UNICEF Ambassador Lauded for Championing Children’s Cause

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has acknowledged the tremendous efforts of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador, Orlando Bloom, in rallying international support aimed at addressing the needs of children throughout the world.

The President commended the UNICEF Ambassador last week when he met with her at her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia. Ambassador Bloom was accompanied to the meeting by UNICEF Country Representative Sheldon Yett.

President Sirleaf used the occasion to praise UNICEF’s role in the fight against Ebola and its partnership in the cash transfer program being implemented by the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection.

She acknowledged the spirit of volunteerism and resilience of the young people, many of whom were working with UNICEF, who demonstrated leadership, empowerment and ownership to significantly reverse the trend amid the outbreak of EVD.

The President intimated the pivotal role of surveillance in proportion to contact tracing that became a game-changer in the combat against the Ebola virus disease in the country. She had earlier, in an Executive Mansion press statement, praised the efforts of churches, faith-based institutions, doctors, nurses, the technical teams as well as everybody who rose to the occasion in the combat against the epidemic. 

It was important to recognize and support those that are making every effort to pull themselves out of a particularly challenging circumstance, she said.

She then pinned Mr. Bloom with a Brussels Airlines inspired badge with the inscription: “Africa Is Not Ebola” and prevailed on him to continue to serve humanity.

Ambassador Orlando Bloom had earlier thanked President Sirleaf and her government for leading the effort in bringing communities together to do so well for their country. He indicated that there is a difference between a war situation and the Ebola outbreak. “In war,” he said, “you can see your enemy unlike Ebola.”

He said Liberians had indeed made remarkable progress. His visit was an opportunity to convey to the international community the need for support to keep blazing the trail.

Mr. Bloom also visited Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties as well as the Township of West Point.

Speaking to locals on the ground, the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador said his field visits to Bomi County brought him into contact with a lady who is a beneficiary of the cash transfer program.  She is currently engaged in the sale of charcoal and has managed to acquire a plot of land.  These kinds of interventions give hope and help to de-stigmatize people.

Mr. Bloom praised the courage of young girls in the Township of West Point who have become the torchbearers of inspiration and a sense of belonging. 

For his part, UNICEF Country Representative to Liberia, Mr. Yett, informed President Sirleaf that the Goodwill Ambassador’s visit to Liberia was to see the incredible work government is doing in the fight against Ebola through social mobilization, community ownership and leadership structures.

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