doing a lot for the children, and was quick to add that the need to partner with other organizations cannot be overemphasized.
The MGSP director for children’s protection intimated that the priority of the ministry is making sure the Ebola orphans are in school in their various communities around the country.
She also disclosed that 224 children who lost their parents to Ebola are being assisted by the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) through the kind gesture of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Director Zaway pointed out that the LGM’s addition of the 60 children to its list is commendable and urged Liberians at home and abroad to come to the children’s aid.