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.
Newark Airport, New Jersey USA - I was to be in Liberia today, hosting an 8th birthday party for my namesake Deborah. Instead I am stuck here since Thursday due to a mechanical failure on the plane from Chicago to Brussels. And since Brussels Air is the only carrier that can take me to and from Liberia now post-Ebola, I have no option but to breathe and wait. Hopefully tonight I will be able to fly overnight to Brussels and then connect to the Sunday Brussels flight to Monrovia
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.