As Liberia struggles with the horrific realities of the corona virus, the Liberian Association of Canada (LAC) has launched has launched a “COVID-19 Relief” effort to provide food for people dealing with disabilities, healthcare workers and several orphanages across Montserrado County.
On April 4, 2019, the Liberian Association of Canada (LAC) which is the umbrella association for the Liberian Community in Canada convened a joint virtual press conference of Liberian Community Associations’ leaders to announce that despite being hit by the pandemic in Canada, they have decided to support Liberian communities in Canada as well as Liberia.
As such, they decided to focus on the most vulnerable populations in Liberia – people with disabilities, healthcare workers and orphanages.
As you know, for these vulnerable populations in Liberia, there has never been a time that there wasn’t a crisis as they have been largely ignored and abandoned to a large extent.
To ensure the effective implementation of the plan, LAC has setup a “Special Task Force” in Liberia that will oversee the logistics and coordination.
Members of the Task Force are Mr. Abraham Sesay, Ms. Ama Harris and Mr. Sabato Neufville.
Effective April 24, 2020, the taskforce will begin the distribution of the first 150 bags of rice benefiting the Group of 77, healthcare workers and several orphanages across Montserrado County.
Mr. Abraham Sesay who is one of the volunteer taskforce members is generously facilitating all transportation needs and logistics to ensure targeted communities can be reached in time.
To ensure a balance approach, LAC is also providing direct relief to the Liberian community in Canada through its various member associations across the country.
Presidents of various Liberian Community Associations across the country have been directed to conduct an assessment in the local communities to facilitate direct support from LAC based on the needs identified.
Some communities are already benefiting as the results of the assessments trickle in gradually.
Additionally, the women wing of LAC has embarked on the production of thousands of cloth face masks (WHO Standard) to support frontline workers in the Liberian community as well as several institutions deeply affected by the crisis in Canada. Other groups being targeted include long term care homes which are currently facing the worst of the crisis.
Based on the ongoing assessment, LAC would like to inform the community that a member of the Liberian community who is a healthcare worker tested positive a month ago.
The leadership of LAC was able to work with the local community leadership in providing direct support, and after weeks of battling the virus, she has successfully recovered and is under observation as she transitions to normal life.
The leadership of LAC acknowledges the commitment of the local leadership and incredible generosity of many community members who spared nothing in supporting our sister. “This is our collective victory.”
The president of LAC (Mr. Leo Nupolu Johnson) has extended special appreciation to the office of the Vice President (H.E. Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor) for providing the logistical arrangement to facilitate the necessary assessments needed to achieve this goal.
Mr. Johnson also paid special tribute to Ambassador George Patten (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States, Canada and Mexico) for his leadership in mobilizing the Liberian community in Canada to be a part of the overall Diaspora COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Liberia during this unprecedented crisis that threatens the very existence of humanity.
Mr. Johnson assured the Liberian community that this is just the first wave of this effort, preparations are already in progress to roll out the second phase and will continue until the battle against COVID-19 is won in Liberia.
For his part, the board chair of LAC (Mr. Jerry Gbardy) thanked donors and all those who contributed financially and in other ways to ensure that this milestone was achieved at lightning speed given the time sensitivity of the evolving crisis in Liberia.
Special thanks to Liberian Community Associations in Windsor, London, Kitchener, Hamilton/Niagara, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and several individuals across Canada and the United States.
If you would like more information about the Liberian Association of Canada or to contribute to the COVID-19 Relief for Liberia, please visit the website: www.liberianassociation.ca