Friday, September 5, 2014

No School and Teaching Tools

This time of year these teachers would normally be getting ready for opening day at Lott Carey Mission School.  All the excitement of setting up classrooms, planning new and exciting lessons, anticipation of greeting new and returning students – it is part of the rhythm of school life for teachers everywhere.  This year is different. 

Liberia’s teachers are idled and facing the hardship of no income during a national emergency.  School in Liberia has been suspended indefinitely as part of the government response to Ebola.

Some teachers at Lott Carey Mission School have put aside their own hardships and volunteered for the LOEP Team to plan and carry out LOEP's Handwashing Hygiene Project.  The project, funded by LOEP, is being led on the ground in Liberia by LOEP Volunteer Field Officer, Rosa Allen (at left in photo).  Mrs. Allen is vice principal at Lott Carey Mission School and a longtime LOEP volunteer and Team Leader.  She has developed a highly effective plan for distributing hundreds of LOEP Handwashing Hygiene Stations to rural communities in Liberia and recruited a volunteer corps of teachers from Lott Carey to carry out the project. 

Ebola education efforts by government and health care workers have encountered confusion, fear and suspicion in rural areas where Liberians have little understanding of disease prevention or the deadly virus.  Some believe the epidemic is a government plot, others suspect it is a curse, and others simply do not believe it exists.  Teachers are familiar and trusted community helpers, however - not intimidating to villagers in rural areas.  The teacher team seized on the LOEP project as a teaching tool and built a simple education plan into the project.  

Each Handwashing Hygiene Station is delivered with a lesson on basic hygiene and disease prevention with emphasis on handwashing and Ebola awareness information.  They also do a one month follow-up session to make sure each station is being maintained and that the water is properly sanitized.  LOEP volunteer teachers report remarkable success with the Handwashing Hygiene project as a tool for educating about basic disease prevention and raising Ebola awareness and word has spread.
The project has gained traction and Handwashing Hygiene Stations are in demand.  Mrs. Allen recently returned home from distributing more than a hundred LOEP units to find a delegation of women waiting respectfully at her front gate.  They had traveled considerable distance on foot to ask that a LOEP Handwashing Station be placed in their community. There were no more units left. She had to put their names on a waiting list - the list is growing every day! 

LOEP Handwashing Hygiene Project is supported totally by LOEP donors.  Each unit costs $20 for a station, one month supply of sanitizer, education on disease prevention and one-month follow-up. 

Women from a rural community arrive to ask LOEP Volunteer Field Officer Rosa Allen, to place a LOEP Handwashing Hygiene Station in their village.  No more units are available and they have been wait-listed until more units can be purchased.  Donate NOW!

DONATIONS via PayPal at www.loeproject.org

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