Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Handwashing Stations to Combat Ebola?

LOEP is an education-focused organization.  Our work is always aimed at assisting efforts to educate Liberian children and supporting Liberian schools achieve education goals.  Thanks to the Internet, we are always in touch with events in Liberia and stay connected with our partner schools and teachers through social media.  The steadily growing fear and concern about Ebola was clear even from afar over the past few months. LOEP volunteers became particularly concerned about what effect the mounting widespread public fear would have on children.

When the World Health Organization announced the Ebola virus in West Africa had spiraled out of control, LOEP volunteers knew the crisis called for us to respond.  LOEP volunteers studied the public health campaign work of WHO, Red Cross and other major health organizations and recognized our response had to meet the following conditions:
1. simple, effective inexpensive project supportive of health education programs in Liberia
2. Help children overcome fear/helplessness by encouraging proactive, self-care hygiene practice
3. Promote development of lifelong hygienic practices that will last long beyond the current crisis
Every public health disease-prevention program begins with the most basic hygienic practice - HANDWASHING!

Help us promote this basic hygienic practice.  Your $20 donation will purchase a handwashing station and chlorination water treatment for kids in Ebola-stricken Liberia.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Handwashing stations currently being used in Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries are very simply a Covered Bucket with a Spigot.  The buckets are filled with water, chlorination treatment is added, fitted cover is placed on the bucket to keep foreign matter (dirt) out and hands are washed under the attached spigot valve which turns on and off.  

The handwashing stations are manufactured in Africa and shipped to Liberia. The stations are approved and used by WHO and other international health organizations for use in places like Liberia where plumbing is uncommon and untreated water for drinking and washing is accessed from community pumps, rivers and creeks.

Supplies of bleach and chlorination treatment are currently very low in countries where the Ebola virus has struck.  In addition, nearby countries are experiencing some hoarding of their supplies of such products (in fear they will be needed should Ebola break out in their own nation). Arrangements are being made now to ship bleach and chlorination products to Liberia for distribution by groups who work alongside LOEP's partners in service of Liberian children.  The products from the U.S. will arrive in Liberia within the next month.  In the meantime, LOEP partners in Liberia have acquired supplies to begin using the handwashing stations in hopes of mitigating chances of infection and promoting good hygiene practice. 

$20 buys the apparatus you see in the picture plus chlorination water treatment.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hand Washing Stations to Combat Ebola

You can help fight Ebola! Health workers know and advise that frequent hand washing is the first line of defense against infectious disease.  A public health campaign encouraging hand washing in Liberia has begun as part of the health education program to overcome Ebola.  LOEP is supporting that campaign.  For just 20 dollars school children in Liberia  can have access to a hand washing station with treated water to fight disease.

For many of our friends in Liberia, hand washing involves more than turning a handle for clean, running water.  This basic hygienic habit is not necessarily ingrained in children who have to haul all the household water in buckets from a far away pump or river.  LOEP has arranged with our partner schools in Liberia to set up hand washing stations for children. For every 20 dollar donation received, our partner schools can purchase a hand washing station and the chlorine water treatment necessary to combat the Ebola virus (and other illnesses). 

Archel Bernard, Friend of LOEP and Volunteer Field Officer, lives in Liberia and provided this great photo.  It shows a hand washing station set up in a private residential compound where she lives in Monrovia. When they spotted the station,  neighborhood children approached and asked permission of the caretaker to wash their hands. 

The goal of the fundamental LOEP health initiative is to help promote hygienic, disease-fighting hand washing practice for children in their own communities.  

LOEP teachers are standing by in Liberia ready to purchase the hand washing stations and water treatment to distribute to schools in their communities.  Although schools are closed now and will remain so until health officials get a handle on Ebola, LOEP volunteer teachers will arrange for hand washing stations to be placed in community locations easily accessible to children.  When school re-opens, hand washing stations provided by Friends of LOEP will be available in school to encourage and instill the basic hygienic practice beyond the current Ebola crisis. 
LOEP is a small organization with great friends.  We have received a flood of calls and messages of concern about our friends and colleagues in Liberia.  Friends of LOEP are worried about the children and families LOEP serves.  All are asking, "is there anything we can do?".  The answer is yes!  Your 20 dollar donation will purchase a hand washing station for LOEP partner mission and community schools in Brewerville and Paynesville, Liberia. Check out our website for details and hit the Donate button.