The founder and Chief Executive Officer of the African Dream Academy in Liberia has lauded the many efforts of its partnership in the fight against this deadly disease, the Coronavirus or COVID-19. In a communication below, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of African Dream Academy, Rev. Samuel Enders outlined:
Distinguished partners and Board,
Please accept our prayers of healing and sincerer sympathy for lives lost to the deadly COVID-19. Special thanks to God for his safety and protection upon your lives and your entire family.
On behalf of the Liberia African Dream Academy, our staff, students, my community, the district and entire country, I want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for your continuous support, especially during this very troubling and difficult time.
The African Dream Academy like all schools in Liberia was ordered closed by the Liberian ministry of Education due to the deadly Coronavirus. On the 13th of March the government discovered the entry of our first COVID-19 case, followed by two other confirmations and a week later the first death.
ADA remains closed with no possibility of reopening until the ministry of Education gives the authorization. Confirmed cases continue to increase as the death rate rises. Like the rest of the world, Liberia has been hit by this deadly Virus stretching the very little we have called the health system.
The lack of lack of proper understanding of the disease have led to national panic and disbelief. Almost everyone who might be unable to breath due to some complications, those seen coughing, sneezing, any fever, and headache was and is considered a COVID 19 infected person. Testing is done mostly on dead bodies as the living seek testing that is not available. Many did not believe we had the virus until the daily pronouncement of people dying due to COVID-19. Our country has been in the state of Emergency since March.
Our staff members and the general public became and remain very afraid due to misunderstanding and the constant reminder of the EBOLA effect on our nation. The situation has become more difficult as we enter into the second month of the state of Emergency. People continue to complain and accuse the joint security of human right abuses as they enforce the curfew under the State of Emergency. From 3:00 pm there is no means of traveling until the next day. Movement between counties is straightly prohibited making it very difficult to get food supplies to people outside of the capitol.
The government made it mandatory and ordered that everyone must wash their hands with soap and water. Each home must have a bucket in the front with a faucet for hand washing. No one is allowed to go in public without a face bask. Many people had to choose between purchasing a locally made face mask and food for their children. The cost of the bucket went from $1.50 to $3.00 while the faucet is sold at $7.00 from $2.00 before COVID-19.
People are not going to work; they are unable to save; most businesses are closed. The state of the economy remains in a very bad shape as people struggle to fight the disease and hunger. There is still no electricity and no running water, making the stay at home difficult. Families must go to the market daily to get food. They must first go to sell all day and at the end of the day get food from the market to cook.
The effect of COVID-19 on the country and economy is bad and almost like many countries around the world, unfortunately the government has not given any subside to help. We are living daily by the grace and mercy of God. People are helping by sharing the little they can.
We reached beyond our Walls, to serve. Our local efforts
In Spite of these difficulties, ADA/Haven Care families continue to serve our students and communities.
- Our students continue to receive their needed education through ADA at home study program. Families do not have access to the web due to the lack of internet, computer and electricity. African Dream Academy staff prepare lessons, make copies and parents pick them up for students. Those works are returned to the school within two weeks for grading. A new set is then given for another two weeks.
- We have provided food items to community members due to the lack of food. Publicly and privately we have given over 500 bags of rice
- We provided and continue to provide washing hands buckets to help keep our students and community members safe. The community has received a little over two thousand gallons and buckets for hand washing.
- We continue to provide soap, hand washing materials and cash to community contact tracing teams to visit homes, record and report cases. We are serving over 62 communities with a population of about 75,000.
- We continue to provide face masks to help prevent the spread and enable people to get food instead of the mask. It also enables people to go out and look for goods or visit health care centers. We have given about 5,000 masks and continue to produce more. We know this is the new normal, masks are here to stay for some time.
- We continue to provide ambulance services to help save lives and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ambulance transports the sick and medical supplies provided to government for distribution to other entities
- Haven care remains open, making sure our vision of providing basic health care services to vulnerable children and women is alive during this time when it is really needed. The lack of proper understanding of the disease has led to national panic and disbelief. People are very afraid to visit health centers due to misdiagnosis. Being diagnosed with COVID-19 in Liberia means you and your entire family will be stigmatized now and the future. People have been attacked and asked to leave their homes because of stigmatization. We are seeing fewer patients but very critical. When they come it is almost late the malaria has taken over. It is very sad, but we are doing what we can. We continue to offer vaccination and prenatal services.
- In the midst of COVID-19 our community was heavily hit by a storm leaving thousands of people homeless. We had to purchase Mitel sheet zinc for people to bring their roofs back.
My fear and concerns are when the state of emergency is over, what will happen, where do we start? Inputs are down, people are not working, they are not selling. There are very little or no savings at all, so what will the recovery be? Those who sell perishable goods have lost the only means for survival for their families. Those who had a few bucks in the back are using up all, there is no package to help get them back on their feet. The two major areas to focus will be food and health care.
I ask that you kindly keep us in your prayers and thought as we do the same for you.
Shalom and healing to the world, shalom and healing to Liberia.
Founder and CEO of African Dream Academy