An unusual editorial theme, one might say–thanking two major international bodies and in the same headline, a humble charityworker.
However, we felt compelled to do this, all things considered. As we did with President Obama, the American government and people in yesterday’s editorial, we now thank the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for each granting more than a hundred million dollars to the three countries fighting Ebola.
But there was something else extraordinary that happened this week, for which the whole nation and world should give immense thanks.
The Daily Observer editors put on our front page yesterday, along with the WB story, one by our indefatigable young reporter, Yewa Sandy. It was of a little girl before whose very eyes her gravely sick mother had just dropped dead and her body dumped, along with other
Ebola dead, into a pickup truck en route for burial.
The IMF’s Managing Director, Catherine Laggard and WB President Jim Yong Kim would, we are sure, be gratified that this preeminent world financial institution, WB, shared the front page with Pearlina, one of the world’s latest Ebola orphans. The photo capturing
Pearlina looking into space, wondering what was happening to her, and what had just happened to her mother is heart wrenching.
There was a striking synchronization between the two spectacles. Here was the World Bank extending to Liberia a US$52 million grant to fight the very Ebola virus that had just killed little girl’s mother. It is deeply regrettable that the Bank’s donation came too late to save Pearlina’s mother, who with her little daughter had alighted (got off) from a taxi and struggled perilously toward Monrovia’s Redemption Hospital seeking treatment. Alas, the fatal intensity of the Ebola virus had done its worst and, allowing her only a few steps, with her bewildered child confusedly watching, the mother collapsed and died.
It was also yesterday morning that the IMF’s contribution to the anti-Ebola crusade was announced. That is why we know that Christine Laggard would be concerned about little Pearlina.
Christine, Jim Yong and ALL of us hope and pray that Pearlina will be tested negative. We pray, too, that some caring individual, family or institution will take her over, care for her and assure her and all the orphaned children–living victims of this deadly pandemic–a brighter future.
One of the first persons we can turn to is the woman who first reached out to little Pearlina immediately following her mother’s demise. Pearlina’s rescuer is Katie Meyler, founder of a charitable organization, named “More Than Me.”
Pearlina, whom nobody knew, was taken into the Redemption hospital by workers, who kept her in the office. When Katie found her, the workers explained that the neighbors would not take Pearlina, for fear of Ebola. So Katie took the child and put her in the More Than Me guesthouse. The caring Katie bought Pearlina some stuffed animals, a DVD player, new clothes and put her in a room “until relatives can come to claim her. Nurses are checking her daily,” said Katie on her Face Book page, “and she has been tested. Fingers crossed.”
We should not only cross our fingers, but pray fervently for her deliverance from the virus that killed her mother and left an unknown orphan.
Reporter Sandy put at the end of her story that anyone who knows Pearlina and wants to find her should contact the Daily Observer.
We thank Katie Meyler for reaching out to Pearlina, and appeal to this humanitarian to keep the child in her care until some credible and responsible family or organization can be found to take her over and give her an education.
One last but very important thing: With all the money and other resources pouring into the three affected countries to fight Ebola, we trust that a substantial amount of these financial and other resources will be set aside TO TAKE CARE OF THE CHILDREN–THE
ORPHANS, WHO HAVE LOST THEIR PARENTS TO EBOLA.
Most of them–and the orphans yet to come–are in a desperate, near hopeless situation and they cannot wait. They must be immediately taken under the wings of the governments or some caring families, foundations or NGOs.