Read below for the latest updates from our partner in Liberia on the Ebola crisis and the work that is being done with the help of Canadians like you:
February 06, 2015
Update from Jerome Klibo
Dear Partners in Ministry:
Sincere greetings from AICA-Liberia in the name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in Liberia last June, we have received much assistance from Partners International, Canada to help us fight Ebola. During the initial stages we promoted preventative measures like:
- purchasing and distributing faucet buckets and detergent for washing hands, and
- printing leaflets for community awareness.
We used the opportunity for door to door evangelism as we took these items with us in communities in Montserrado County. This was the hardest hit and most populated county having over a million people. We shared the Gospel with people we met.
The Ebola Crisis in Liberia is slowing down and hopefully Liberia may be declared Ebola free in the short run. The Government of Liberia has announced the reopening of all schools across the country for example. However, the crisis paralyzed the nation greatly, especially as regards employment. Many people are still out of jobs as a result of work shutdowns. Many places of work are still closed. Other areas of work which have reopened are running with a skeleton staff. So, food insecurity is a primary issue. Poor families are experiencing food shortages. They have to be on the alert for new outbreaks of Ebola as they go about looking for food.
In January of this year, AICA-Liberia fed one thousand four hundred and fifty (1,450) family heads with rice, Liberia’s staple food. This assistance came from Partners International, Canada, “our Strong Arm Partners” in this fight against Ebola. We are so happy for their wonderful support.
There are, however, more hungry people out there, and we are praying to God for more food provision to assist the people of Liberia to get back on their feet again.
Thank you for all. We pray that God will bless your various efforts in obtaining funding for the people of Liberia. We see it as a great blessing for us. May God richly bless you and prosper the work of your hands.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Jerome J. Klibo
January 23, 2015
A Letter of Thanks
Dear new friends in the fight to end Ebola,
A special shout out to Myrtle and Aileen who were our very first callers making a donation at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning during the G98.7FM radio-thon on December 7th. Thank you for starting a wave of support that culminated with a total of almost 760 donors who called in to either make a pledge or give a gift to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. It was a joy for me to personally spend the entire day at the station and to come on air with Fitzroy Gordon from time to time during the day.
Your support has been so encouraging – thank you. Let me remind you of our pledge to you in how we are responding with your gift to fight Ebola. I will give you our specific response in Liberia as one example.
1. Medical support through our partner clinics. Just before the outbreak in Monrovia, Partners International, with the help of some friends in the USA, supplied medicine valued at $4.8 million to clinics. The health centres remain open and are triaging patients for Ebola. Our local workers continue to serve at great risk with no option or desire to evacuate.
2. Care and prevention team. The Liberia National Defence Department lists prevention awareness as the country’s primary action to contain the disease. Our teams of church members go house to house (at this point we will have served 3,500 households identified with particular needs in Liberia alone) to:
demonstrate prevention measures
provide basic disinfecting supplies and food to poor families
provide encouragement and spiritual counseling
3. Equipping healthcare providers. Masks, gowns and gloves as well as bleach will protect the heroic health care workers and encourage them to stay on the job.
4. Supporting children orphaned by Ebola. The Kous Home cares for over twenty children who lost their parents because of Ebola and who have no other relatives that will look after them.
Our partner serves local communities by establishing schools, providing medical assistance and drilling wells that provide clean, safe water. Caring for children who need the basics of life – food, shelter and clothing – has just reached a new level of need with orphans from the Ebola outbreak. We continue to offer vocational training that will provide additional skill sets to village women and youth, enabling them to create self-sustaining sources of income for their families.
The funds received through the radio-thon have gone to West Africa and are being spent effectively on practical items including disinfecting supplies food and medicine for people infected and affected by the Ebola virus. We will provide specific updates on how your donations are making a difference.
One piece of encouraging news is that the government is signalling schools may reopen in Liberia soon after nearly a year of being closed. Our local partner has a high school called, The Bishop Marweih Institute in Monrovia and they are finishing off a second floor to include more students. This school was opened during the civil war when all schools were closed and youth were either on the streets or being recruited as child soldiers. We want to be the first to open again when the government gives the green light. The tuition of many impoverished youth is subsidized at Bishop Marweih.
It is our hope and prayer that you will consider Partners International as a ministry that you will want to stay connected with. Whether that means giving to our fight against Ebola and even considering giving monthly to that end, or being open to receiving news of our work around the world like our DISPATCHES newsletter.
One of the things that make us different is our capacity to identify the right partners.
There are many attempts to develop partnerships but working with the right people, who have the right motives and the right skill set, brings it all together and produces powerful change. For Partners International, sustainable transformation is key. We are about transformation and we work intentionally in the hardest parts of the world.
God bless you and thank you for being on mission with us and to the people in West Africa.
President, Partners International Canada
P.S. As our partners are committed, we too want to be committed. As you may have made your first gift so generously and willingly, would you consider supporting us in the New Year? Would you consider giving a second gift or most importantly, becoming a monthly supporter of the Partners International family? By responding today your are telling us – yes – and even when you cannot give, you will take time to pray over the various projects we share with you. This kind of commitment matters.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.Romans 12:12, 13, 15
December 15, 2014
Radio-thon raises money for Ebola Relief Efforts
Partners International (PI) has great stories to tell. So we jumped at the opportunity to tell those stories on Groove 98.7FM. The entire Sunday December 7th focused on raising funds for our Ebola work.
PI Care and Prevention Teams in West Africa put their lives on the line daily caring for those infected and affected by the Ebola virus. Obedieh Sumo is one of those people. He is a nurse who treated a friend with Ebola only to contract the virus himself. On his deathbed Obedieh led thirty Ebola patients to the Lord. Obedieh recovered and is back serving others in his community.
Having guests call in from West Africa connected listeners firsthand to the crisis. Our team leader Bishop Jerome Klibo told about PI’s work in Liberia. René Mbongo our West African Director spoke of the situation in Guinea. Dr. Moses, head of the Ebola Unit at JFK hospital in Monrovia dialled in on his way to the hospital. Our own Jennifer Richards, veteran of manyPartners International Alongside trips to Liberia shared as a public health worker why Ebola is so virulent in West Africa.
What an incredible opportunity to engage people and share about the work of our dynamic partners. The opportunity also connected us with the Liberian diaspora. Now we are partnering to support their home for Ebola orphans in Liberia. We are grateful for those who called in and generously gave to the cause. And a very special thank you to the sixty-five volunteers who fielded hundreds of calls from enthusiastic listeners. The day raised close to$53,000 in donations and pledges for West Africa programs. Thank you Mr. G. and the Groove team!
December 06, 2014
From: REPORT ON THE THIRD PHASE OF THE EBOLA PREVENTION AWARENESS CONDUCTED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT CHURCHES OF AFRICA, LIBERIA-MONROVIA
AICA-LMR is actively participating in the fight against the Ebola Virus by distributing medical materials to community clinics and government hospitals at the same time reaching out in communities around Monrovia, creating awareness of the danger of the virus and assisting homes with food items.
Food is a focus as Ebola Care and Prevention Teams serve another 3,600 people
Some may ask why food items? It is important for our foreign friends to know that schools are closed, and many international partners who provided work for a huge percentage of Liberians have indefinitely closed down. Even the Government of Liberia is currently operating with skeleton staff. This loss of livelihoods has made life very difficult for many Liberians.
After our latest distribution we are receiving phone calls from beneficiaries just to say thank you. Many of them are so grateful they tell us that “We don’t have words to tell you how happy we are to receive food at this time.”
AICA-LMR is continuing the fight at the front line and we are pleased that our faithful partners, Partners International, Canada is along with us in this “Struggle for Life”, providing the necessary funding to take us through. Thank you PIC!
We continue to maintain the same strategy utilized in our previous outreach to vulnerable communities through our Care and Prevention Teams involved with community sensitization, and coordination of relief supplies to targeted households. The teams are identified by printed T-Shirts worn on every visit in the communities.
Communities that are mostly visited by the Teams are crowded slums where there are mostly people who are poor and find it difficult to provide food items and other essentials for their livelihood as well as rural villages in areas where our churches are located. In most slums homes are rented structures with three or more families living in each of these structures.
In this latest outreach we surveyed people to assess the most essential needs of the communities so that we can better serve them in the future. We have amazing encounters with people as we serve them.
One big community we visited is called Peace Island in the Congo Town area. There are approximately ten thousand residents. Actually they are squatters (people illegally occupying an area belonging to the Government). We took special note of this community because of the appalling conditions of this place. Peace Island is a poor community located on a rocky high hill surrounded by polluted water. Bore holes for clean water are non-existent. Bore holes are impossible on higher ground where majority of the houses are located on this rocky and rugged knoll. The lower ground is swamp where well construction requires great expertise. But it is hopeful that in the future this community can have easy access to safe drinking water. This community has a large population of children. In some homes we noticed the average of twelve children between the ages of six months and thirteen years. We spoke to one young pregnant woman who had already had eight (8) children. Most of the children we encountered during our household visits were unkempt as a result of the level of poverty being experienced by their parents. In this community we met the needs of five hundred (500) family heads.
Some distribution statistics from the latest sensitization outreach to Peace Island, JFK, Old GSA Road, Fish Market
Bags of rice 2,000
Bottles Bleach 300
Since the Liberian Government has banned the gathering of people in large numbers we know that Christmas this year is going to be void of the normal gatherings that make Christmas so special for the children. We can not care for the children in our schools and churches as normal in December. The need to visit homes in vulnerable communities and assist kids with clothing and slippers cannot be overemphasized. It would be a good thing to make them happy this Christmas.
Thanks again for the funding provided to assist AICA-LMR to spread not only the message of Ebola, but also the Message of the Gospel to the Liberian people.
November 26, 2014
Distributing protective gloves, masks and gowns for health providers: Jerome Klibo writes, “We in Liberia are so grateful. We have successfully cleared the container and it is currently deposited at our Headquarters on 18th Street, Monrovia, Liberia as you can see from the photos attached. We are distributing supplies to Ebola Centers in Monrovia and other areas in Liberia. Our Headquarters is the point where representatives from the Ebola centers pick up donations. We will let you know how many centers were served and an approximate number of nurses and doctors utilizing the supplies.”
November 12, 2014
The world observes in horror the pace and deadliness with which Ebola virus is spreading in West Africa. In Liberia we live in suspense, monitoring our bodies for symptoms, and expecting we will die. But in one case, a combination of treatment and faith produced a survivor.
Brother Obediah Sumo is a member of Hope Tabernacle (AICA). He is a nurse who runs a clinic in the heart of Monrovia. Obediah contracted Ebola when he was treating a sick friend. The friend initially showed no signs of Ebola, but later died of the disease. Even though Obadiah wore protective gear and tried his best to disinfect and discard everything used in treating his friend, he still contracted the virus. Obediah said, “The first symptoms were chills in my legs and then severe body pains.” When he realized that he had Ebola, Obediah quarantined himself from his colleagues and his family. Later he went to the Ebola treatment centre at the ELWA Hospital.
We provided support for Obediah at the treatment centre. We gave him fruit, fluids, prayer support and words of encouragement. These helped him to overcome the virus. God used him in a wonderful way as he lay on death’s door in the treatment centre. One thing Obadiah said helped him during the Ebola attack was his faith in the Lord Jesus. “At the Ebola Treatment centre I shared the Word of God with other patients because I knew that many of them would not return home, and the only hope they had was to know Christ before they died. And God used me greatly because I saw thirty or more persons coming to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus before they died. After three weeks at the Ebola Treatment Centre, I and five others tested as Ebola free! I look back at my experience now and thank God that he allowed me to contract Ebola. Sometimes my friends, we find ourselves in near death situations so we can realize that God wants to accomplish something through us.”
October 31, 2014
We are seeing the impact of the prevention program in rural communities. In the town of Whomgbay, where AICA has been working for many years, the AICA prevention team held community meetings sharing about how Ebola is spread and the best procedures to follow when they suspect someone they know has contracted the virus. They also visited nearly every home in the surrounding area and provided families with sanitation kits recommended by the Liberia government to stop the virus from spreading. AICA workers have observed a strong response from the community in implementing the prevention strategies.
The local AICA churches have also been able to spread awareness of preventative measures at services and during mid-week activities. Individuals have been advised to avoid traveling to areas with high infection rates, to avoid traveling in overcrowded vehicles, to minimize physical interaction including avoiding common greetings of handshakes and hugs and to stop the customary traditions of touching the dead at funerals. They have also found many opportunities to pray with families, providing a sense of peace and hope where fear is so widespread.
October 15, 2014
October 8, 2014
The Administration of the Association of Independent Churches of Africa, Liberia-Monrovia Region herein expresses its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Partners International, Canada, our friends, and faithful donors for financial support during this national Ebola crisis in Liberia. We are always confident of your sincere love and concern for the AICA-LMR, the people of Liberia, and yea the people of Africa; and it is our ardent prayer that God will reward your faithfulness with much blessings. By His Grace. Bishop Jerome J. Klibo
October 7, 2014
In a story dated 19 September, Vox reported, “The eight bodies were found in the village latrine. Three of them had their throats slit,” a Guinean government spokesperson told Reuters. The team was allegedly attacked while working near the city of Nzérékoré. The group had been stoned on Tuesday and then went missing, according to the Guardian. They were believed to be held captive. The Guardian reported that their messages about Ebola had been met by hostile residents: “The meeting started off well; the traditional chiefs welcomed the delegation with 10 kola nuts as a traditional greeting,” said a local resident who was present at the meeting earlier this week and gave only his first name, Yves. “It was afterwards that some youths came out and started stoning them. They dragged some of them away, and damaged their vehicles.” Some believed they were actually in Guinea to spread the disease.
This isn’t the first time public health workers have been attacked during the epidemic. Aid workers, including members of Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross, have reported that fear of the virus or the belief foreigners are giving people the illness have spurred locals to attack health teams or run away at their sight… Spreading public health messages has been extremely challenging in an environment with low health literacy and public trust in officials. In Liberia, distrust in the government led some people to think Ebola is a government scam to attract international aid.” http://www.vox.com/2014/9/18/6430563/ebola-virus-health-team-found-dead-in-guinea
Your prayers are important to the safety of Partners International supported Care and Prevention Teams in Liberia. Pray for the safety of volunteers as they risk contracting Ebola, and as they risk being attacked out of paranoia. Pray for continued access to communities so these villages can be prepared to control the virus should anyone in the village become infected. Community-level education and counselling is identified as the strategic gap in Ebola prevention efforts.
October 1, 2014
September 30, 2014
September 24, 2014
Dear friends at Partners,
Sincere and blessed greetings in the name of our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayers for us in Liberia knowing that all of our friends are fervently praying for us. It gives us hope and courage to triumph through the trials we face.
We have written to remind you all of our SOS call made and your faithful promise to assist us during this crucial time of our nation. Thank you for your kind thoughts of us. We look forward to hearing from you soon. God bless!
By His Grace,
Bishop, AICA, Liberia
September 22, 2014
The Partners International/MAP container filled with protective medical supplies for health professionals landed in Monrovia. Thanks to the generous donors who paid the cost of shipping masks, gloves and gowns into this medical ‘war-zone’ at a critical time. Items will be distributed throughout the country to clinics and hospitals.
September 18, 2014
Dear Brethren: Thank you for all of your prayers for us. We know you are praying for us and are grateful for your concern. You may have heard of new outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Lofa County. Conditions have not still improved in our country since the first outbreak, but we are still hopeful that God will not forget about His people.
Various measures are being taken to stop the spread of Ebola. One of these methods is to limit our movement. Right now we have a curfew imposed to ensure this. What this has done however, is cause the prices of essential commodities to rise. This affects the life of many Liberians. Our staff and volunteers are under intense pressure to care for their own families. What can be helpful to us now is assistance with food so we can go out to care for others knowing the situation at home is fine. We are therefore making an appeal for assistance for the purchase of some food items for our Care and Prevention Team members. We would be grateful for such assistance. Thank you for your help.
By His Grace,
Bishop, AICA, Liberia
Partners International is expanding the type of assistance provided to include some food support to the volunteer members as needed of the Care and Prevention Teams so their important work can continue to expand
September 1, 2014
The Care and Prevention Teams provide spiritual care for the people they visit. Many people are fearful about their future. This story was related with a smile by one of the volunteers:
During our distribution we met with an old lady who is a widow. After we gave her a bucket along with the soap and detergent, we shared the message from the gospel tract and prayed with her. Her response was, “My children, you na save my life not only from Ebola but I know na, that when I die I will go to God. Even if Ebola kill me I will go to God. So ain’t scare now. So you thank you yaaa.” While we laughed with her we are thankful that at least because of this situation, and this project one soul could come to know the Lord as Savior.
By His Grace,
Bishop, AICA, Liberia
Your help is needed to protect thousands of lives at risk to the Ebola Virus in Liberia. Partners International’s Care and Prevention program through The Association of Independent Churches of Africa (AICA) needs ongoing funding as the crisis escalates.
– Dave Hunt, Director of International Operations, Partners International Canada