TRF Fètes 600 Kids with ‘My First Santa’ Initiative

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The TRF team, led by Santa Claus, visited from door to door to give out the gifts to the kids

Christmas can be a financially and emotionally challenging time for families already concerned about money and other sources of livelihood—and in an already ravaged economic conditions in Liberia that is further compounded by the impacts of the deadly COVID-19, the situation is dire. This makes the hope for a merrier Christmas an elusive dream of many underprivileged kids.

But amidst these gloomy economic and health conditions came flashes of hope as The Raphaelyn Foundation (TRF) emerged and salvaged the situation by putting smiles on the faces and bring hope to hundreds of the kids.

Established on the sole purpose to give hope and inspire lives, TRF made it her duty to ensure that six hundred children from five communities received gifts from Santa throughout the Christmas week.

The team, led by Santa, visited from door to door to give out the gifts to the kids—who were all smiles as they received their gifts. The distribution exercise lasted from Monday, December 21, 2020, to Friday, December 25, 2020.

Communities that benefited from TRF’s weeklong distribution include Duazon, Sam Beach, Shirah, Du Port Road and the SKD Sports Complex communities, where the exercise was climaxed on Christmas Day. The kids were given festive toys and food items.

The founder and Executive Director of the foundation, Raphaelyn CN Bomosy, disclosed that the team had earlier planned a massive celebration in five of the country’s 15 counties—a plan that was shattered by the impact of the ever-present COVID-19.

“We had an initial plan to celebrate this Christmas in five counties, but we had to cancel our plan due to COVID-19 and redirected our focus to home delivery of gifts to the kids in five communities here,” the founder said.

Since its establishment on November 1, 2018, TRF has celebrated Christmas every year in two counties (Montserrado and Bomi Counties) with over five hundred kids benefiting each year. The foundation has been dedicated to hosting Christmas programs and sponsoring less privileged kids in school. It also carries out a monthly rice distribution which pregnant women an elderly folks in the SKD Sports Complex Community benefit.

TRF founder, Raphaelyn Bomosy (bottom, right) and her team that carried out the distribution on Friday, December 25.

The pandemic destroyed all of our plans, Ms. Bomosee noted, “So sitting home as a team we said we cannot let this festive season passed without doing anything. This is how our plan for the home delivery initiative, where our Santa went from Door-Door giving out Christmas toys and food items to the kids.

The gifts delivery was done under the auspices of the “Encountering My First Santa,” project.

“So, it is usual that you come to Santa and he gives you gifts, but it is different with ours this year. We give the gift out to Santa and he goes from door to door giving out the gifts to the kids and wishing them a Merry Christmas,” she said.

She said TRF wants to live up to its Motto: “Love, Care and Educate.”  

Asked to how the inspiration to established TRF came from, Ms. Bomosy noted, “It all boils down to my childhood memory. We were taught to share by our parents while growing up. And as a Christian home, we were taught to love our neighbors as ourselves.

On her 24th birthday, Ms. Bomosy said she asked God to reveal her purpose in life. “My encounter on that fateful day inspired me to live for others and not just for myself. I want to make other people, especially kids who are in most cases victims of circumstances, happy,” she added.

As a kid all was not rosy for Raphaelyn, as most times her parent could not afford for she and her siblings. She sometimes sees her childhoods in the lives of many of the less fortunate kids today.

“My upbringing was kind of difficult so all of that inspired me. I saw how my parents struggled to find food for us. I saw how many Christmases we would just sit home unable to get out there because we had nothing,” she said, adding, “No one could give us gifts. I know how if feel to not have and I also know how it feels to see people giving you gifts and the receptions that come with that. The joy it gives kids to receive these kinds of things.”

It is out of these experiences that the foundation carved it’s catchwords: “Giving Hope and Inspiring Lives.”

“We want others to feel loved when they encounter us,” the founder noted.

The administrator of the foundation, Frankie Edward Pierre, said it feels great putting smiles on the faces of kids. “I’m passionate about helping kids and this foundation has presented me a perfect space through which I can engender this burning desire within me,” he said. .

He noted that he becomes emotional most times given the reactions that he gets from some of the kids.

He noted that the reactions from some kids prove that they are in dire needs of basic childhood. He cited a case in point with kids he encountered in Bomi while identifying with kids last year. “My experience in Bomi was very emotional. For the very first time in my life I saw kids being so appreciative of having a candy, not to talk about play toys and other things that could be considered valuable,” he said. 

21 COMMENTS

  1. Thank You ‘Mr. Oldman Baykar’

    Mr. Oldman Baykar ( Santa), thank you so much for the children. One thing though, I want to see you dressing like Gbaytue ( Vai mask dancer), Gaylaygbahn (Mahn or Dan mask dancer), or any other Traditional Liberian masquerade man. The children haven’t seen snow yet, we are dressing like snow Santa. Those who brought the tradition of Christmas didn’t start dressing like snow man. Christmas started during the Roman Empire.
    We can celebrate Christmas by highlighting our own way of life. By celebrating Christmas highlighting another man’s way of life, we are fostering the beginning of our miseducating. How every thing brought to us have western emblematic value.
    We have, for too long, been impersonating. Can’t we try being ourselves for just one day?

    To members of the class of 1996-97 of Wells-Hairston High School, Mechlin St. Monrovia,Liberia.
    Zubah Kolubah
    Michael Zion
    Joyce
    Isaac Philips
    Fahnbollie Jabateh
    Joseph Nyennegbo , and others.
    This is your man. Mamadu Bah…from Adelaide.
    With love.

  2. sure. thanks for the santa man. but I support using the traditional Liberian Devil and dress code then using the western santa. I don’t think our kids have seen the traditional devil yet walking in the streets and holding them or giving them gifts. its our tradition. the Traditional Liberian masquerade man in the streets are not evil, they are signs and symbol of our tradition as Liberians. you could called it Gbaytue or Traditional Liberian masquerade man. the Traditional Liberian masquerade man for the first time in the street distributing gifts to kids for Christmas could carry headlines in streets and communities. kids could come out in the numbers to take pics with the Traditional Liberian masquerade not santa is a Symbol of the Western Christian culture. read about it. we can also have African Christian culture symbol. this use to be back in the days. And kids will run to take pics with him and wait the streets and paly ground to get their gifts.

    I believe 100% the western people will not want to see Santa Claus when they are in Liberia or Africa. they will want to see or have you using our Traditional Liberian masquerade man instead of Santa. Besides, there is no snow for your santa in Liberia but there are places the Traditional Liberian masquerade could come from and bring gifts for out kids make them remember the Christmas more than ever before.

    We are Liberians and Africans, we can never be Americans even if we take American Nationality, our genes from or origin is Liberia.

    Liberia come first, stop using Santa in Liberia, I love the western Santa but please use Our tradition next time. we All will help support and bring up ideas the next time you want to do this just for the seek of our kids to know and remember who they are and where they are from.

    thanks again for the thought and God blessed you for the effort.

    • Change the word “Devile” to the indigenous’ Name. One common name could be “Zowoi”.
      Have culture learning day: you teach your culture and have food for the kids or participants

      • Mr. Quarks,
        How can the African culture be promoted?
        Also, what’s the difference between Devile and Zowoi?

        After you’ve differentiated between Devile and Zowoi, could you tell your readers how the people of Africa and specifically Liberia can be helped?

        Quarks, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

        • Mr. Hney, please read Mr. Mamadu Bah’s post (December 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm); as reference & thanks to Mr. Bah well to the point.

          devil means “evil’ and to refer to others Culture symbol as “devil” is offensive.

          “Zowoi” is lorma’s name for the Poro Society Head “Grand Leader”; and it can be different name to other tribe.

          You promote via; acceptance, education, music, wearing, practice, and show appreciation

  3. Why “Santa claus”? Why can’t we promote our own African Culture and leave some of these western and arab identities.?…like Xmas, halloween and going to mecca where black muslims are look down during the ceremony

    -quarks-

    • Hello Mr. Quarks,
      I would like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Although I mean it from the bottom of my heart, I am perplexed.

      During my initial interaction with you, I was made to understand that you do not believe in the existence of God. But to my surprise, you’re saying today that the word “devil” means “evil”. Frankly, your definition of devil comes close to the very definition most Christians hold dear. I was hoping that you would define or refer to the word “devil” as a European invention.

      My point:
      By saying “Christmas”, I am acknowledging that without Christ, there’s no Christmas. The root word in Christmas is Christ! Since you prefer to change the name “Santa Claus” to “Zowoi”, what suggestion do you have for Christmas? In other words, in terms of promoting our culture, how should Christmas be called? In another sense, insofar as we are being urged by you to promote African culture, is it okay for us to celebrate Christmas?

      Quarks, it’s a good idea for our African culture to be respected and properly maintained. But I think what you should come to grips with is the fact that times are quickly changing! In addition to the changing times, Africans have a language barrier. Example, if you change the name “Monrovia”, whose language will you use? Bassa? Lorma? Gio? You guys have to let some things go.

      Please don’t get me wrong. Once again, it’s a brilliant idea to maintain one’s culture. I understand you’re being conservative, but the preservation of one’s culture does not promote economic growth neither does it weed out crime and corruption in any country. In other words, if you are successful to replace “Zowoi” for Santa Claus, what would be the economic and political benefit?

      Brother Quarks, if you detest the words “Merry Christmas”, (because Christ is the root word in Christmas), would you accept my “Happy New Year” wish? I certainly hope so!

      So hear we go….. Happy New Year bro.

      • please i don’t accept your christmas; i accept the New Year and new year to you as well.

        i believe in the Energy Field (Source) of the Universe (Quantum Physics Principles) and Not your christian god which is just a hypothesis.

        questions:
        1) Are you talking about the christian god?
        2) what is the definition of your christian god?
        3) what is western democracy? Is western democracy good for Liberia?
        4) what is western capitalist economic and it is good for Liberia?

        -quarks-

  4. Thank you so much Kae. I m thinking like you brother/sister. Let’s try being ourselves, for God sake. I have lived outside Liberia for long and seen how great countries portrayed themselves to us. Not everything said on CNN, Fox or MSMBC and BBC is factual.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  5. Yes sir Mr. Quark, thanks a lot. As I always say, God doesn’t have a permanent address. One doesn’t have to go to Mecca in other to go to Heaven or go to kiss the wall in Jerusalem in other to become an authentic Christian. All these religious symbols comes with a big price tag [institutionalized inferiority complex]. Since we the Africans do not have one of our own, we are a mare follow, follow. Our African masquerade man started being called ‘devil’ in Liberia by the settlers. Because they all were western oriented. No other African country does that but Liberia. So then, why they do not call the Free Mayson or the UBF devil.
    We need to claim our place.

    Mamadu Bah , Adelaide

    Thanks

  6. Hello Kae,
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I wish you a Happy New Year.

    Based on your comment above, there are two issues that I would like to discuss:

    1. Liberia is a democratic society. As such, people have choices. If a community of Liberians plan to showcase a Santa Claus at Christmas, they should be free to do it. As long no one is losing his or life over a one-day event, I don’t think the Liberian people are being disengaged from their culture.

    There are many things we’ve borrowed from the Western culture. Example, the wearing of trousers is not a traditional African culture. But men as well as women wear trousers in Liberia for common. Are you concerned only about the removal of Santa Claus from Liberia and not the wearing of pants?

    2. One of things that causes money to be made in the Western culture is application of “competition” in business ventures. In the US, it’s possible to see two different banks operate across the street from one another. In the same scenario, it’s possible to see McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants do business in the same block. It is called competition.

    I will be supportive of your idea if you say that the Country Devil and the Santa Claus should display their “know-how” during Christmases. By doing that, maybe more people will decide on which one is preferred. But to suggest that Santa Claus is an anathema to our culture because it is Western is unacceptable.

    Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  7. Merci Monseiur,
    I hope the year 2021 will perform political and economic wonders in your life. I don’t mean that negatively.

    Just a few days around the corner, we will hit the New Year. Thanks to the Almighty God who watches over us. As many as we are in this world, God watches over us. He is a very superb God. He is a kind God.

    Happy New Year buddy.

  8. Mr. Mamadu Bah,
    The wall you have referred to in Jerusalem has many names. The wall is variously referred to as:
    Wailing Wall,
    Western Wall,
    Kostel or Kossel.

    The worshipers you see who kiss the wall (just to use your word) are not Christains. They are Jews.

    Up to 95% of all Jews in the world do not believe that Jesus Christ (was, is) the promised Messiah. However, their are some Jews who have converted to Chtistainity. They are called “Jews for Christ”. There’s a growing number of Moslems who are converting to Chtistainity and vice versa.

    To your point, you’re right. One does not have to hug the Western Wall in order to get to heaven.

    Happy New Year.

  9. The Mind Makes an Individual.

    Thanks for your correction, Uncle. I meant to have said a pilgrimage to Jerusalem , not the “Wall”. Through fast typing, I mentioned the Wall. I do know the ‘wall’ is a ‘holy’ place for Jews, not Christian. I do know.

    Anyway, we need to claim our place in this whole religion world. Look at the Asians: Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Indians etc. These people have their various religions. One might not want to believe in what they called ‘God’, but that is what they are comfortable worshipping. We sent for them to come and build our bridges, airport, roads, we even take loan from them for our survival. We sent our sick there for advance medicine, we are flooding there for advance education.

    They went through hell in the hands of imperial powers, the same way we went through it, or even more than us. You know more than me. They manage to shake it off, and today, predictions are they might soon be a world power; if they are not already.

  10. Bah,
    I wholeheartedly appreciate your response. Your argument is valid. The people of Africa, (especially the Liberian people) should rise up and do something.

    My argument is that in order for us to come to terms with reality, we don’t have to wait for our culture to be transformed. Yeah, it’s a brilliant idea to embrace one’s culture, but there are many things we can do in order to move our country forward. Example, education is a key component of developing our country. As you may have heard, I was in Liberia last year. I visited a few schools in the Paynesville area and I came back from there disappointed. The youth of Liberia want to learn. The youth of Liberia are smart. They need the educational moral compass.

    Religion… Japan’s major religion is Shinto. But there are a lot of Christain churches in Japan. One of their outstanding universities is American. It’s not the religion or the culture that makes the Japanese people productive. It’s their will power…their determination to move their country forward. Liberians have such capabilities. We need a different mindset overall.

    (Ha, ha…. maybe we need the Grand Apologist to bulldoze the Liberian landscape. But, I don’t think so. Don’t let him know).

    In India as you know, their are Hindus, Moslems, Christains and Sikhs. But if my memory serves me right, there are more Christains in India than in Liberia! Christianity went to India during the first century. An Apostle of Jesus Christ named Thomas, went all the way to India in order to spread the gospel of Christ. At your spare time, look up the words “Ma Thoma” of India. Like most of the Apostles of Christ, Thomas was flayed or eviserated alive because his gospel message was spreading fast in India.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you and Quarks on “some” issues. Foremost amongst our areas of agreement is the sincerety we need to apply to education. In my view, there shouldn’t be a reason why our boys and girls should go to school without their full set of textbooks and desks. It doesn’t make any sense why two students should sit in one desk. I saw it firsthand. But at the same time, all lawmakers have cars. So my point is simple….if it’s okay for a lawmaker to have a government supplied automobile, it is equally fitting for a student to have his or her full set of textbooks. To me, that’s a good way of being sincere with education.

    Why in this world should a lawmaker of Liberia go to Ghana in order to obtain medical treatment? When the high class Ghanaians themselves get sick, they go out of the country. It simply means the average Ghanaian does not think that his or her country is well equipped medically. That’s exactly what a Ghanaian said recently. I am flabbergasted. I’m torn apart. As long as some lawmakers take the lead to go to Ghana for medical treatment, there will be no improvement in our hospitals.

    Hang in there young Aussie. Stay clear of those kangaroos and the kiwis. Also, keep your eyes up front. Don’t look at them like that. You could mistakenly stump your toe. Who knows? Maybe, you are planning to take one of them home. But guess what? I don’t have any problems with that.

    Peace young fella.

    • Happy New Year and hope that each and every one of you had a very Merry Christmas.

      Uncle Dolo, Uncle Hney and the many other friends that I have found on this forum, I want to say to each of you a “BIG THANK YOU” for the thoughts and kind words you threw my way when I was at my lowest. Those times were trying but through it all, we were able to prevail.

      I also want to take this time to extend condolences to Mr. Sylvester G. Moses ( No relation) for the loss of his wonderful wife. Take comfort in the fact that she is in a better place, Sir.

      The mom is well, doing her thing. Now her new thing is politics and women’s right, but every little thing, she is ready to cry and threaten everyone. I keep reminding her that politics is devoid of emotion, but to her, I know nothing.

      The sister is still in California and now has a son. Making me an uncle at this age. Not fair.

      Uncle Hney, I read of your accident, and I hope that you are doing well. Be careful with this too much driving business. You pappy now, let some of your children drive you around to do your errands.

      Just informing you all that I am back, but like Uncle Dolo said, no politics for me until 2021.

      Happy New Year to all.

      Peace

  11. Grand Frere,

    I heard you loud and clear! We will surely bulldoze the political landscape; it is indeed our resolve.

    Joe,

    Happy to hear from you after a long silence. 2020 is about to close its wicked mouth. It was indeed the most atrocious and difficult year for humanity, especially for some of you who lost dear parents. But be reminded that God still sits on HIS Throne and will replenish the years the locusts have eaten.
    Get ready to triumphantly enter 2021 with optimism. Liven up! Do not let the devil to know he’s won for you shall prevail and overcome in 2021.

    Great to hear your mom is venturing unto the vicious political arena of Liberia. I hope she is or contemplating on affiliating with the ANC. If not, please tell her to consider the progressivists, her place is with optimism and realism.

    Congratulations to your sister. Good news! Be proud to be an uncle, Joe. My warmest regards to her.

    Happy New Year to all of you out there! May God change your stories in 2021!

  12. Welcome back Joe! Your 5-week hiatus caused a big vacuum in our neighborhood. The women that you charm were worried about you. It’s a good thing you came back to let us know about your well-being.

    Before your disappearance or departure, you said that you’d be in the US in December. I don’t want to believe that you were here in the US. If so, why didn’t you make any attempt to locate some of us?

    Maybe within a year or two, someone will be calling you “uncle Joe”. That’s good.

    It’s true Joe. I’ve had a terrible accident on November 28. Since that time, I have not worked. But I am doing okay. I look at this as a God-given vacation. God moves mysteriously. Maybe I am being kept at home because of my own good. I give thanks to God for everything.

    Please extend my sincere greetings to your mom.

    Have a Happy New Year

  13. Thanks to all for the messages to goodwill. Sorry, i couldnt reply sooner because I been trying to get a barrel that my sister send me and a laptop (this laptop) was in the barrel and I wanted to get it at all cost and thankfully I did.

    She wrote my full name – Joe Boimah Moses – on the barrel but on my citizens ID Card I had Joe B. Moses, and because the Middle name – boimah- was not spelt out fully, the barrel people refused to let me take delivery of the barrel.. It was not enough that they had the sender’s full name, it was also not enough that my sister spoke with them, identified herself and appealed to them to let me have the barrel, it was definitely not enough for them that the owner of the business instructed them to let me take delivery of the barrel.

    3 days of madness began and at the end of the day – December 31, 4:55pm, I took delivery of the barrel and though I was 20 United States dollars poorer, I was as happy as I could be for the items that my sibling send for me and the other relatives. That was my year-end experience.

    Uncle Hney, No Sir, i did not make the trip to the USA as I said I would. Too many things was on my plate at the time. I am planning again for May of 2021 when my sister is getting married. Fingers crossed. One thing i can tell you right now is that I will find you. Dont forget you promised to take me to a chinese buffet and I am looking forward to that.

    Uncle Dolo, My mom’s strategy is not to align herself with a particular political party, but to support female candidates regardless of which party that female is aligned with. I dont know if that is a wise strategy on her part, but that is what she is planning of doing. It is not just she alone, but they are growing in large number all across the country. That is all I can say at the moment.

    My New Year – January 1, 2021- will be in Bomi County where I will chill with my people and visit the Blue Lake, a sight to behold.

    p.s. Uncle Hney, your land is still here but its not going to be here forever.

    Peace

  14. My dear Buddy, JBM, Jr.,
    It’s always and always a pleasure to hear from you. I certainly hope that you, your sister and Mom are doing well. I wish all of you a Happy New Year. May this year come with all the blessings.

    The barrel saga:
    At last you got your barrel! Your own un-stolen barrel that your beloved sister sent to you with her own hard-earned money. Sometimes, I wonder about our own people. The corrupt dock workers are notoriously good at their trade. They knew that a guy named Joe Boima Moses is the same as Joe M. Moses. I have a feeling they wanted a bribe up front. So instead of coming forward to demand their bribe, the dock workers pretended to be seeking the interest of Joe Boima Moses. They are cowards! Our situation is sad.

    Because of the bullcrap you encountered, I hereby make another promise to you young man. I will find a way to tuck that $20 back in your wallet. The twenty bucks is for you. It could have been used to do something else…..you know something like inviting a nice-looking female visitor from any of the 15 counties. Just tell me how I should put the money back in your pocket. Don’t come up with any excuse. The restaurant food is waiting for you also.

    This year is going to be different. Just before the end of the troubled 2020, the Defender of Weaknesses temporarily abstained from politics. Somehow, you gave him a nod. That’s good. I have no problems with it. But what bothers me most is whether we “the people”, will be bombarded with the news of his preferred dis-organizers this year. News about the dis-united dis-organizations is jarring.

    Joe Jr., people are born with all kinds of talents. In the Old Testament, God told Jeremiah that Jeremiah’s future was planned before his birth.
    Connection:…… It’s not by mistake that your mother is getting involved in politics. Her future was pre-planned. In other words, her DNA contains some politics. Give her the support she deserves. She may surprise all of us, including of course that guy…. the Defender. It’s hoped that his political leanings do not spill over.

    Joe, through His grace, I would have returned home this year for another visit. Let’s see what this year brings. I will be more than happy to talk to you regarding the land issue. Joe Jr, don’t scare me like that man. If the land is there, it’s there. Right?

    Finally, I start my therapy again today. I got my car yesterday, December 31, 2020. By His Grace, I return to work on Monday, January 3, after being unable to work for a month. My bones are healing fast. Thanks be to God.

    Hang in there.
    Peace.

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