Most governments, even repressive ones, at least give lip service to supporting freedom of the press–especially on World Press Freedom Day, May 3. But in Liberia this month, Othello Daniel Warrick, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s chief security aide, shocked local journalists by threatening them and calling them “terrorists” at a public event to mark the occasion, according to news reports and local media groups. Warrick’s threats set off a firestorm of protest which has yet to subside. Although he has since backpedaled and some government officials have spoken up to reaffirm their commitment to press freedom, the media are imposing a blackout on coverage of the presidency, which they insist they will uphold until Sirleaf herself speaks out. Warrick–the head of Liberia’s presidential guard, the Executive Protection Service (EPS), which oversees Sirleaf’s personal security–was a scheduled guest speaker at a May 3 event titled “Media-Security Relations: An Imperative for Consolidating Peace in Liberia” in west-central Grand Bassa County. But instead of emphasizing peace when he took the podium, he threatened the gathering of over 100 media practitioners assembled, saying the EPS has the right to arrest them without warrant and he would “go after” any journalist who publishes articles critical of him or the presidency, news reports said. “Any press member that surpasses his/her responsibility to get involved in presidential intelligence; trust me, we will restrict you,” Warrick said. “Be careful, because you have your pen and we have our guns. And if you incriminate the character or integrity of Liberians, like myself, we will come after you… the EPS has the right to arrest you without warrant.”
US and Liberia have signed a joint statement affirming commitment to work together to address the challenges in Liberia and boosts the two countries’ bilateral relations. In his closing remark on US-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Washington DC, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman says both countries are committed to hold the next session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Monrovia, Liberia within the next year.
The inaugural session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue was held in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2013, with the signing of a joint statement, following a day-long deliberation involving senior government officials of both countries. Held at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Liberia and the United States reached another historical milestone in the relationship between both countries with the signing of a joint statement at the end of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue. The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, signed on behalf of Liberia, while Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs, signed on behalf of the Government of the United States.
A new report released by the World Bank places Liberia amongst the world’s fastest growing economies. Liberia’s latest upward movement amongst the world’s top economies, according to Madam Shanta Davaranja, World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, comes as a result of recent discovery and development of natural resources in the economies of said countries as well as direct foreign investments. “In 2012, about a quarter of African countries grew at 7 percent or higher and a number of countries, notably Sierra Leone, Niger, Cote’ d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, are amongst the fastest growing in the world” Madam Devaranja disclosed in Monrovia Monday through a video conference gathering that received huge attention across the globe. “Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5 percent on average in 2013-2015 as a result of high commodity strong consumer spending on the continent, ensuring that the region remains amongst the fast growing in the World” the World Bank’s latest Africa Pulse, a twice yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, said in its latest global economic ranking. Despite attractive growths in the economies of these countries, the World Bank said in its report Monday that more needs to be done to reduce poverty on the African continent. Although Governments in Africa have shown some positive attitudes that have led to the cutting down of poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank said that Less Poverty significantly remains elusive. In order to tackle the issue of poverty reduction on the African continent, WB suggested that African governments must invest in the informer sector, particularly agriculture, since in fact, “about 79% of poor African communities are mainly surviving on agriculture.” “Welcoming [...]
We are gearing up for our next trip in May and we need your help! This Thursday we’ll be at the Lindon Walmart so bring your buddies and all your family because we’re going to need their help too. How it works: When you arrive at the Lindon Walmart we’ll hand you the flyer with the included shopping list of needed items (see it below), purchase what you can, and then drop the items in the bin provided by Sahbu in the front entry. It’s that simple! All items will be donated to children in need in Liberia, West Africa. We hope to see you there! If you can’t make it and would still like to donate, you may do so by visiting sahbu.org- just click the donate button. Thanks in advance for helping us with this great cause. What: Sahbu Shopping Spree Why: To help kids in need in Liberia, West Africa When: Thursday, April 18, 2013 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Lindon, Walmart 585 North State Street, Lindon
During our most recent trip to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team spent most of the trip on a 6 day backpack adventure deep into the jungle. One of the things we became curious about was the methods of building construction. There were many small towns deep in the jungle that we visited along our trek . Most of them were not accessible by vehicles of any kind due the impossibility of crossing the rivers. The only means of crossing the river was by manmade canoes and thus everything must be carried by hand including food, clothing, and of course building materials. The buildings, or “mud huts” as they are called, are built from the only materials readily available. First long straight sticks are collected from the jungle. Bamboo was used typically. The sticks were lashed together in a grid spacing the sticks about 10’’ horizontally and vertically. With the grid complete, the native soil was mixed with water to create a mud that would be packed into both sides of the grid. This type of building was expected to last 10 to 15 years after which a fresh mud pack would be in order. Towns closer to the difficult river crossings often had corrugated metal roofs. Carrying the metal to the towns further from the river was not practical and those roofs were made of palm leaves. We especially enjoyed the palm leaf roofs and their picturesque qualities, but much more upkeep is required if they are to keep out the heavy rains of the African jungle!
During a recent visit to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team ventured out to the remote village of Gbalala. Gbalala is a beautiful mud hut village that is not accessible by car or even motorcycle. Any type of medicine or health care is a day’s walk from Gbalala, and if a person is not able to walk or be carried, it’s an additional day’s travel back to town. The Sahbu team was saddened upon our arrival to learn of a 15 year old boy who had died the day before. The people of Gbalala, like each of the villages we visited on our trek, rely on the jungle for food. Common food sources found in the jungle are rice, various fruits, avocado, and the people hunt for deer, bush goat, and other sources of meat. The 15 year old boy had been hunting with a friend in the jungle close to their village. They had been stalking a bush goat which they had shot at previously. They came into the area they had pinpointed as the animal’s hiding place only to find a foxhole. The boy reached into the hole for the bush goat and instead a yellow snake instantaneously struck him three times in the wrist and forearm. The boy was injected with a large amount of poisonous venom such that he had lost his vision within 6 minutes and had passed away within 30 minutes. When poisonous snake venom is injected into the human cardiovascular system, there is usually time for the anit-venom to be given to the victim which is the only hope to save his/her life. In this area of Liberia, the anit-venom for the Yellow Snake is available but is only [...]
Two more children have been saved and reunited with their families! We at Sahbu, thank YOU, our awesome fans, who have been supporting our cause for the benefit of many children in Liberia. Your donations matter! They provide food. They provide education. They save lives. Alex Singbeh and Law Law Lawrence, local representatives from Liberia who are working with Sahbu, just sent in this report via email along with the attached pictures: “Please see attachment of two kids reunified by SAHBU, Alex and Law Law’s, trip from Monrovia to Bomi County, Gonzipo town. They are Mamady Kromah (CKA Big Boy) 11 yrs (He’s the one in the red shirt in one of the photos at the police station) and J. Abraham Colemen 12 yrs.” Click the photos below to see the gallery: This is great news! These two boys, along with a few dozen more documented cases, are children who had been tricked to come to the big city of Monrovia to go to school and to receive an opportunity at life, instead they are taken and used via child labor for someone else’s benefit. We expect to see many more stories like this one in the future. Thanks for your help, we couldn’t do it without you. To continue to help please visit sahbu.org today!
Love. We’re all looking for some. So tell your mothers and your brothers, and all the lovely others that we know where to find it! Just outside the reach of the humanitarian efforts from the United Nations, sits a little orphanage in Harrisburg, Liberia. Home to more than 40 children, without parents, and a small number who show up everyday for school and one meal. The caregivers for the orphanage are volunteers who hope that one day there will be help for the children and the school. The building they stay in was given to them by an older couple who just wish to be fed by the orphanage. On April 13th, your friends and mine; Luke Beaston, Paul Jamsa, Heather Marie, Joel Adams, Michael Jenkins, and joining us from LA, Tina Ferguson and Coco Carico, will combine their talents to create sweet musical fusion! And spread the love! Join us on April 13th for an inspiring evening on behalf of the children at the orphanage. Bring a date, bring a friend, bring ten! And share the love! ( $10 at the door) and FREE PIZZA!!! Venue: Boothe Bros Performing Arts Center Time: 7pm Phone: 801-798-7650 Address: 165 North Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT, 84660,United States Google Map Source: Site
Just last week we received some very bad news from Borto Orphanage, one of the orphanages we support in Harrisburg, Liberia. They informed us that they were out of money. They pled with us and we called upon you, our faithful followers who have come out of the woodworks to help us multiple times. We asked you to help us raise $500 by the end of the week last Friday and we met that goal within the first four hours. The total that came in from that push was over $1,000 and we’re still getting donations that trickle in from that post. Now the orphans at Borto will have food to eat for the next couple of months. We couldn’t be more happy for your response. We would love to get Borto to a point where they’re self-sustaining and we’re asking you for your input. If you have any ideas on how Borto could become self-sustaining, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share this blog post with your friends and family so we might get others involved.