As Liberia struggles to find its bearing on the virulent Covid-19, the Jewel Starfish Foundation has stepped out to empower locals with the requisite prevention materials that would enable them stay safe against the disease. The disease has, since its outbreak, taken thousands of lives across the world and brought the global community to its knees.
Speaking to residents of the Sophie Block B Community in Monrovia, Madam Norwu Howard, Board Chair of the Foundation said the donation of faucet buckets, hand sanitizers, chlorax, and other disinfectants is her institution’s way of empowering local community in order to engender a community based approach to the fight against Covid-19 in Liberia.
“In addition to the thousands of lives lost to the disease, many families lost their loved ones. The potential for the virus spreading in Liberia is very high. This is an opportunity for us Liberians to spread the message and not the virus by washing our hands, sneezing in our elbows and keeping a social distance. The virus is very, very serious. So, people within our borders should follow the prevention measures put in place by health experts,” the Foundation Board Chair stressed.
Because our lives are in our hands, according to her, the Jewel Starfish Foundation has joined the efforts being made to fight against the virus.
Madam Howard indicated that the donated items were made available by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Lucky Development Corporation, owner of Lucky Pharmacies in Liberia and the University of Liberia School of Pharmacy- the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and several bags of rice provided by the organization’s founder, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor to supplement the availability of food in the homes of the ordinary people during this critical period.
“We are in the community to inform you that Coronavirus is real and a lot of lives are being lost all around the world. If Coronavirus hits this community, lives would be at risk.
For her part, the Program Director of Jewel Starfish Foundation, Stephene Audrey Kpoto emphasized that the virus is indeed dangerous and the organization saw the need to encourage local community residents to follow the preventive measures in place. She disclosed that the faucet buckets were donated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the organization’s longtime partner, Lucky Development Corporation, owner of Lucky Pharmacies in Liberia provided the chlorax, dethol, hand gloves and face masks; while A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine provided the alcohol based hand rubs.
“This is now our only weapon against the virus. We have to keep sanitizing and washing our hands in addition to staying home,” she stated.
The Program Director of the Foundation pointed out that the Sophie Block B Community was identified among several other communities based a thorough need assessment carried out by the organization
Receiving the items on behalf of the community, Mr. Koiyan Massawala lauded the foundation for seeing the need to reach to them during this time. “This virus is not just a national issue but global. We want to add that the founder of this organization, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor has always made efforts to reach out to their community at different times with assistance. We appreciate her for that. That’s our mother who has always been there for us. We know this will pass over us once we all hold together,” the Community Chairman said.
The donation of these items is one of several Anti-Covid-19 activities being carried out by the Foundation.
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.