The recent holidays festivities came along with several challenges, including the presence of the deadly Coronavirus, which has stalled many activities and threatened survival by crippling even the most advanced economies the world over.
Amid all these, however, Refuge Place International (RPI), a not for profit organization investing in affordable healthcare services for all Liberians and many other residents in the country, visited parts of rural and urban Montserrado, as well as Lofa County, and identified with the disabled and less privileged families.
In the neigborhood of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC), a visually impaired school adminstrator and his staff and students expressed their gratitude to RPI for showering them on such a great day but in difficult times, too, with gifts.
Rev. Wilfred Gewon, President of “United Blind Association (UBA)” told the Daily Observer via a telephone call that the gifts from Refuge Place International came in at the appropriate time, owing to the fact that there was no money to have afforded food and other important household items.
“We hardly get any support from anyone or organization since we came into existence. We are thankful to the Refuge Place International family for giving us over ten bags of rice and other things we can use to even cook the rice with.
“They have done extremely well and we will forever remain grateful to them for their love shown us and commitment to be our good friends not only when it is Christmas, but at all times²,” Gewon said.
The UBA executive, who also runs and heads a school attached to his organization said he has also made some requests, hoping that the RPI family will see reason and do what’s best for the common good of the disabled men, women and children at the institution.
When asked to list the requests he had made, hoping that RPI consider them, Rev. Gewon said he has appealed to RPI to help his institution restore its water facilities on campus and domitories.
“There is no water on campus and it is causing us so much challenge. We are visually impaired and having to travel all around the community in search of water during the dry season is painful. We have polytank with the capacity of 500 gallons but it is not in use now because there is no connection,” he said.
Another request Gewon said he has presented to RPI is that the buildings he and his dependents reside in are dilapidated (in bad condition, leaking) and as such, he will be happy if Refuge Place International can also extend their helping hand to do the repairs.
He added that children, most of whom are visually impaired and attend his school, pay nothing much that can even cater for them but, as a calling, he and his team have seen themselves as guardians who must do all that is right to help the children.
“A lady that I know personally has five children but one of them is blind. She brought this child to our school and sent the other children to Cathedral, B. W. Harris and St. Theresa Convent. She is spending huge sums of money for them but does not bring any money for the care of the child she brought to us.
“All she could tell me when I asked her why, she said she is spending on those she feels will benefit her tomorrow,” Gewon narrated with a deep sigh.
Meanwhile, Bill Passaway and John Larmin, residents of Nyama Town and Low Cost Village (rural parts) near Bentol, administrative capital of Montserrado, also expressed their gratitude to Refuge Place Internation for identifying with them during the Christmas season.
“Refuge Place International has almost completed building a very low cost clinic for us here. So far, what has remained is the palaver hut for people to sit and wait for their loved ones who will come for treatment and a few things, like furnishing the clinic,” Bill Passaway, RPI’s project manager said via telephone.
John Larmin, RPI’s coordinator residing in Low Cost Village, said the services at RPI’s clinic are still in full swing and residents are directly benefiting without any worry of having much money before receiving better and quality healthcare services.
“We are immensely grateful to Dr. Mosoka Fallah (founder, RPI) for this great vision and we will at all times continue to support this endeavor for the benefit of our people whom we serve,” Larmin said.
Mrs. Franzetta Fallah Nyanford, head of RPI’s delegation for distributing food and non-food items to targeted groups of people, said she was amazed to have seen joy in the faces of people they served.
“An old lady who has for many years relied only on selling dry firewood to make her living, broke down in tears when we met her and handed over to her a bag of rice, cubes, salt and other things for her Christmas.
“She told us that our outreach was the first ever to have given her anything, most especially during festive seasons,” Mrs. Nyanford told the Daily Observer via a mobile phone.
She said residents in Quassanda, a Town in Lofa, also received rice and other items as they celebrated their Christmas.
About the requests made by the visually impaired residents in the LPRC neigborhood, Mrs. Nyanford said RPI will do it best and contribute to the welfare of the people.
“We don’t have much. We are not millionaires but we are humanitarians. With the ceaseless support from our partners here and abroad, we will never relent in helping our people who are so much in need of better lives,” she concluded.
Refuge Place International (RPI) was founded and generally suprevised by Dr. Mosoka Fallah, a graduate from the medical school of the presitigious Harvard University and former Director General of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL).
Dr. Fallah grew up in the slum community of West Point, Monrovia and experienced devastating life challenges, including lack of better healthcare.
Although there are lots of opportunities for the results oriented epidermologist (one who has knowledge in fighting against infectious diseases, including outbreaks), Fallah has chosen to live in his home country and help his people who are in desperate need of good quality healthcare.
Through his NGO, Refuge Place International, Fallah has built and continues to build many low cost clinics with the involvement of the beneficiaries in many parts of the Country.