On April 25 this year, World Health Organization (WHO) member countries especially those burdened by the malaria disease celebrated World Malaria Day. The annual celebration which began in 2007 is an opportunity for malaria affected countries and regions to share experiences, seek donor funding, and allow researchers and scientists to showcase advances in malaria control. In Liberia, the slogan for this year’s World Malaria Day was “Get Tested for Malaria before Treatment.” Implicit in the slogan is the focus on treatment not prevention. The centerpiece of Liberia’s malaria control program at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito bednets. While the use of insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets has proven to show positive outcome in malaria prevention, adopting it as the main malaria intervention strategy is insufficient and at best timid in the face of damning statistics on the toll of the disease on the Liberian population. A study by the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 3000 children under the age of 5 years die each day as a result of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Liberia’s share of those deaths is eight children a day. In addition, there are countless prenatal and postnatal developmental problems suffered children when a mother infected with malaria passes the disease on to her unborn child. On an annual basis, GDP losses in Liberia as a result of the disease can be counted in the millions, according to another UNICEF study. When we put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak, with the use of bednets as the key malaria prevention strategy, we are, in a sense, waving a flag of surrender to an insect. We are essentially […]
“people were not expecting for that to happen in a church compound” We conducted these interviews last October at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, the site of a massacre in Liberia in 1990. Patrick Baysah and Matthew Goma shared their accounts of that fateful day. Near the end of this clip, Matthew tells the of story of his brother, who was killed during the massacre at the church. Hit play to learn more about one of the bloodiest chapters in Liberian history from two West Africans who know. Patrick on life: “Sometimes it is terrible. Sometimes it is fine.”
The Liberian Government has got more problems now perhaps than during the years of violence. The problems are multiple and hugely insurmountable in many respects, and it is glaring that the government does not have answers to all of them. The Unity Party-led government came to power in 2006, three years after the war ended in 2003. Most Liberians had thought that with the election of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president, she would have used her international contacts and influence to solve the problems. Honestly, she made some efforts in attracting the attention of the international community to focus on Liberia. It Is A fact that the current administration inherited some huge problems from past governments, but that does not alter the aphorism that government is continuity; therefore, this government is obliged to address the wishes and aspirations of the people. For Us, We believe that nothing is more critical than the health needs of the Liberian people. Our attention has been drawn to revelation made by Dr. Francis Karteh, head of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County, that there are 150 medical doctors in the country to attend to the health needs of 3.5 million people. Dr. Karteh: “As I speak to you, Liberia has 150 medical doctors, and when you divide this number by the population (3.5 million people), it means that you will have one doctor to 30,000 persons, and this is not good for the development of the country.” Analytically, Dr. Karteh’s statement is reminiscent of a worst scenario in which the vast majority of the people do not have proper health care due to the brain drain in the medical profession. It is highly probable that […]
During our last two trips to Liberia we headed out to Bong County and crossed the St. Paul River to visit several small villages. While doing so we learned more about the importance of crossing the St. Paul, and its many dangers. Each month many people die from crossing this immense river which, during the wet season can expand to 300 yards across and up to 40 meters deep. One individual we interviewed named John Monroe lost his wife with an unborn child, as well as four other children to the river when their canoe tipped. Unfortunately, John’s story is one that occurs far too often. Crossing the river is not an easy task. Using a hollowed out tree trunk that takes 4 months to carve out and construct, the people cross the river many times during the day. Here are some reasons why the people need to cross: Buy and sell goods at the closest market in Haindi Receive medical attention at the closest clinic, also in Haindi Buy palm oil across the river and sell it in Monrovia (24 mile walk roundtrip after crossing the river – then coming back to the river, cross it, then another 60 miles to Monrovia by taxi) Closest High school (most schools across the river only have k-4, after that they have to find another school across the river.) For our next trip out, we are looking for a few life-jackets for the canoe crossings. These life-jackets will allow the people to cross this enormous river more safely. Please donate your extra life-jackets to Sahbu.
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah, Sahbu, requests to clarify the release previously distributed on Wednesday, January 23, regarding its first-ever rescue mission to release two children from captivity-forced labor in Monrovia, Liberia, next week. For clarification purposes, Sahbu wishes to state that Liberia is a free country and does not allow or condone slavery. Mitch Weight, founder of Sahbu, will travel with colleagues to Liberia on January 30 with the resources necessary to have Zoe (age 6) and her sister Baby (age 5) released from an enslaved life of hard labor. Strategy and tact are in the honing stage, as this much anticipated mission is only a week away. Mr. Weight learned of these two young girls on a trip to Liberia last October. He met many children, including Zoe and Baby that are illegally enslaved, and is determined to rescue them. Since that trip, he has been working with social services in Liberia, developing a plan to return these girls to their family and to provide them with scholarships for school – hoping also to establish a process to rescue additional enslaved children. Slavery is highly illegal in Liberia and its neighboring countries, and perpetrators of slavery are prosecuted by the Liberian government. Liberian officials are proactively working to eliminate child labor in all of its forms. Sahbu hopes to work closely with the Liberian government to help free children like Zoe and Baby, so the criminals that are involved can be prosecuted and the children can be freed. The most common individuals found enslaved are children under the age of 18 who make up 40 to 50 percent of all forced labor victims in Africa. Human trafficking and slavery is the second most committed criminal offense in the world […]
Sahbu will attempt its first-ever rescue mission to release two young girls from captivity-forced labor in Monrovia, Liberia, at the end of the month. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRLog (Press Release) – Jan. 23, 2013 – PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Sahbu, will attempt its first-ever rescue mission to release two children from captivity-forced labor in Monrovia, Liberia, at the end of the month. Mitch Weight, founder of Sahbu, will travel with colleagues to Liberia on January 30 with the resources necessary to have Zoe (age 6) and her sister Baby (age 5) released from an enslaved life of hard labor. Strategy and tact are in the honing stage, as this much anticipated mission is only a week away. Mr. Weight learned of these two young girls on a trip to Liberia last October. He met many children, including Zoe and Baby that are currently enslaved, and is determined to rescue them. Since that trip, he has been working with social services in Liberia, developing a plan to return these girls to their family and to provide them with scholarships for school – hoping also to establish a process to rescue additional enslaved children.
Today we felt it necessary to bring you this video as per the request of many of our followers so you may see how we are helping those in need in Liberia, West Africa. Please take a few minutes out of your day to watch this short video and then take time to share our movement with your family and friends. Thank you!
When Sahbu visited Liberia in October of 2012, they learned something…that education is the key to a better Liberia. Enjoy these interview snippets with squatters, child prostitutes, pastors, school founders, and students to learn more about the real life situations these people face in Liberia. Follow us on Facebook and visit our site.
On the last day of our trip in Liberia, we had a couple of hours before we needed to head to the airport. We arrived at our last planned appointment about an hour early and we decided to walk around the neighborhood for the remaining time. It had been raining all morning and it was hot and muggy. Although it was miserable hiking in such humidity, it was an awesome experience meeting some of the children. This is Blessing. She is seven years-old; we met her while we were hiking. Our hour was almost over and we were dripping with sweat, so we started back towards our appointment. We were almost back when we were stopped by some singing coming from a little shack on the other side of a stream. This small shack was a humble church. We met the Pastor and he told us a little about the church. During the week, the church is used as a school. The Pastor actually sponsors some of the children to go to school, and not only does he sponsor them, but he is also the principal and one of the teachers. Unfortunately our encounter with the Pastor was brief, and we had to get back to our other appointment. However, the experience taught me that one man can really make a difference. The Pastor is doing what he can, so the children of Liberia can get an education. This man doesn’t have much; I mean, take a look at the state of his church. But he is doing whatever he can to help. It has really inspired me to try and do the same.
While we were on our trip to Liberia last October, there were many experiences that moved me deeply. There were some that lifted me up, and gave me hope and faith in humanity. There were others that were nightmares- and this is one of them. Our schedule for the fifth day of the trip was overbooked. We planned on visiting a school, a local cookhouse, a high-ranking government official, a hospital, one of the worst slums in all of West Africa – and its mayor, a former warlord and his reformation camp for former child soldiers, and yet we were getting another call – a call that would give me an entirely new perspective on Liberia and life. We started early in the morning that Wednesday, in an attempt to fit everything in. We skipped breakfast, which was hard to come by anyway, and loaded up to visit a school where most of the children needed scholarships. By the time we arrived, we were already running behind. So, unfortunately, we had to rush through our meetings. We got to greet the kids and then we split up. Half of us met with school administrators, and the others pulled some kids aside to get their stories. That’s when we got the call.