Monrovia - After months of being home here, I am awe-stuck by the daily reality of members of our human family in Liberia. Friend Emmanuel, who is a lifeguard here where I live and who I consider a son for years now, saw me Saturday and said, “I have a small problem at home – that’s why I have not been here lately.” He then proceeded to tell me that his older sister had just died giving birth, not at home alone but in a hospital. The baby girl lived, Emmanuel’s sister died. Really?? I asked him if he was now taking care of the baby, and he told me his Mom has her; an African grandmother now raising an infant. He then told me that even though it is almost the end of March, he has not received pay for February – so he has had to stop credit in his phone to find transport money to work – even though he is not being paid. I expressed my sincere sympathies as he walked off saying, “All will be OK Mom.” Really?
Monrovia - I am learning more and more about malaria now that I am personally experiencing it for the second time, this time here in Africa. It is a beyond challenging and humbling disease.
Enjoy this clip about new skateboarding programs at three schools in conjunction with the YMCA and the nonprofit SaveMoreKids.org.
November 2018 - To My Treasured Foundation for Women Community,
After 12 continuous years working on the ground in Liberia, in spite of a post-conflict environment where infrastructure remains limited, the devastating outbreak of Ebola in 2014-2015, and a recent fire in our partnering medical hospital, the Foundation for Women can report we’re stronger than ever! When I step back, it is truly amazing to acknowledge that FFW Liberia has become a respected humanitarian hub within this country. We are endorsed by the World Bank, by the country’s Ministers of Finance and Commerce, and by the former Vice President Boakai who has been our Chief Patron since the inception of our work here. Our hub has begun attracting smart risk-taking partners who are coming to us with proven methodologies that have worked in other poverty-stricken countries. They want a link to what we have: a vibrant web comprised of market women, small business enterprises, independent schools and community health clinics who are recreating their nation from the ground up.
A modern health facility valued at over US$60,000 has been officially opened to the public in the Pipeline Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. The facility, which is an initiative of Liberia branch of the Foundation for Women, an international non-governmental organization (NGO), according to the organizers, will help buttress government’s Pro-poor Agenda to provide quality healthcare delivery system. The initiative is also a joint effort of the authority of the Benson Hospital and administration of the Henry Reeves School, also in Paynesville. As part of the foundation’s effort to improve the country’s healthcare delivery system, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Women, Deborah Lindholm, said that their desire is to empower Liberians. Read the full article at LiberianObserver.com.
Monrovia, Liberia - On October 11, 2018, ProPublica and TIME Magazine published a report about the sexual assault and rape of girls in the care of an NGO based in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. Since then I have been present with the news – no sharing on social media, a few conversations with trusted colleagues and FFW board members, sitting with the heart-breaking reality that an American NGO founded by a woman could have allowed this to happen to desperately poor and innocent girls striving to create a better future for themselves in this country. I have heard from many of you in the US, questioning how it could have happened and wondering if I’ll stay in Liberia and continue my work in a place I have called home for 12 years.
Good news from Liberia!! From this to this!
Fire disaster in July - Hospital rebuilt by October. Thank you Foundation for Women friends and supporters! Your contributions and support help make this possible. We're so grateful for our FFW community!
Check out this article from the Daily Observer in Liberia about Benson Hospital and FFW partnering for community clinics and the fire :
Your generosity is making a difference immediately! We have raised several thousand dollars and construction work has begun. Every dollar makes a difference. I once again invite you to join me in this campaign. Benson Hospital is a critical hub for our FFW Community Health Clinic Project.
Please join me today by clicking on this link: http://www.foundationforwomen.org/take-action.html and pressing the donate button. Or email Cory at email@example.com, or mail in your donation to PO Box 2786, La Jolla, CA 92038. Questions please call 858-483-0400.
The Founder and CEO of the Foundation for Women, Ms. Deborah Lindholm, upon learning of the fire that destroyed the top floor of the Benson Hospital, made a commitment to raise fund for the restoration work at the hospital. Today, she wants to make good on her commitment by presenting a check of Thirteen Thousands United States Dollars (US$13,000.00). In fact, this is the second donation towards this renovation exercise. Earlier this month, while the Benson's were in the United States, Deborah made an initial donation of US$7,000.00.
With this presentation of $13,000.00 today, the Foundation for Women is pleased to announce that US$20,000.00 in total has been raised and turned over to the Benson Hospital to be used for the renovation work at the Hospital.
One week ago, I was preparing to leave Liberia after being there for nearly four months to launch our third product, FFW Community Health Clinics. We are assembling a Network of Excellence of health clinics surrounding a hub, Benson Hospital. And we are launching our first clinic in one of our partner schools. The Foundation for Women is now supporting microfinance for individuals, low fee independent schools, and now health clinics - creating a model of support for income generation for families, enhancing education, and raising the quality of healthcare. That morning a week ago, I received a call from one of our staff people saying, "Ma Deborah, I have terrible news - Benson Hospital is burning down!" Complete disbelief and horror!
About the Author
Deborah Lindhom is the Founder and CEO of the Foundation for Women. For over 20 years she has lived and worked in Africa, India and the United States on issues of poverty, education and microcredit.
"Just a quick note to say how we appreciate all that you are doing in Liberia and wish we could do more to help. We enjoy reading your newsletters which are always so well written.
All the best!" ~ Ian and Julie Allen, Africa and Beyond Art Gallery