2013 Liberian Trip February

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    Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

    Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

A new report released by the World Bank places Liberia amongst the world’s fastest growing economies. Liberia’s latest upward movement amongst the world’s top economies, according to Madam Shanta Davaranja, World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, comes as a result of recent discovery and development of natural resources in the economies of said countries as well as direct foreign investments. “In 2012, about a quarter of African countries grew at 7 percent or higher and a number of countries, notably Sierra Leone, Niger, Cote’ d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, are amongst the fastest growing in the world” Madam Devaranja disclosed in Monrovia Monday through a video conference gathering that received huge attention across the globe. “Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5 percent on average in 2013-2015 as a result of high commodity strong consumer spending on the continent, ensuring that the region remains amongst the fast growing in the World” the World Bank’s latest Africa Pulse, a twice yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, said in its latest global economic ranking. Despite attractive growths in the economies of these countries, the World Bank said in its report Monday that more needs to be done to reduce poverty on the African continent. Although Governments in Africa have shown some positive attitudes that have led to the cutting down of poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank said that Less Poverty significantly remains elusive. In order to tackle the issue of poverty reduction on the African continent, WB suggested that African governments must invest in the informer sector, particularly agriculture, since in fact, “about 79% of poor African communities are mainly surviving on agriculture.” “Welcoming […]

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    Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

    Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

During our most recent trip to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team spent most of the trip on a 6 day backpack adventure deep into the jungle. One of the things we became curious about was the methods of building construction. There were many small towns deep in the jungle that we visited along our trek . Most of them were not accessible by vehicles of any kind due the impossibility of crossing the rivers. The only means of crossing the river was by manmade canoes and thus everything must be carried by hand including food, clothing, and of course building materials. The buildings, or “mud huts” as they are called, are built from the only materials readily available. First long straight sticks are collected from the jungle. Bamboo was used typically.   The sticks were lashed together in a grid spacing the sticks about 10’’ horizontally and vertically. With the grid complete, the native soil was mixed with water to create a mud that would be packed into both sides of the grid. This type of building was expected to last 10 to 15 years after which a fresh mud pack would be in order. Towns closer to the difficult river crossings often had corrugated metal roofs. Carrying the metal to the towns further from the river was not practical and those roofs were made of palm leaves. We especially enjoyed the palm leaf roofs and their picturesque qualities, but much more upkeep is required if they are to keep out the heavy rains of the African jungle!

  • The father (in the yellow) of the 15 year old boy who died from a snake bite
    Snakebite = Fatality? Snakebite = Fatality?

    Snakebite = Fatality?

Snakebite = Fatality?

During a recent visit to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team ventured out to the remote village of Gbalala. Gbalala is a beautiful mud hut village that is not accessible by car or even motorcycle. Any type of medicine or health care is a day’s walk from Gbalala, and if a person is not able to walk or be carried, it’s an additional day’s travel back to town. The Sahbu team was saddened upon our arrival to learn of a 15 year old boy who had died the day before. The people of Gbalala, like each of the villages we visited on our trek, rely on the jungle for food. Common food sources found in the jungle are rice, various fruits, avocado, and the people hunt for deer, bush goat, and other sources of meat. The 15 year old boy had been hunting with a friend in the jungle close to their village. They had been stalking a bush goat which they had shot at previously. They came into the area they had pinpointed as the animal’s hiding place only to find a foxhole. The boy reached into the hole for the bush goat and instead a yellow snake instantaneously struck him three times in the wrist and forearm. The boy was injected with a large amount of poisonous venom such that he had lost his vision within 6 minutes and had passed away within 30 minutes. When poisonous snake venom is injected into the human cardiovascular system, there is usually time for the anit-venom to be given to the victim which is the only hope to save his/her life. In this area of Liberia, the anit-venom for the Yellow Snake is available but is only […]

  • Mamady Kromah (11yrs.) and J. Abraham Colemen (12yrs.)- all packed up and ready to go home!
    Your Donations are Freeing Children Your Donations are Freeing Children

    Your Donations are Freeing Children

Your Donations are Freeing Children

Two more children have been saved and reunited with their families! We at Sahbu, thank  YOU, our awesome fans, who have been supporting our cause for the benefit of many children in Liberia. Your donations matter! They provide food. They provide education. They save lives. Alex Singbeh and Law Law Lawrence, local representatives from Liberia who are working with Sahbu, just sent in this report via email along with the attached pictures: “Please see attachment of two kids reunified by SAHBU, Alex and Law Law’s, trip from Monrovia to Bomi County, Gonzipo town. They are Mamady Kromah (CKA Big Boy) 11 yrs (He’s the one in the red shirt in one of the photos at the police station) and J. Abraham Colemen 12 yrs.” Click the photos below to see the gallery: This is great news! These two boys, along with a few dozen more documented cases, are children who had been tricked to come to the big city of Monrovia to go to school and to receive an opportunity at life, instead they are taken and used via child labor for someone else’s benefit. We expect to see many more stories like this one in the future. Thanks for your help, we couldn’t do it without you. To continue to help please visit sahbu.org today!

  • JAV Outing on the Beach in Monrovia, Liberia
    A New Addition to the Sahbu Store A New Addition to the Sahbu Store

    A New Addition to the Sahbu Store

A New Addition to the Sahbu Store

During our last trip to Liberia in February this year we were able to revisit the boys in the Journey Against Violence program founded by Joshua Milton Blahyi, AKA General Butt Naked. When we arrived at our meeting place on the beach they greeted us with open arms and many smiles. We brought with us the funds we had raised via our Indiegogo campaign for his program- which reforms former child soldiers and others who were living on the streets as a result of the perilous times during the war. The campaign raised over $2,600! Joshua smiled and was very pleased about that. Joshua was expecting us and knew we had some money for him so he had the boys paint the pictures while we went out on our backpacking trip which lasted three days in the jungle. When we returned, we met up once again with Joshua’s boys and did some last minute interviews. They gave us sixteen beautiful hand-painted watercolor paintings as well as some hand-painted cards. What a beautiful experience to meet these boys once again. There, Mitch gave the rest of the money to Ernest, Joshua’s brother, and executive assistant in the JAV Program (Joshua couldn’t meet us there that time) and promised the money would get to Joshua. To help fund the JAV program we have some of their original paintings as well as canvas prints available for sale. To purchase these beautiful works of art done by former child soldiers and to help give them a better chance at life, visit the store on our site here. You may also purchase the paintings from our Facebook store here. Thanks for all your support!

  • A Little Can Make a Big Difference
    A Little Can Make a Big Difference A Little Can Make a Big Difference

    A Little Can Make a Big Difference

A Little Can Make a Big Difference

When we realized what it would take to get Sahbu up and running we didn’t quite know that so many would be willing to come out and help. There have been countless stories of success from you, our faithful followers. Stories that brought us to tears of joy, some of which were so unbelievable we questioned whether or not we could handle it all. The hours of time that has gone into Sahbu reflects the good of the communities around the world. Many volunteer their time, efforts, money, talents, and skills to help drive our mission and that is to save children in Liberia, West Africa. On our most recent trip we donated eight duffle bags full of donations that you gave us to give to the people. The donations were received with open arms and open hearts. Many kids have been saved because of your monetary donations and we thank you for that as well. However, you my be able to give- whether large or small, or even change you find in the wash.  Every penny helps. Keep giving because your donations make a big difference. For more information on how you can help Sahbu save lives in West Africa, visit our site here. If you’re interested in raising money for our cause, learn how to set up your own personal funding campaign page here. With just a couple of clicks you’ll be well on your way to helping many. Again, we thank you and hope we can continue to make a difference together.

The Economic Development in Liberia

Liberia has struggled since its 14-year civil war ended in 2003. Some would say there is no infrastructure, and the infrastructure that’s starting to be put in place isn’t high enough quality and isn’t coming soon enough. At the end of the war, with issues including  corruption, abuse and misuse of resources, the United Nations had to step in and take control. Many fear that if the UN pulls out of the country, the war would rise up once again. For those living in the very rural villages in the Liberian bush, not much has changed. Across the St. Paul to an area in Bong County, people still live in mud huts with thatched roofs, and have no means of transportation except by foot. Many of the services including schools and clinics are almost non-existent. Students who want to go to school beyond the 4th grade have to travel very long distances, including hours of walking and having to cross deadly waters. Farmers have a difficult life as they try to grow the necessary resources to stay alive. In order to grow certain products, the jungle must be burned to clear out the land.  After seeds are planted and products harvested, they have to do it all over again in a completely different parcel. The knowledge of refertilization hasn’t been introduced to these people yet. During our recent trip to Liberia, our eyes were opened to this economic development issue.  Sahbu wants to increase economic development by helping these Liberians understand the resources they have and how to better utilize time and how to produce greater quantities of product. Liberia is rich with many resources and we want to help them achieve their goals of […]

On the other side of the St. Paul River

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.

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    Please Help Us Save These Kids! Please Help Us Save These Kids!

    Please Help Us Save These Kids!

Please Help Us Save These Kids!

We are excited to post lots of pictures and stories from the recent trip to Liberia. Three of the guys are back home, but Mitch is still in Africa. We are so glad that he extended his trip, because he has been able to help even more children. This week, he went to donate clothing and supplies to the Deseret Orphanage in Borto. He found the children starving. In fact, they hadn’t eaten in two days. The orphanage workers were preparing to strike, and hand over the kids to the government to be doled out to wherever. Because of the donations we have received, Mitch was able to give $300 to the orphanage. They went to the market together and used the money to buy all the food they would need to feed the children for an entire month. These children suffer daily from starvation. They simply do not have enough food to go around. This is Jacob. His belly is starting to protrude from malnutrition. It will take six months of good nutrition for the distending to go down. There are 40 children at this orphanage. Kids just like Lucy, who’s face lit up when she saw herself on the camera! She was engaging and fun to talk with, and excited about Mitch coming to visit. Below is a picture of Smoma. Most of the kids were pretty happy considering they hadn’t eaten for two days. But Smoma was shy, and wanted to hide from the camera. Isn’t she beautiful? We would love to continue helping these children. If you would like to personally sponsor a child for $10/month, please let us know, by emailing Lori Gilson at lori@sahbu.org.

Sahbu Receives Cover Story on ABC 4 News Channel

Pleasant Grove charity SAHBU rescues and educates African children PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The work of brave and generous people from Pleasant Grove is the reason two girls from Liberia are reunited with their father. Zoe and Baby are Liberian girls who were given up by their father in hopes of a better life. Instead the sisters were forced into child labor, selling goods on the streets for money. Mitch Weight and his wife Bethany live in Pleasant Grove. The couple saw the poverty in Africa when they adopted two boys there last year. Mitch quickly founded SAHBU, a non-profit organization that helps rescue children from the streets and provides them with food, clothing and education. “SAHBU stands for bald man and my husband Mitch is tall and very bald,” Bethany said. The name stuck, but now holds a different meaning for the organization. Mitch, his brother Jay, and other friends worked with a Liberian locals and a social worker named Lala. Lala showed the men a list of children who have been forced to work the streets.