Since the beginning, it has been our goal to stimulate redevelopment of the coffee industry in Liberia, beginning in Nimba and Lofa Counties, with the aim of improving the welfare and opportunities of local coffee farmers (by means of fair wages, distribution assistance, and training). We believe this will also impact their local communities, the entire region, and hopefully all of Liberia, as well. We have planned to apply this same model and we expect similar results in Uganda and additional countries in the future.
October was a busy month for Compassion Corps! In addition to preparing and running the Orphan Day 5K and making final preparations to officially launch the Cup of Compassion coffee website, we were also blessed to host our dear friend and partner, Rev. Tage Swallie, while he was in the Philly area visiting for a few weeks.
As many of you know, Tage and his wife, Ruth, run Healthline clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Needless to say, the responsibility they have taken on to provide care for their surrounding community has risen to a whole new level with the spread of Ebola in that region. [..]
On Saturday, October 25th, over 150 people ran five kilometers, or just over 3.1 miles, to raise awareness and funds for orphans in Liberia and Uganda. In honor of Orphan Sunday (which was November 2nd), Compassion Corps hosted its 4th annual 5K. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were honored to see so many smiling faces and willing hearts out at Ridley Creek State Park to participate in this event. [..]
Reports from Liberia indicate that the advance of the deadly Ebola virus has begun to lessen a bit. In Ganta, Nimba County, Pastor Arthur Wehyee has reported several times that conditions have been improving with less numbers of new cases and some very welcome recoveries. And in Lofa County, Pastor John Ndorbor’s home region and home to the majority of our partner coffee farmers, over the past 6 weeks there have been declining numbers of infected patients, with no new reported cases at all in the past week. But although less people are becoming sick in several counties, a member of the country’s Ebola Task Force and longtime partner at Lighthouse Baptist Church, Joseph Morris, has informed us that in Monrovia, Montserrado County, the crisis is still serious with 50 probable new cases this week. The World Health Organization is concerned that this “continuing intensity of transmission emphasizes the need to continue efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the capital.” (WHO, Ebola Situation Report, 11.5.14) [..]
It seems that the world is finally not just taking notice but responding to the extreme needs for medical intervention in West Africa to combat the Ebola crisis. The Gates Foundation has pledged its largest relief donation ever – $50 million, and another foundation donated $15 million last week; Direct Relief has sent 11 shipments with 100 tons and millions of dollars worth of protective gear, gloves, and medicines, and the US government has announced plans to invest around a billion dollars to help in the battle, which will include setting up 17 Ebola treatment centers and a medical center/training center in Liberia. [..]