So sad that there are so many challenges again for our friends/family in Liberia. You are right – people have pretty much forgotten them.
Yes, there have certainly been points of light in the darkness – dear friend ambulance driver Foday Gallah who helped so many in Liberia and contracted Ebola in the process; now a survivor and a TIME Magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year, yet still suffering – and dear friend and sister Dr. Angela Benson who along with her husband never closed their Benson Hospital for even one minute during the Ebola crisis when all other care facilities did, yet still needing so much support.
But mostly fear, global fear…
This prompted me to return to Liberia after many months away in March 2015 to document the stories of Liberians, to capture the stories of their experiences during the unprecedented Ebola crisis on film. The result, a trailer to begin a documentary project – www.ONLYLOVEisbest.com. Both Foday and Angela are featured in this film. A small gift to the Liberian people after so much fear and loss…
There was another bright light a few days ago when the Foundation for Women welcomed dear friend Judge Roosevelt Willie, also featured in the trailer, back to San Diego to visit us and his alma mater, the Kroc School of Peace at the Institute of Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego. It has been four years since he earned his Masters Degree in Peace Studies – and it was time to come back to meet the new Dean and reconnect with dear staff and friends. A bright moment after so much challenge for him and his country.
And then today in America. Liberian friend MacDella in New York and I have been trying for months to arrange a screening of a special documentary about Liberia produced by dear friend Seema Mathur www.Camp72.com to raise funds for post-Ebola Liberia. Today, just weeks before the screening, we made the decision to cancel due to lack of response. As Ann said to me in her email today, the world has forgotten about our Liberian family.
So with great disappointment I reached out to The Crosby Street Hotel and gave them the news and asked for their consideration. I must share this dear email response – another treasured point of light in the darkness:
I have not yet had a chance to speak with MacDella, but I am so sorry to hear of the unfortunate situation you are in regarding your screening event and needing to cancel.
We do believe your organization is working for a truly great cause and what you are doing is important and admirable for our world. We want to assure you that we do care deeply for our human family in West Africa. For this reason, we would be happy to refund the amount of the deposit and waive our cancellation fee as a courtesy considering the circumstances. Please find attached the invoice for the refund of the deposit.
I hope to be able to work with you in the future!
Special Events Manager
Thank you Katina for this beautiful gesture, for the immediate refund of our deposit, and mostly for your words of caring for our human family in West Africa. So grateful!
Katina’s gesture today brings more hope to my belief in the basic goodness of our human family, that we do truly care about and want to stand with each other, that this awful crisis in West Africa will pass, that this awful refugee crisis in Europe will pass, that ONLY LOVE will become a way of being one day…
Thank you Katina for renewing my hope for this new reality again, so appreciated! With hugs of gratitude ~ Deborah