Liberians Residing in Houston, Texas Identify With Less Fortunate And Vulnerable Citizens In Several Towns And Orphanages
MONROVIA – Ahead of the July 26 Independence Day celebration in Liberia, the United Liberian Association of Houston (ULAH), Texas has identified with less fortunate groups, including orphans and physically challenged in several towns and orphanages in Montserrado and Margibi counties.
ULAH is the umbrella organization of the Liberian community association in Houston, Texas that protects and seeks the welfare of its members and other communities in need.
The group, through its Chair on the Council of Elders Advisory Committee, Mrs. Maima Varnie, who is currently visiting Liberia, donated 322 bags of 25kg rice to needed families and orphans to have food for the July 26 celebration during the week.
The beneficiaries include: residents of Tiangaye, Jones, Billy and Gant towns in Montserrado County, FATDA Incorporated, Group of 77 in Monrovia, Orphan Concern, Gbokolleh, Gbangalloh, Kollieman towns, Children Home in Fendell/Bensonville and, Complex, Gbayah, Gayah, Kpan towns and Ocean View in Schefflien, Margibi County.
The gesture comes in the wake of severe hardship and the skyrocketing of the prices of basic commodities, including rice triggered by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Making the donation on behalf of ULAH, Mrs. Varnie disclosed that the gesture was intended to put food on the tables of the beneficiaries during this festive season.
She disclosed that the initiative is just the beginning of forging a long standing relationship between ULAH and various towns, communities and groups in Liberia.
She added that the group recognizes that “things are tough” and as such, it was prudent to identify with the needed as the country’s independence approaches during this pandemic period.
“We are here to identify with our people back home. ULAH is thinking about you back here and basically, we have some rice to deliver to you so you can be able to have something for the July 26. It was through the inspiration of the team in the USA; it’s not much, but we can’t forget where we came from”.
“We know that things are tough, but this is just the beginning; and this first gathering is like establishing a relationship. This is not going to be the last time”.
Mrs. Varnie described the gesture as a “little token” which shows that executives and members of ULAH know where they came from, and are thinking about their people back home.
“Our leaders thought it wise to do something for our people. We have not forgotten you and we will never forget you. We expect you to share with your communities”.
She, however, urged the beneficiaries to remain steadfast and prayerful to stand the test of time in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, because, difficulties persist all around the world, including the United States.
She expressed the hope that the gesture from ULAH will serve as a motivation or precedent to other Liberian associations and groups in the diaspora.
Speaking further, Mrs. Varnie disclosed that the group was established to buttress the efforts and respect one another to accomplish goals and objectives collectively.
“You don’t have to have enough before you share; we cannot cater to everyone per household, but we did an assessment to be able to help. I want this to be a challenge to other groups in the diaspora. If everybody can help, our people will get what they need. Regardless for what you have, you don’t have to forget what you came from”.
Speaking in a telephone interview from the United States, ULAH President, Mr. Varney Karnley underscored the need for Liberians residing in the diasporas to assist their countrymen who are in need during this national health crisis.
He added that whether little or more, Liberians staying in other countries should collectively work together to provide helping hands to their brothers and sisters back home.
“Diaspora Liberians need to assist their homeland in whatever way possible. Our people are in desperate need of assistance. I am so proud of ULAH, the entire funding for the distribution was given by members of the community”.
Mr. Karnley used this medium to commend members of ULAH who made contributions towards the rice distribution to orphans and needed families in Liberia.
“We have lots of projects in the pipeline for Liberia, we will implement them one by one. The next big project will be done before the end of this year” Mr. Joseph Jackson who is the Chair for the Fundraising & Investment Committee of ULAH intoned.
The committee is responsible for humanitarian initiatives intended to improve the living condition of citizens and help move Liberia forward.
For their part, the beneficiaries commended the United Liberian Association of Houston for the gesture.
They promised to ensure the distribution of the rice to various households in their towns, and provide adequate feeding for orphans and physically challenged especially during this Independence Day celebration.
“I want to say thank you for bringing this little token for us. We hope that this should not be the first and the last. We pray that you continue because it is not easy in this country. We are buying a bag of rice for almost L$4000. This donation is plenty” Daniel Wanmah, Town Chief of Jones Town stated.
He described the donation as timely in the midst of reported shortage of rice on the local market.
“This is not government rice; even though our houses were marked about three months ago. This is a free gift from our brothers and sisters in America. We will share it to each and every household” another beneficiary noted.
“On behalf of the families and community, we will continue to pray so that God can continue to shower his blessings upon all of you, and guide you. We appreciate and thank you for this gesture. You said small, but this is not small. It will go a long way in our hearts. Thank you very much and may God bless you” the Town Chief of Billy Town stated.