From Health Huts to Kola Nuts: A Visit to Liberia

Today, thanks to field reporting by ChildFund staff in Liberia, we’re providing an overview of several ongoing projects that have made a difference in the lives in children in this country in recent months. We think you’ll enjoy these village reports as our “31 in 31” series continues.

> ChildFund Liberia received funding to establish 15 community-based multipurpose health huts in rural Zorzor. Community health volunteers and traditional midwives were trained and assigned to these newly constructed huts. On a recent visit to communities in the area, some of our team members were introduced to a very new arrival. This is the first baby to be born in one of the huts, which are equipped to deal with emergency births as well as other major health issues for the area.

Community-based health huts are helping ensure safe child birth.

Community-based health huts are helping ensure safe child birth.

> Following training by ChildFund Liberia workers on the issues of environmental hygiene and community cooperation, the inhabitants of Keliwu community worked together to build a road. Villagers contributed local materials, such as sand and gravel, and labored together to build a highway, replacing the rutted track that had seriously hindered travel to and from the village. Now, villagers can access clean water and supplies, health workers are able to reach the people most in need and children from the surrounding areas can more easily attend school.

> On a recent visit to Gbarpolu County, ChildFund staff met the residents of Bambu-Tah. They learned that Community Welfare Courts have been formed to deal with issues in the local community peacefully, youth committees are conducting peer-to-peer education in combating gender-based violence and increasing knowledge of reproductive health. With ChildFund support, a number of local women received grants to start a business that

Kola nuts eaten and shared symbolize purity of heart.

Kola nuts eaten and shared symbolize purity of heart.

will help support their families and themselves. The village chief welcomed team members with a white kola nut. In Liberia, this nut is traditionally broken and shared with the guests to symbolize the purity of heart of the hosts. Visitors, in turn, return the symbolic gesture by partaking of the nut.

> In northern Liberia, ChildFund has worked in partnership with the Zealakpala community to build a water pump. This community of 500 people, more than half of whom are children, had previously used the local creek for all of their water needs, resulting in high levels of waterborne disease. Furthermore, children walking to and from the creek faced risk of violence and other dangers. The new pump frees the villagers from making this hazardous journey and provides them with safe, clean water.

For more information about our work in Liberia, click here.31 in 31

More on Liberia
Population: 3.4 million
ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 780,000 children and families
Did You Know?: Liberia means the “land of the free,” so named when the country was formed by freed slaves from the United States in 1847.

What’s next: Zambia turns 45.

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