I volunteer for better health care. My organization Operation Smile offered health care to mainly children who suffered congenital problems such as cleft palate and club feet. They were freely operated on. The youth Unit of Operation Smile Liberia helped to raise monies for these surgeries by carrying out fund raising activities such as the collection of pennies, dances and food sale.
The Youth were sensitized and made aware of the need to help. There were stickers, visitations to school campuses
and lectures given by the visiting youth group of Operations Smile/USA.
Health care is of primary concern. The world is full of disastrous happenings that result in a lot of diseases, outbreaks and sufferings. People who are affected, especially women and children and also special cases such as HIV, must have appropriate, adequate and affordable medical attention. Such attention should be prompt in cases of earthquakes and other natural disasters because that is when vulnerability is highest. I am very concerned when such occurrences occur and for days people are left out in the cold whilst the concerned authorities are at the round table dialoguing. I believe the first and prompt thing is to get emergency supplies and take the affected ones away from danger to a safe place.
Well, I don't have a story, but I am working with an Organization that is working hard in reducing poverty and food insecurity in Liberia. This Organization is helping in many ways, some of the ways are: giving food aid to public schools, giving ration to girls in public schools to encourage the girl child education, empowering low land farmers through cash for work and food for work, nutrition intervention, creating a ready market for farmers to sell their proceeds which we called Purchase for Progress (P4P) and etc.
HELP IMPROVE LIBERIAN LIVING STANDARDS (H.I.L.L.S-LIBERIA)
BUCHANAN, GRD. BASSA COUNTY-LIBERIA, WEST AFRICA. The passion, the desire and willingness to start Hills Liberia came about as the result of the civil crisis which raged our nation into war 1990 as the result of bad governance and illiteracy that brought a lot of assaults, neglect faced by Liberians in the diasporas into neighboring countries like Guinea, Cote d'voire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria etc.
Countless numbers of children were left orphans
Street kids as alot of street kids and single mothers roam the street.
HILLS Liberia set in with 10 pillow to bring in the smile and restore hope via volunteering actions in colaboration with leader at the local camp management providing couselling and study classes and later advocacy with international partners for providing spot meal for street kids.
The dream was not kept as a personal property but disclosed to many Liberians who bought the necessities of the idea as the civil war in Liberia was greatly determine by hates, poverty, high illiteracy rate and lack of love. With these on mind, we came home with our expert.
We work to institute voluntary activities and provide sanity for rural people.
Our committed Board head by David R. Blaye Sr., who is committed to supporting us morally in our undertakings and our ever ready volunteers standing by to assist the communities’ members.
Our offices are located in Buchanan, Robert Street, Grand Bassa County before the Liberia Red Cross Office.
Offices'day : MONDAYS-FRIDAY
HOURS : 10:00AM- 16:00HRS
You can visit our website: www.hillsbuchananorg.webs.com
We are now into community development & community peace hub
The Liberian civil war left the country with destruction. There was no safe drinking water or electricity. Communities were deserted and families displace at difference parts of the country. However, I was able to volunteer through the Lutheran World Services of Liberia. Through this organization, we were able help cleaned and improve various communities in Monrovia, Liberia for families to come back home. As a volunteer, we were able to help relocate family members, promote self-help projects with in local communities to provide safe drinking water and help distribute rations to local residents. However, through the help of our volunteering services in Liberia, people lives were improved; especially for residents in Monrovia, the political capital city of Liberia.
Volunteering is helping others and having impact on people lives with in the communities. Volunteerism help improve the lives of people in various communities around the world. It is important for people to give helping hands to those in need especially those who are less fortunate. Therefore, we as volunteers, take upon ourselves to give help to people around the world who are in daring need. Volunteers help make a difference in the lives of others. As a volunteer, we are willing to go to difference places of the world to help improve the lives of residents in various communities around the world especially third world countries. Volunteer helps improve the lives and skills of others and make the world a better place for all.
I had served as United Nations Volunteer (UNV) under United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), 2005 and United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), 2010, where I have acquired a lot of knowledge, idea and experience, which would like to share and serve again for development, peace and justice especially in poor community.
During my assignment in the mission, I was involved to civil education/ training and public outreach activities. For instance, to educate and aware people/ community for registration, exhibition and polling procedure for free, fair, transparent and credible referendum / election. However, it is challenge to fulfill my duty and responsibilities in ground due to various reasons including vary culture, unfriendly road, volatile situation and illiterate people especially rural women. Even such situation, I able to fulfill my obligation correctly and smoothly, because I followed basic norm and values of volunteerism without bias, discrimination and adopted a norm for hard work from heart, followed a norm of connecting people and collaboration line agencies and extend my hand to all concern people including local youth, school’ teacher, women groups and mobilized the local community leader.
It is therefore, as a UNV I realized that if we worked hard from our heart without bias and discrimination and followed the rules and regulation of UN norm and values, certainly, it is possible to meet “Volunteerism Goal” in ground even at challenging environment.
I live in a local Liberian community called New Georgia Oldfield-a suburb of Monrovia. There, you find children who were greatly affected by the war. Most of their parents (either living singly or impoverished) are not in the position to ably cater about their schooling, feeding, health and basic well-being. I, along with some friends, have grouped these children, mostly between the ages of 9-16. There we monitor them on a daily basis. We invite counselors to counsel them.
We create recreational activities for them (soccer, kickball, ludu, checkers, scrabble, spelling contest, debate,etc). We also talk to their parents not to allow the children to continually send their children to sell as is normally done. These children are mainly used as bread-winners for their families; thereby having little or no time for schooling. As a result they become demoralized by their peers.
With meager financial capacity,we make it our binding duties that these children are not abandoned as they then turn to the streets as their only means of survival.
My name is Constance Teage. I survived three very brutal civil wars in Liberia. At the age of 11 in 1997 I was blessed to have the opportunity to join my mother Caroline Teage in the United States along with my two brothers and sister. I was an Asylee in the U.S for many years until 2007. In college I volunteered a juvenile detention center for teenage girls. While creating my senior thesis, a dance about mothers who lost their children in conflicts throughout Africa, my dance professors encouraged me to travel back home. I decided that I did not want to go back home without reaching out to children that weren't as fortunate as me and had lost their parents during the civil war. So I started collecting toiletries, clothes and toys. In January of 2008 I went back home for the first time to deliver the items. It was delivered to four orphanages and two schools. In August of 2008 I traveled to India on a mission trip and delivered toiletries again to an orphanage and children living on the streets. In April of 2010, I traveled to Liberia on a medical mission. I assisted with the administrative work. We were able to attend to and dispense medication to about 600 people. In August of 2011 we traveled to Cameroon on a youth Mission trip. I lead the humanitarian leg of the trip. We took 6 large bags of toiletries, baby clothes, school supplies, and feminine products and toys for 8 orphanages. I now volunteer in my neighborhood in Silver Spring, Maryland teaching dance during the summer to children at the recreational center. I recently became a member of a Refugee Assistant program and I will start mentoring a refugee family to the U.S. I was blessed to survive three civil wars. God spared my life so that I can help others who need help. This is why I volunteer.
I am a Volunteer serving for the United Nations Mission in Liberia since 12 July 2010. Liberia is a post conflict country and is on the infancy development stage. I have come to Liberia with the aim of sharing my time and expertise in the area of development, planning, and construction. The experience of directly interacting with different communities which are mostly composes of poor people through outreach activities has made me realized that I too can make my own little contribution to the world peace.
At an early age, I learnt that volunteering i.e. helping others is the simplest way of impacting on the lives of people and making positive changes in my own life. At that time, it involved carrying out unassigned activities such as helping an elderly person or a little child, and doing other house chores. These are still relevant and I have come to realize that volunteering gives me the chance to do some humanitarian work and gain important professional experience at the same time. It has helped me to know and appreciate other cultures and traditions and the fact that all people are human and the same. This becomes more evident as I share their pains, fears, concerns, joy, hope and strides towards peace and development. Indeed, volunteering is a great combination of learning and sharing opportunities that has given me fulfillment and self development.
My first concrete work experience was through volunteering for the Liberian National Red Cross. I volunteered as a Peer Educator, Child Protection Officer and a Nurse Aid from 1997-2001, when I was in high school. All of these activities were done in displacement camps working with displaced people, returnees and refugees.
My second experience in volunteering was after I finished my studies at AME University. I was engaged as a Youth Volunteer for the Liberian National Youth Volunteer program in Grand Gedeh County, outside of Monrovia. I was teaching at a Public School where I organized the Girls Club. I also carried out Gender-Based Violence/Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (GBV/SEA) training and helped improve the teachers and students’ relationship. I also motivated the local community especially the women and youths to know that they need each other and have to be more proactive in shaping their lives. They also have to be aware of their environment, in order to know the inherent opportunities and challenges, as well as possible ways of progress.
I feel very proud and happy of this programme because it is my country’s own volunteer programme and I was part of the first group. It gave me the opportunity to work in other organizations and countries. Today I still feel very strong about my past volunteering experience and I believe it has given me the chance to be what I am today – a National United Nations Volunteer (NUNV).
Right now, I am working as a UN Volunteer with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) as a Community Mobilizer/Field Monitor Assistant in Public Schools that are under the School Feeding Programme, in Nimba and Bong Counties. I am a member of a wonderful team working on improving the School Feeding Programme in these counties. Under the direct supervision of the Head of the WFP Sub Office, I work in close collaboration with the School Feeding Unit of Ministry of Education and Partners, responsible for building the capacity of Parent Teacher Associations and communities to support implementation of the programme in all targeted primary school in the two Counties.
For my role, I review, coordinate and monitor the implementation of the assistance programme at the local level, in close collaboration with the partner organizations. This involves food deliveries, storage, transport and distribution at the site, as well as ensuring proper recording of all WFP activities and providing feedback to relevant authorities.
Presently, as a community mobilizer, I am the focal person of the school garden project in both Nimba and Bong Counties. Out of the 110 schools on the garden list in these six counties, I am responsible for forty (40 schools) in two Counties (Bong and Nimba). I will at this point focus on one school in Nimba County - Manbor Elementary Public School - which has a population of four hundred sixty-seven (467) students, who are fed by WFP.
When I started working in Nimba County, this School’s Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) was very weak and did not even have any plan or management structure in place. All of its activities were run by the principal along with other teaching staff.
The first step I took was to analyse the situation of the school in the context of the project objectives. I continued by organizing an in-house PTA/FMC leadership workshop to help the community members understand their roles and responsibilities. After this workshop, an election was held and the leadership structure was set up and put in place.
Since this school has excess land, with my help, the leadership setup a working committee and began working on the school land, without external support from WFP/FAO. After two months, the PTA had a garden of its own. They set up a day and time in every month to meet and have a discussion about the up-keep of the school and the community. The School and community members were able to work together as a team and understand one another.
Looking at the level of work of the school, WFP/ FAO/ Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) selected this school to be part of the garden project. It is currently among the twenty (20) schools in Nimba.
Women Empowerment and Participation: The women of the Manbor Elementary Public School PTA are now very strong and hard working. Before the election and setting up of the PTA, these women were not working at all. They used to say: “It is men’s business to go for meeting and take decisions”. They were just there to listen and do what the men will say. My presence as a woman NUNV working with WFP and the school made them very happy and they decided to participate in the project. As of now, the total number of persons working on the school garden is forty (40) with women taking the lead (25 women and 15 men).
The initial 1.5 hectares of land to be used for the school garden has been exceeded ato almost 2.0 hectares, with the community providing the seeds on their own for the additional 0.5 hectare of land. Produce from the school garden are used in the school feeding programme, while the rest of the crops are sold. The school has made about 58,000 LD from the garden. The money is used to help with the up-keep of the school system and other projects of the PTA in the community. From the proceeds, they have built a dining hall for the kids, a kitchen and has also has been constructed, while the school’s foodtball field was improved including repairing the nets. The latest project of the PTA was to fence the garden.
Following the great success with the garden, the PTA is now cultivating new land for the second round of seeds that were given to the school. Right now, school is harvesting corn, okra, pepper, and bitter ball for the garden. I feel so fulfilled from my association with these projects.
Reminisce of the pains of war:
The above is not all that I do; since the Ivorian crisis, I have had to deal with thousands of refugees streaming from the la Cote d’Ivoire to Liberia. Among others, I help with distribution of food to refugees and seeing to other welfare issues within the WFP mandate, in collaboration with other UN agencies. The pathetic situation of the refugees made me weep at times and reminds me of the rages of war and violent conflict that I suffered during the Liberian civil war. Violent conflicts should be avoided it at all cost. Besides the emotional challenges, I have had to endure the difficult and deplorable roads in the counties in order to reach my target beneficiaries. Sometimes roads turn into river during the rainy season, bridges into death-traps that need to be circumvented, yet we move on with courage and determination.
At the end of it all, and just like other volunteer work I have undertaken, I always go home each day fulfilled, knowing that my humble contribution gladdens someone’s heart and made their life better. This is my story on volunteering and I hope it will stir you on to volunteer, give someone hope and put a smile on faces of the needy.
Thank you for your kind attention!
The Liberia Book Trust is local non profit and non governmental organization volunteering educational service in the education sector of the Liberian economy. We are concerned with promotion and growth of literacy society for Liberia. Currently, our pilot project is to enable primary school students to have access to local dailies/newspapers for reading skill development. Our project is in the Tweh Farm community on Bushrod Island, Monrovia, Liberia