CONSIDERING POST-EBOLA LIBERIA (PART FIVE): THE ROLE OF THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY

first_imgThe thrust of this fifth article of the series on what happens to Liberia after the Ebola crisis is on what I perceive as the significant role of the religious community in fighting Ebola now and in post Ebola Liberia. How is the religious community involved with the fight against Ebola? And what role will it play in attending to some of the post Ebola challenges that will inevitably follow? Who or what is the religious community we have in mind. We shall discuss below. The fourth article on some key suggestions to the government underscored the following points:I would like to suggest that there be some all inclusive conferences on our health system economy, education, agriculture, and on how we fight corruption. These conferences should make use of the best minds of the land, regardless of political affiliation, in critically researching where we are at in these critical areas of our national life, and come up with concrete plans and systems that transcend any particular governments. We pray and trust that this greatest of national challenges will be an opportunity for the rebirth of the nation in the areas of health, economy, education, agriculture, the management of what we have, and fighting corruption.In post Ebola Liberia serious attention has to be paid to those who are hit the hardest by Ebola, the survivals, families of the health workers who die in the fight, orphans, widows, widowers, and all who have and are losing their means of living. Integration of survivals into their communities must be a priority. The nation will have to take care of the education of the orphans caused by Ebola who are of school going age up to college or at least high school, and entrepreneurial support to those who are able to enable them support themselves and families and be in a position to contribute to the welfare of the nation. The government of Liberia will have to encourage and facilitate the unifying of the whole country in going back to the drawing board and re-make the nation for the better. There is a need for us to move away from rote learning to creativity and innovation and commitment to making the most of what we have. History has shown that those who pass through some of the greatest challenges in life tend to develop better and faster than ever before and I trust this will be the case with Liberia.This brings us to the role of the faith based institutions in fighting Ebola and in dealing with post Ebola concerns. Most Liberian believers who have considerable influence in the nation are either Christians or Muslims. I am aware that there are others who may be African traditional believers or some other religions but the most influential are Christians and Muslims. These two religious groups fall under the umbrella of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) and National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL). All the mainline Churches (Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.) and some Pentecostal denominations are members of the LCC. Again I am aware that there are some Churches and Mosques that do not fall under the LCC and NMCL and they too are involved in some ways. Most of what I am sharing about the involvement of the religious community with Ebola fight is specific to the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL) headed by Archbishop Jonathan B. B. Hart and Sheikh Kafumba F. Konneh.This group is collaborating and coordinating the interventions of Churches and Mosques in the national response to Ebola. They are making as parts of their sermons Ebola messages and awareness, training and dialoguing with their members about Ebola prevention and care for its victims, and providing relief and practical support.Recently the IRCL sent pastors and imams in pairs (one pastor and one imam) to five affected counties, Bomi, Bong, Cape Mount, Lofa, and Nimba to hold training sessions and dialogues with over 300 pastors and imams about Ebola. The trainings and dialogues emphasized religious practices that are deemed dangerous with regard to the spread of Ebola and why they must be suspended now in order to save the living. It was stressed how these pastors and imams must be involved at every level: county, district and community. They can help their communities isolate and care for suspected cases and their affected households, and support victims get treatment while protecting themselves and others. More of such interventions are planned to be implemented soon by the IRCL. A large segment of people are excited to see Muslims and Christians working together for the common good.It intended that such collaboration to pursue the common good will continue and even accelerate in post Ebola Liberia. The need will be for community involvement in overcoming common problems and in advancing the good of all of society in the areas of health, economy, education, agriculture, management, and dealing with the cancerous virus disease of corruption. More will be said about this when we, in the last article, explore the role of all segments of society in post Ebola Liberia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Elderly couple nabbed with large amount of “bush rum” at Suddie

first_imgA letter was recently published in a section of the media under the caption “Bush rum sold under the noses of the police”. That letter precipitated an investigation which has resulted in two persons being arrested.Based on reports received, an elderly couple was arrested on July 27 after several bottles of spirited liquor and a five-gallon jar with what is suspected to be illicitly distilled liquor (bush rum) were found at their Suddie Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast home. The couple was, however, released on bail pending legal advice.It was reported in the letter that a woman was operating her bush rum business in close proximity to the Suddie Police Station.The woman, who also lives a few houses away from the Deputy Vice Chairperson for the Region, was reportedly engaged in open selling of bush rum and shop rum.The letter writer stated that the woman was a large scale dealer in bush rum operating from her home, and many underage persons were purchasing and imbibing the illegal substance.“While it is against the law for a juvenile to make purchases of any alcoholic beverage from a licensed shop, alcohol can be made readily available from the “illegal selling” of the commodity, with detrimental effects more so on the youngsters”, the author of the letter related.He added that the woman was doing a lucrative business in violation of the law. As such, he made an appeal to the Police to protect the community, and moreover, requested that the Customs and Excise Department take the appropriate action against the perpetrator.last_img read more

Volunteers needed to help with Fun City Sliders next month

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A 1,000-foot slip ‘n’ slide is coming to the Energetic City next month to help raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Fort St. John.The organisation, which supports a number of programs to help local youth, has partnered with Fun City Sliders to bring the massive slide to Fort St. John on Saturday, July 9th.The event coincides with the agency’s 32nd Anniversary, the proceeds from which will support their “Go Girls” and “Game On” group mentoring programs. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ goal is to raise at least $20,000.00 to support the local programs, which are free for local youth.- Advertisement -Close to 100 volunteers are needed to help pull off the event, and everyone who volunteers gets to ride the slide for free.To sign up as a volunteer, call (250) 329-7272 or email [email protected]last_img read more