Sunday, June 21, 2009

4-H in Liberia

One piece of advice we received before we left was to take pictures of home and family with us to Liberia to show our hosts. We dutifully made up albums of our children and families and one of my photos featured a 4-H barn with the 4-H clover symbol painted on the side (it is the centerpiece building of the Southwestern 4-H Center where Win - Emmalee's brother - works). When Mrs. Rosa Allen saw that picture her eyes lit up and she exclaimed "Oh, 4-H!". Then she burst into song. As it turned out, 4-H played a big part in her childhood and she has very fond memories of it. She even remembered the 4-H song she learned in 6th grade.
We spent some time sharing 4-H stories - Rosa raised rabbits, planted gardens and developed a rice field, she said. It was clear from her enthusiasm that Rosa had wonderful memories of 4-H and it played a very large and positive part in her childhood. She asked if it would be possible to bring 4-H to Lott Carey School and establish a 4-H Club there for the students.
It occurred to us that Rosa singing the 4-H song should be captured on film. Several days later, after she overcame some reluctance and rehearsed a bit, she allowed us to record her rendition of the childhood song and submitted to a brief interview.
This lady really loves 4-H!

Mrs. Allen is a very fine school administrator. She coordinated the teacher training workshop and supervised the library children's section renovation when the LOEP team was there. This video was done in the book storage room as we unpacked boxes of donated books and worked on the library project.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

If it can be done with polio, why not malaria

The World Health Organization announced the other day that it is launching a polio vaccination campaign in selected counties in Liberia. The Liberian counties where children will be vaccinated are adjacent to the border of Guinea where there has been an outbreak of polio. The initiative in Liberia is a preventative measure to keep Liberia polio-free - there have been no cases there since 2006, according to WHO officials.

If vaccinations can keep Liberia polio-free just think what those sleeping nets could do against malaria if every child had them.