Monrovia, Liberia - I awoke today to find this very appreciated email from the Vice President’s Chief of Staff in my inbox. I am so grateful!
Monrovia, Liberia - La Jolla – OMG the contrast… I have been back here in my African home much of this month and my heart is bursting with joy and gratitude! Every moment here is filled with people and projects and conversations and relationships and experiences I love and treasure! Read on for a review of projects!
Foundation for Women Liberia Office Monrovia - Two years ago today, we made a major change in our work in Liberia. The Chief of Staff for the Vice President orchestrated a separation between our former Executive Director here and the organization. Never in any of our wildest dreams would we have thought such a thing would happen.
Today it is clear that God’s hand was in place and directing all; a new direction and new leadership were essential. Instead of heading for certain dissolution of the organization, we are thriving in Liberia! Two and a half years ago, our partnership with Edify in support of providing microfinance to low fee independent schools (LFIS) was birthed. Despite months of havoc due to the Ebola crisis, the program is a huge success and growing daily. We have more than 60 partner schools, touching thousands of children in Liberia by improving their schools. We add 5-6 new partner schools every month so we will have more than 100 soon; a remarkable accomplishment despite such challenges here.
Just after midnight in Monrovia - I just received word from my driver Calvin that he has my three bags in his possession, those checked in at the San Diego airport for Liberia nearly one week ago. It was not safe for me to go to the airport at this time of night here, so I waited… Calvin’s call just now: “This plane is loaded and I am on my way!” That meaning, my bags are in our FFW vehicle and on the way to the hotel. Joy, as they are filled with computers and needed office supplies and medical supplies, and birthday presents and so much needed here in Liberia.
Letters from Liberia: An apple and shelter from torrential rain this evening… I have both tonight and almost four million people do not.
Monrovia, Liberia - An apple – and shelter from torrential rain this evening… I have both tonight and almost four million people do not. I spent this day with our COO David visiting five of our Foundation for Women Liberia partner schools – joy! My masters degree in education and counseling is a life-time ago; at one time I dreamed of being a principal of a school. And now, here I am in Liberia standing up for the poorest of the poor, committed to help share the voices of those who are not heard. And helping low-fee independent school operators like those I visited today!
Thanksgiving Day in Monrovia, Liberia - Today is Thanksgiving Day in Liberia, the first Monday of November instead of the last Monday as we celebrate in America. Liberia has incorporated so much of America into their governmental structure and way of life – they truly do think they are the 51st state! I wish we all viewed Liberia and its dear people that way!
Monrovia, Liberia - I have been home in my loved Liberia for more than two weeks now. This is my tenth year of being in service to the country and people of Liberia. I feel so blessed. My life is so enriched by what comes back to me here. It is selfish service; so much love comes to me here, so much more than I as one person, FFW as one organization, can give.
And I must say that my experience this time after perhaps 20 visits to this country is unique. There is DESPERATION in capital letters everywhere, beyond what I have ever experienced.
Ebola is over everyone prays, but where is the promised help for the survivors? Who will take care of the 2000+ orphans?
Monrovia, Home in Liberia Post-Ebola - It has taken me more than six months to return since my first trip after Ebola last March. I collected stories from treasured friends and produced the documentary ONLY LOVE, giving Liberians an opportunity to share their voices and their stories regarding the unprecedented Ebola crisis. I was to be back in just a few months, hosting colleagues from the University of San Diego. But Ebola returned in July; the trip was cancelled.
La Jolla, CA - For the second time, Liberia has been declared Ebola-free. May this be the end of this unprecedented crisis…
MONROVIA, Liberia – The World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free for a second time on Thursday after the country hardest hit by the deadly virus saw a brief resurgence of cases not long after the first time it thought the disease was gone for good.
Monrovia - The country is abuzz with the news of the new confirmed ebola case here last Friday, after so many days since the release of the last ebola victim from an ETU, ebola treatment unit, on March 5th. So much hope now dashed and so much wonder as to how this happened when there have been no cases in the country for so many days…
The cartoon in the Daily Observer newspaper today shows an awful character sweating and labeled EBOLA knocking loudly on a door with the Liberian flag. The caption reads, “I didn’t go anywhere! I was in the neighborhood, and you never knew that!!”
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.