La Jolla - I was to be in Liberia today for this very special day. One year ago today, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency due to Ebola, August 8, 2014. I was the last person to leave the Kendeja Hotel in Monrovia that day – leaving abruptly, having options when so many around me had none, leaving all my belongings behind – certain I would be back shortly… doorman Michael asked me to pray that they would all be alive when I came back… tremendous fear…
La Jolla, CA. - As we celebrate here in America:
Dear Iyabo & Deborah,
Greetings from Liberia! Here we are again with new cases of Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia. The source of the EBV is being traced to a dead dog eaten by 6 people out of whom 2 people were dead already, 2 have been tested positive and the other 2 are being followed up. The village where the re-emergence of EVD started is being vigorously monitored. With the experience of the past outbreak, I think this one could be easily contained before it spreads all over the country. We are back to counting up from the beginning again.
Thanks so much for your continues support and collaboration..
Angela Benson MD, MPH, FWACP - BENSON HOSPITAL
La Jolla, CA - I received an email from a member of the Vice President’s office in Liberia on Thursday. Arthur said they were monitoring what was happening in Charleston, South Carolina and praying for all affected and for America. Liberians and Liberia playing for Americans and America. We have so much to learn from Liberians. The members of 16 different tribes, the people of 15 different counties all came together to defeat Ebola and have kept Liberia Ebola free since May 9th. Holding hands together they stopped an unprecedented crisis which is still in place in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
La Jolla, CA - The full moon is a few hours away here in California – am watching it rise – and reflecting on the millions/billions of people viewing it tonight… what are their circumstances… what are their stories…
After being in the TED-bubble for the last many days, I watched Aljazeera news this evening after meeting with my Course in Miracles circle of women in Coronado. After personally witnessing around the globe what our human family experiences for decades now, they are all part of my constant human reality. Tears… What ISIL has done to millions… Head of UN help in South Sudan expelled… Millions displaced… So much suffering, overwhelming suffering for so many members of our human family. I am committed forever to help sharing their stories, their voices. I intimately know what it feels like to have no one hear my voice. I want no one to feel as I have...
Sundance, Utah - I am here on retreat with members of my Women Moving Millions tribe, fellow passionate social change activists in support of women and girls as the way to make a better world. An extraordinary time! And the people and country of Liberia are here with me – as I continually invite their energy into the conversations, our human family sisters and brothers. I have asked for help with documenting their stories in the film we are producing due to the unprecedented Ebola crisis. I have asked them to join in the conversation and stand with us – as we begin another chapter of our human family reality; all joined together always. Gratitude and joy – and great hope from Utah and our entire planet Earth. Thank you ~ Deborah
La Jolla, CA - Liberia’s Ebola Eradication Day is just 8 days away, now set for May 9th. I was in Liberia when the last Ebola case was diagnosed on Friday, March 20th; the woman sadly died one week later. Since then there have been no new cases, thanks to the vigilance of the Liberian people. They have come together, joined with each other, committed with each other to end this deadly crisis. And they are succeeding. There is respect for Ebola and a commitment to constant washing of hands in bleach water, checking temperatures, and a change in many cultural practices, including honoring of the dead.
La Jolla, CA. - We all had a wonderful skype connection this morning, the team in Liberia and our Edify partner in San Diego and me in La Jolla . I LOVE Tuesday mornings at 7AM here! Connecting regularly with all in Liberia reminds me of why I am on the planet – it’s about connection and service and love.
Liberia and the people of Liberia are in recovery from an unprecedented crisis. Besides the tremendous death toll and infection rates, every aspect of the country has been affected. The GDP for the three most affected countries is expected to be a loss of $2.2B in 2015; countries already struggling in so many ways. So, we discussed a five point recovery plan.
La Jolla, CA - This is the latest report from Liberia published recently in the New York Times:
All too much too late. And an acknowledgement that it was indeed the Liberian people who ended ebola in their country, not the international community response.
There is a front page story in the New York Times today, “Empty Clinics Are Called a Misstep in Ebola Effort,” which I read with great interest. On September 16, 2014, President Obama announced an expanded US plan to help Liberia. I remember that day distinctly. I was in Kauai watching the announcement on CNN while speaking with His Excellency the Vice President of Liberia. I was telling him of the announcement. The number of new ebola cases in the country peaked the week after the announcement.
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.