Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – The founder of the Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation (ATDMF), Mrs. Saya Doe Sio, along with her husband, Francis K. Sio, a board member and a guest was joined by four white American Christian missionaries, who showed the love of Jesus Christ to kids in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, by washing their feet with clean water as Christ did in the Bible to his disciples.
After washing each of the 220 children’s feet with soap and water, which had been mixed with a liquid detergent, the Sios and their guests, including Lynn and Carmen Carter (husband and wife), Gene and Sue Clary (husband and wife) and board member Ruth Doe-Reeves, slipped on the pupils’ feet new pairs of the specially-made anti-microbial shoes.
According to Francis, director of strategy and finance of the ATDMF, the shoes were donated to his wife’s foundation by Samaritan’s Feet, a US-based Christian organization, which brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“These shoes are not to be worn with socks. They are specially-made and coated with an anti-microbial that fights against and heals fungus between the toes and ground itches (athlete’s foot),” he informed everyone who was cleaning the kids’ feet to tell the children as they wash their feet.
According to our reporter, in that part of Liberia and around this time of the year, most kids and some older folks’ feet get infested with a little bug, locally known as geeka.
This causes inflammation of the affected toes and mad itches. If much care is not taken, the resulting sores may get infected with other harmful bacteria and could lead to deformation of those toes and nails like being stunted.
Speaking to this newspaper after their interaction with the children, Mrs. Carmen Carter, who spoke on behalf of she and her friends, said they had come actually to see the Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation School, which they have been supporting and to also visit with the children.
Giving her impression about what they had witnessed on Friday, March 23, in Buchanan City, she stated: “I am feeling very overwhelmed. I am also sad that we had to leave the kids. It was very tearful. Our 10 days have been too short a trip.”
Carmen, her husband Lynn, Gene and his wife, Sue, bonded with the kids immediately when they washed their feet.
As they poured water over the children’s feet, they told them that Jesus loves and cares about them. These missionaries also offered prayer for the kids to grow up knowing Jesus and the power of His resurrection.
While they are among Christians from the First Reformed Church in North Carolina, USA, sponsoring the Sios’ efforts in Liberia, the Carters are directly responsible for two kids — Thomas and Josephine — Carmen’s mother also sponsors two and the Clarys are sponsoring one directly, too. She also disclosed that their Church’s Sunday school also sponsors two.
She and her husband said that from what they had seen in Liberia, much needs to be done to touch the lives of many kids.
“As of now, we are going to be campaigning for more people to come in and sponsor more kids."
"We will make a presentation to the church. I have videoed the whole thing; I will share it with the congregation hopefully that will touch more hearts, to support the children,” Lynn said in buttressing his wife.
They admitted that from what they had seen so far, their money is being spent for the right purposes.
They also found time to give their general impression about Liberia as a country and what they had seen over the last 10 days. Their visit to Liberia was their first to Africa.
Carmen: “It’s a beautiful country; it’s got beautiful sceneries. There is just so much poverty everywhere and we understand that a lot of it has to do with the government. The judicial scale is way lopsided. "
"You have got the government up here and the poor down here. I noticed that there is now a new President, who comes from where a lot of the people are from, and they voted him in. I just hope that they stand behind him because it’s going to take a lot longer to turn this around.”
“We think that education I mean Christian Education is the key to make this turn-around happens more quickly and successfully,” Lynn chipped in to support Carmen.
One lasting memory of how wide spread poverty is and for seeing people living in filth for the first time will be their visit to a community in Monrovia called West Point."
"It’s a situated on a narrow piece of land along the Atlantic Ocean. It is cramped with corrugated make-shift houses with more than 100,000 inhabitants all jostling for space to survive.
Ironically, it is just a few feet away from the diplomatic enclave, which contains the US Embassy and buildings housing UN offices and the EU Compound.
About Annie Doe Foundation
The ATDMF’s mission provides free primary Christian Education, women's empowerment opportunities and basic healthcare services to underserved communities in Liberia.
“Every child deserves the right to a sound education. Our goal is to stop the epidemic of high illiteracy rate among children in marginalized communities by providing free primary Christian education to over 200 young Liberians from pre K through 6th grade,” Mrs. Sio stated.