Liberia: Three Teenage Girls Voluntarily Get Involved in Combating Covid-19
Monrovia – As the fight to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease in Liberia intensifies, three teenagers, under the banner “Girls Ending Covid-19”, have voluntarily began carrying on awareness in seven communities within Du Port Road area in Paynesville.
By Mae Azango, [email protected]
Michelle Gwaikolo 17 (founder), Kate S. Faraj 15 (co-founder), and Kormassa Vankpannah 17 (co-founder), told FrontPageAfrica recently that they had spoken with Liberians residing in Cowfield Last Junction, Shara, Mickie Gray, Duport Road Market Communities, etc. According to them, they have reached over 40 homes, entertainment centers, intellectual centers, among others.
“We are using the government-mandated school break to join the global effort to combat the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. Knowing that Liberia has three confirmed cases does not give us peace; we are working to stop the spread,” Ms. Gwaikolo said.
She said they founded #GirlsEndingCovid-19 to educate people about the danger of the virus, its symptoms, mode of transmission and prevention.
Ms. Gwaikolo further told this newspaper that residents of most homes jokingly told them that they should have backed their awareness with handling out handwashing buckets and other sanitary items.
“We have had one-on-one interactions with people in homes, at entertainment and intellectual centers, as well. Few persons have criticized us for carrying out awareness without donating buckets, gloves and masks. While we appreciate their concerns and criticisms, we pay more attention to the majority who appreciate our effort. That alone motivates us to continue doing what we are doing,” said the 17-year-old Ms. Gwaikolo.
Michelle is a freshman student, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry, at the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences. She intends to pursue a career in Cardiology. Kate S. Faraj is an 11th grader of the Haywood Mission Institute on the Old Road. She hopes to become a Neurosurgeon. Kormassa Vankpannah is a freshman student at the Adventist University of West Africa. Ms. Vankpannah wishes to become a Pediatrician.
They have now began their future careers’ roles in helping to safeguard the community during this critical time.
Ms. Faraj told this newspaper that they do take all the preventive measure seriously as they go about their awareness campaign.
“We are always cautious and concerned about our health first. Our parents are concerned, too. They remain sources of advice, courage and motivation to us. We usually wear masks and gloves, because we are engaging people from different backgrounds. Since we do not know the statuses of the people we interact with, we try as much as possible to stay at least six feet away from them. Observing social distancing is one thing we do, too.
“We do not sit while carrying out the awareness and we avoid touching objects, too. We also wash our hands regularly and properly most times, at the places we stand to speak with people, so as to clearly demonstrate the right way people should wash their hands,” said Faraj.
While Ms. Kormassa Vankpannah stated that in addition to their verbal campaign, they want to donate buckets, masks, gloves and other items to the homes and people they meet. But they lack the resources to do so.
Co-founder Vankpannah further stated that while they wait for sponsorship from organizations and the Government of Liberia, they will continually carryout their awareness.
Mr. Melchizedek S.P. Dologbay, who serves as mentor and photographer for the girls, follow them throughout. He had to follow in order to ensure that they are safe because they had complained of some people trying to take advantage of them.
“I accompany them, in order to protect them from harm and danger,” said Dologbay.
Cowfield Community Chairman Alex Z. Momo appreciated the girls for their campaign, which he said opened his understanding of the virus.
Mr. Momo expressed his community’s willingness to work with them to battle the virus. Anyone who wants to contribute to the girls’ cause can reach them at +231776239186 | +231886373522 | +231778827555 or at [email protected]