The Liberia Football Association, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, (SDC), yesterday unveiled a little over USD10, 000.00 worth of anti Ebola stigma message at the 12th Street Bus Stop in Sinkor, Monrovia.
The Liberia Football Association’s vice president for Administration, Musa Shannon said the project is part of the on-going efforts by the association to encourage Liberians to do away with all forms of stigmatization as they relate to those who have survived the deadly Ebola virus disease.
“Stigma in every form is what the LFA is against,” Shannon said, “we want to encourage all Liberians to become aware of the dangers of it.” He said the LFA is aware of the danger that goes along when one is stigmatized and is unable to rejoin his community.
“We have here our former soccer stars,” he said, “including Kelvin Sebwe, Christopher Wleh, Oliver Markor and James Debbah who are all involved in the campaign against the Ebola stigma.”
He said despite the massive decline of the Ebola infections in the country, “Ebola is still around until we can get rid of it completely.”
“It is another first by the Liberia Football Association,” Shannon said, “for we were the first to suspend all activities to redirect attention to the fight against the deadly disease.”
The national chairperson of the National Survivors Network, Patrick S. Farley expressed appreciation to the Liberia Football Association for identifying with the struggle to defeat Ebola and its stigma on survivors.
Farley, an Ebola survivor, whose organization was initiated by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and inducted into office a couple of weeks ago in Monrovia, said Liberians must make a determined effort to defeat Ebola and its attendant stigma.
“Fighting Ebola and its stigma is a national responsibility,” Farley said, and appealed to Liberians to welcome and embrace their fellow brothers and sisters who survived the deadly disease.
Representing the Swiss (Switzerland) Agency for Development & Cooperation, Mr. Darciba Christian said supporting the drive to restore Ebola survivors to their families and into their communities is a worthy cause.
“We decided to assist the Liberia Football Association to let its former professionals deliver messages of restoration and hope as well as unveiling these messages at vantage points to help Liberians gets involved in the fight,” he said.
Former international footballers present at yesterday’s unveiling at the 12th Street Bus Stop, included Kelvin Sebwe, Dionysius Sebwe, Oliver Makor, Christopher Wreh, LFA Sec. Gen. B. Alphonso Armah, Amputee Sports Association president Cooper Melvin Gotten and Prince Forfor of the LFA.
In a brief demonstration, Kelvin, Shannon, Wreh and Makor hand-delivered several tee shirts bearing anti-Ebola stigma messages to passengers in passing vehicles.