La Jolla, CA – It has been some time since I last posted to the blog which I began writing in Liberia in July 2014 as the Ebola crisis was escalating in West Africa. So much tragedy… so much suffering… so much fear…
I awoke this morning to an email from dear friend David in Liberia – Ma Frances passed yesterday Wednesday, August 13, 2015 at the age of 96. I have loved Ma Frances since the moment I met her nine years ago this summer in Los Angeles. She is love – and my role model – I want to be just like her.
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…
Last week was the first time the three most affected West African nations recorded no new cases of Ebola since the unprecedented crisis began in March 2014. According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. There is no assurance that the disease is complete. Liberia had been declared free of the disease in May 2015 when a flare up occurred in June. It is now disease-free for the second time. The impact on Deborah and her sister Florence and cousins Mattie and Ingrid has been tremendous. Schools were closed for six months. Simple human touch – a handshake or a hug – has all but disappeared. Deborah no longer shares her lunch or water with friends at school. Her classroom holds fewer children, all of whom must sit further apart than before Ebola; many children have not returned to school.
On this day when I was due to be landing home again in Liberia, I am delighted to share with you the first documentary short film in our project sharing the stories of those whose voices are not heard in the Ebola crisis.
ONLYLOVE FoundationForWomen.org - DEBORAH LINDHOLM - Filmed in Liberia by Liberians
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...
Monterey, CA - After an astonishing day, today’s final afternoon session began with a former President and ended with a former President, all orchestrated by dear colleague and my hero and inspiration Pat Mitchell.
President Jimmy Carter began by sharing his passion for human rights, and his belief that issues affecting women and girls are key human rights issues. He has a 10-year plan at age ninety now to change the reality for the female population globally in every aspect of our reality. Beyond impressive!
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
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.