Poverty vs. Wealth (Part II): The Christian and Poverty

first_imgThe focus of this second article of the series on the Christian understanding and attitude towards both poverty and wealth is on poverty and its major causes. We already noted in the introductory article that our concentration in this series on material or indignant poverty. What are the common causes of poverty and why is it so wide spread around the world? What is the Christian take on the issue of poverty? Let us examine in brief in below. But first a summary of article one on background and definitions:According to research done by John Stott, there are three major categories of poverty. These categories are the indignant or economically poor, the oppressed or powerless poor, and the humble or spiritual poor.Economically speaking the indignant poor are those who lack the basic necessities of life, namely, food, shelter, clothing and basic health needs. They are sometime referred to as the destitute. We may refer to people who have more than the basic necessities of life such a television, a vehicle, a smartphone, washing machine, two or three decent meals a day and the like that make life a bit more comfortable but in comparison with the rich poor relatively. They do not have luxury goods and items in abundance as the rich have. The word poor is also employed in reference to the one deserving pity and sympathy. Like we would say, “Poor Flomo, he recently lost both his job and his wife”.The oppressed poor, sociologically and politically speaking, are those whose rights are denied because of their race, tribe, religion, political affiliation or place of residence. They may have some material comforts but have no say in the decision making of the society they belong to. The spiritually poor are those who recognize and acknowledge their need and dependence on God. They do not confide solely in their own strength or any other human strength. Jesus calls them, “blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:8). Our main concern in this series is with the materially poor.The rich on the other hand are those who have material abundance. This again is relative in relation to a particular society and depending on whom one is comparing the rich to. It is the complete opposite of the poor. They have lot of money and property and can afford the comforts of life. Rich can be used in terms of interesting and variety. “The country has a rich history and culture”.A study of Church history reveals that there has been and still is a variety of Christian views on poverty and wealth ranging from seeing material poverty as the way of the true Christian life to regarding wealth as the reward of genuine faith, from seeing poverty as a mark of true spirituality to regarding wealth as an offense or obstacle to faith. We shall explore these a bit more in subsequent articles. Suffice it to say at this stage that poverty and wealth do affect real lives and how we regard them matters very much.Poverty is pervasive. What is responsible for its widespread? From a biblical perspective all the blame for poverty can be laid at the feet of sin. And sin, by the way, is any thought, word and deed that is contrary to God’s will. One form sin can take is laziness. Proverbs has a lot of warnings against laziness. Laziness is an indirect, slow but sure way of inviting poverty on oneself. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11). Other aspects of sin are greed, drunkenness, gluttony, extravagance, mismanagement or abuse of resources, and failure to make adequate use of available resources and opportunities.Some of these sinful ways are caused by bad governance and selfish policies and practices on both national and international levels. People are denied of their rights and opportunities to better themselves. Terrible injustices work against them from the crib to the grave. Both the individual themselves and society reduce them to appalling living conditions. Conversely, individuals and society must work in concerted efforts to reduce or eradicate extreme poverty. How? The next article will make some suggestions.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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34 Graduate from LEAD Teacher Training Program

first_imgA teacher training program under the auspices of Liberia Educational Action for Development, a local NGO, on Sunday, May 18, graduated 34 trainees in the various methodologies in the teaching profession.The training program is instituted by LEAD to complement government’s strive aims at revamping the education sector. The gender-based ceremony witnessed the graduation of 19 males and 15 females. A male trainee, Ballah Gobewole took the first place followed by a female, Comfort Johnson Greenfield—a second placer and the third placer, Augustine T. Fokoe, respectively.Sunday’s graduation ceremony held at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) was the 14th Commencement Convocation of the LEAD National Teacher Training Program.LEAD Executive Director, Z. Elijah Whapoe said, the entity came into existence in November 1995 at the height of the Liberian civil war with the desire of filling in the gaps left behind by trained teachers and other educationalists within the education system of the country. Since that time, the institution has trained and graduated over 1, 129 trained ‘C’ Certificate teachers.The situation, Mr. Whapoe said created and unstoppable brain-drain at the time which seriously undermined the Ministry of Education’s (MOE’s) delivery capacity in attempt to bring about quality education in the country.“Because of increased demands, along with great enthusiasm received within the needy educational sector, LEAD has been able to make immense contributions in the area of teacher education.”Accordingly, LEAD has been operating within the guidelines set by the Division of Teacher Education, Certification Accreditation at the MOE.LEAD vision is for all, especially the needy, to have access to quality education. It desires creating an enabling environment for the needy by providing teacher training and other education-related services.The major programs include In-service and Pre-service teacher training; Functional adult literacy; School construction and renovation; Updating libraries and reading rooms, and providing scholarships for the needy.In the health and sanitation services, LEAD concentrates on family life education (reproductive health education); promotion of general/personal hygiene; dissemination of HIV/AIDs related education as well as rehabilitation of war-ravished health facilities and community latrines and wells.The institution is involves with the development of parents-teachers-students associations (PTSAs); girls’ education, civic and human rights education. It further conducts vocational skill training; build community capacities; conflict management and resolution; ethnic and value building; peace-building and trauma counseling, etc. In his keynote address earlier on the topic, “Legacy of Liberia: Staggering Education with all Kinds of Teachers,” the Assistant Minister for Teacher Education at the Ministry of Education (MOE), Moses Blonkanjay Jackson, charged the graduates to come on board to strengthen the country’s education system, which Mr. Jackson claimed resembles a limping dog.“When something is staggering, it is walking unsteadily, it is crippled and it is limping like a dog that has been hit by a speeding car and trying to move. That is how the Liberian education sector appeared to be staggering at least a decade ago, and maybe still is.”According to Assistant Minister Jackson, Liberia students have a legacy of poor performance in school subjects; in the tests administered annually by the Monrovia office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC); in university entrances; on the job when they managed by hook or crook to get employ upon the completion of their school year.He said, those who called themselves college students in the country cannot “even compose a fitting letter of application; our students cannot speak good English, and so they cannot write.”Under such conditions, Assistant Minister Jackson believes that the status of education in Liberia is lopsided and staggering; it not quality; it is discouraging, and it does not meet contemporary standards.The ceremony brought together several education stakeholders, among them, chief education officers, district education officers and other international partners.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Greenville Flood Water Rages, Destroys Streets

first_imgEach day of the week, when there it rains heavily in the port city of Greenville, residents and businesspeople encounter the menace of flooding.Many drainages are clogged with garbage having been thrown on the various streets by residents and other business entities.According to some of the Greenville residents and businesspeople, the situation has become a menace that continues to send out offensive odors, to the detriment of the residents.Many of the streets observed by reporter were littered with huge volumes of garbage that have been thrown there and not cleared for the past three weeks by staff of the Greenville City Corporation (GCC) in Sinoe County.It may be recalled that last week’s all night rainfall kept hundreds of residents indoor for long periods and their business centers were surrounded by both animal and human feces from the clogged drainages in Greenville City.   As a result of the extensive downpour rains last week, Liberia National Red Cross Society, Sinoe County branch,  handed out some drainage tools to open of the biggest drainages in Greenville City, Sinoe County.Several citizens and residents told the Daily Observer last week said that they want the clogged drainages to be given top priority in terms of rehabilitation and reconstruction in Greenville City.Business owners, especially foreign business entities, have also underscored the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the clogged and age-old drainages in Greenville City, Sinoe County.They also expressed outrage over the slow pace of rehabilitation works on the clogged drainages and other critical spots that continue to pose serious threats to lives and moving objects in Greenville City, Sinoe County.The Greenville City’s business owners also explained that most of the water flowing through some of half- rehabilitated drainages contained human and animal feces that pose health and environmental hazards.The Greenville’s businessmen and women also expressed grave concern over the deplorable conditions of the clogged drainages and called on the GCC’s Sanitation and Environmental Department to take swift steps to remedy the situation.“We are indeed being exposed to lots of health, sanitation and environmental hazards that call for the urgent attention of the GCC’s Sanitation and Environmental staff and employees in Greenville City,” auto-spare-parts dealer Davidson Tugbeh stressed.“Our city Greenville, founded 1838 by the pioneers of Liberia, should be given an extensive attention by the central administration of Sinoe County in order to restore its prewar dignity, Mr. Tugbeh emphasized.“Sadly, the flood water is  slowly and systematically destroying and damaging our concrete streets in Greenville City,” Mr. Tugbeh concluded.For her part, used clothes dealer Madam Patricia Nimely told the Daily Observer that at the front of her business entity, the sanitation crisis has reached its highest peak with hundreds of flies invading her provision shop in Greenville City.“I’m out for more hardship and suffering from now to the end of October as the rains continue to destroy my goods and hamper my children’s progress in Greenville City,” Madam Nimely lamented.In a brief statement, a Greenville’s pineapple and orange wholesale dealer,  Madam Susan Randolph Kun,  pointed out that the flooding in the city in recent times was worrisome and needs  immediate intervention of the GCC’s staff and employees.She added the extensive flooding has affected the sale  of pineapple and oranges to her regular customers and the general public in Greenville.Meanwhile, as the rains intensify at the port city of Greenville, business entities’ owners and residents have sounded an urgent SOS appeal to all well meaning Liberians and non-governmental organizations to help clean the clogged drainages.When contacted for comments on residents and business people’s claims, GCC’s staff and employees told the Daily Observer that lack of critical sanitation equipment has impeded the cleaning of the clogged drainages in Greenville City.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Press Union of Liberia 50th Anniversary Statement

first_imgEsteemed Members of the Press Union of LiberiaVeteran members of the Press Union of LiberiaSurviving Organizers of the Press Union of LiberiaCompatriots in the march for a better LiberiaMy fellow citizensLadies and GentlemenToday had promised to be a very exciting date on the calendar of the Press Union of Liberia – 50 years on the struggle to ensure a free and responsible media landscape – 50 years of standing up to power, demanding and insisting upon the right to freely express ourselves, in so far as this expression was not tearing down bridges and creating division.Unfortunately, the difficult and cruel army of the ebola virus disease has restricted our desire to celebrate this day, given the wily disruption it has posed in our country and the sub-region.Further on the account of the ebola situation, all aspects of Liberian life have gradually ground to a halt. Schools are no longer open – children are lazying home; non-essential staff – whether from government service, NGOs, factories or other work places – have been ordered to stay away from work; Hospitals are operating at less than a quarter of their potentials, restoring such previously ignored diseases as mainline killers. In other instances, basic health services no longer run, and people are living until they die. Now in our country, the most significant activity that keeps working is the search for food – to survive.In the few instances where some work is going on, the preoccupation is on addressing the ebola situation. Today, every newspaper story has an ebola angle and every development grant is now directed at ebola.Now, given the gravity of the ebola situation and the risks involved with holding a normal celebration, the Press Union of Liberia has dedicated the observance of its 50th Anniversary to a nationwide Media Ebola Awareness Day.While we are joining the rest of the people of Liberia in talking about the gravity of the ebola situation, we also like to pay tribute to the men and women who, on this day in 1964, set forth the challenge to organize a body to protect the rights of journalists in this country, coordinate space for a free, independent and impartial media in Liberia, and at the same time chart their role in the development of the Liberian state, especially towards ensuring freedom of speech, the actualization of democracy and ensuring a guarantee of freedom, justice, equality and development in our country.The task set forth by those our compatriots have today bloomed into a most respectable organization – which cannot be ignored in anything good that has come out of Liberia.While our notes will continuously refer to E. Reginald Townsend, Henry B. Cole, Chauncey Cooper, Aston King and J. Persey Gumel, I nonetheless like to reference Tuan Wreh, who would go on to become a professor of law, but especially because he has provided for Liberian journalism students one academic text that provides a clearer idea of what journalism was in the days the Press Union of Liberia was organized. I also noted the longevity of James E Dennis, who has survived his contemporaries, and has given us the opportunity to think of the men who led the struggle.I also like to recognize Kenneth Y. Best, who has remained in the newsroom, even at the ripe age of 75.I wouldn’t forget T Nelson Williams, Sr., who led the organization of the Department of Mass Communications at the University of Liberia, providing for once an opportunity for Liberian journalists to gain academic qualifications here at home.But among all, our hero remains Stanton A. Peabody, who had the audacity to describe members of the House of Representatives in the best disposition of his thoughts, risking contempt and jail, raising the conviction of Liberian journalists to hold together and resist intolerance and alarm that speech must for once be free, especially within the realm of public service.Regrettably, despite a revolutionary coup in 1980, a new democracy-based constitution in 1985, despite ravaging wars that reorganized the entire state in 1990 and again in 2003, the very contempt of 1964 remains ridiculously unclarified in 2014.This simply says that the purpose of the Press Union of Liberia is just as relevant today (perhaps more) as it was 50 years ago.Across these years, the work of the Liberian media – now away from just newspapers and radio as in 1964 – has become even more challenged.The rights to freely speak, think and write – as guaranteed by the constitution have often been suppressed by various methods. At one point it was fancy to lock journalists up. As sensitivity grew and there is now the resort to court of laws to prevent that, other measures grew. Those have included shutting down, burning and in some instances torture and death.In more recent years, printing establishments were warned against printing certain papers, and as more papers have metamorphosed to owning printing presses, multiple, crime-based lawsuits are cropping up, with intent to shut down media houses.In still other cases, media houses have been shut down on claims of hate crimes, and at times just short of seditionIn all of these, our observation is that governments – in and out – have simply not come to grips with the reality that none can stop others from disagreeing in words, unless they have the capacity to stop others from thinking. Because the latter is impossible, efforts to prevent people from disagreeing is but a failed venture that only contributes to the evolution of conflict in our society.Ladies and Gentlemen:Given that we have dedicated our 50th Anniversary to the fight against ebola, we are keen not to get involved with rhetoric that will take over the recognition we are giving to the fight. Nonetheless, it is fair to note that the fight against ebola can only succeed when the various parties are confident that we are all in it together. That means, principles are standard and do not sway from case to case.We have a situation here, where all ebola deaths are buried en masse, and then burnt. Note is taken of the Ugandan Doctor from Redemption Hospital and the Catholic Priest. In the future – perhaps with better knowledge – some deaths are allowed special burial rites.At one point, all unexplained deaths will be treated as ebola deaths. A lot of loved ones were allowed to be carried away by a burial, then a burning team. At some point, the ratio changed, and the death certificates began. With deaths extending into the families of lost ones, an alarm has sounded.While crying aloud about denial and traditional practices, and telling all relatives and friends to accept the ebola reality, a new row has come forth when deaths in high quarters are cited to be ebola.There must be one standard that will instead get appreciation from all. Otherwise, those who have also doubted the circumstances of ebola in the first place will always have reason to maintain their doubts.On the other hand, the ebola situation has brought more challenge to the role of the media in reporting occurrences in our society. The state of emergency and yet unexplained restrictions introduces a tricky situation for a battle that must be fought inclusively. While media has pledged to work along in providing public education, the yet unknown keeps media in a position of fear, not sure of what happens next.In all of these, the Press Union has become a victim, observing 50 years of existence with a closure of a fearless newspaper outside of due process. As difficult as we find this, we still look forward in confidence to a High Court ruling on a number of constitutional issues that will effectively open up the space for freedom and justice for journalists and others in the wider Liberian society.So, as we arrange the 50th anniversary, our admonition is for journalists to strengthen their drive into making their journalism one that tells the entire Liberian story in a factual and inclusive manner. Our admonition is for journalists to take the greater responsibility of making their journalism enviable, stepping up to the challenge to ensure opportunities for all.On the other hand, after 50 years, and after a number of transformation in Liberia, it is time that the government – including the legislature, the judiciary and of course the executive – take additional efforts to tolerate dissent and disagreement. This is the purpose of journalism, and of democracy and human rights. Appreciation of free expression is more of the issues and expressions that one find especially offensive. The wider the diversity in our thought and speech, the better we can work together to find a common ground.We will continue working to improve the quality of journalism in Liberia; We will continue with our self-regulatory mechanism to show greater accountability by Liberian journalists to their audience, but we demand that going beyond fifty years – there must be increased opportunities to make journalism the pivot of our democracy, our governance system and stretching out accountability in Liberian society.Our disagreement with journalists should not be expressed through the power we wield, to the extent of violating rights and ignoring guarantees of freedom and accountability.Thank You!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Banks Committed to Fighting Ebola

first_imgThe Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) has assured the public of the banks’ commitment to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.LBA president John B. S. Davies, III gave the assurance on Wednesday, September 10, when he appeared on ELBC Radio morning show. “The banking sector has been very supportive of the fight against Ebola. The sector has provided  both financial and logistical support to the government amounting to over US$250,000. Individual banks are also supporting awareness campaigns at our various branches and communities,” Davies said. The LBA boss noted that banks didn’t budget spending on the Ebola crisis, but individual banks had to readjust their budgets to deal with the challenges brought on as a result of the Ebola outbreak.Mr. Davies, who is also president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), also disclosed that banks are still providing full-time services to clients. “All services are operational at banks even though the Ebola crisis has brought its own unique challenges that we are dealing with daily as an industry and as  individual banks,” he said. According to him, remittances are still flowing, except for the extractive industry which, he said, is largely affected by the Ebola outbreak.Mr. Davies assured the public that the banking sector, as a critical symbol of hope, is the last place to show fear. Our business desk confirmed contractors for a number of concession companies in the extractive and agriculture industries have declared force majeure and left the country out of fear of contracting the Ebola virus and this has affected their relationship with banks. Touching on LBDI’s individual contribution to the fight against Ebola as a bank, the CEO recalled that the Bank had  contributed US$10,000 to the government of Liberia’s Ebola Trust Fund (ETF) and made available US$1,500 goodwill support, to Montserrado County District #13 Rep. Saah Joseph to fuel his ambulances that are being used to transport Ebola patients to various treatment centers in Monrovia. “We also contributed to the US$9,000 that was provided to the Ebola Trust Fund by the LBA as its contribution to fight the virus,” Davies added. He declared that LBDI is also providing free banking services to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for all Ebola-related accounts the Ministry has at LBDI. “Apart from this  critical intervention, we are providing full-scale financial services to Mano Manufacturing Company to produce bleaches and detergents to combat Ebola in Liberia.LBDI Support to Mano Manufacturing Mano Manufacturing Company, the manufacturer of made-in-Liberia chloral, alcohol and other bleaches and other products, such as candles and matches, amongst others, is mostly financed by LBDI. “This company,” Mr. Davies declared, “is also supplying bleaches and detergent to Guinea and Sierra Leone to fight Ebola.” The prices of bleach products have more than doubled in Monrovia, propelled by huge demand as most households, business centers, offices and healthcare centers are using them for cleaning up and hand washing purposes, a method the World Health Organization (WHO) says can help to break in transmission of the deadly Ebola virus.Consumers are meanwhile concerned about the hike in the prices of locally produced  bleach products, with some appealing to the company to produce enough to meet with the rising demand on the market. Banks are still providing loans to certain clients, said Mr. Davies, but he was quick to add that said loans were being disbursed on a case by case basis. “Banks are still lending, but we take every loan situation on a case by case,” he said, noting  that banks are still financing construction and some sectors of the economy that are not badly hit by the Ebola virus outbreak. He intoned that the government of Liberia’s economic management team (EMT), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group and other stakeholders are studying the lending strategy for banks for a possible review.Davies noted that a review of the lending strategy was critical to enhancing macroeconomic stability and growth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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12 Political Parties Support December 16 Election

first_imgAmid the ongoing debate about whether or not to hold the special senatorial election come December 16, a majority of the political parties has pledged support to the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the election to be held as scheduled.During a press conference held at the NEC headquarters in Monrovia, Cllr. Joseph K. Jallah, read the position statement on behalf of the twelve political parties wanting the elections to go ahead. He said the group twelve had no part in what he described as “the unwarranted and unjustified action” by the Movement for Progress Change (MPC), National Democratic Coalition (NDC) and Blamo Nelson and others referring to themselves as “Eminent Citizens.“We cannot reverse the democratic process.  All political parties, including NDC and MPC participated fully in the consultations leading to the new date for holding elections.  The petition does not therefore represent the view of the majority of registered political parties,” Cllr. Jallah argued. Cllr. Jallah said, in voicing the genuine wishes of the critical mass of the Liberian people, the Supreme Court needs to expeditiously dispose of the matter pending before it.   He urged the Supreme Court to listen to the voice of the majority of political parties and the citizenry of Liberia.“Moreover, we caution the highest court in the land against what seems to be an attempt by some unprepared individuals, the MPC and the NDC, to drag the Supreme Court into what could be construed as interference with functions that the 1986 constitution of Liberia has rightly assigned to the Executive and legislative branches of Government.”The statement by the group of 12 also called on all political party leaders, the rank and file, foot soldiers of all political parties and citizens en masse to assemble on the grounds of the Temple of Justice today at 8am.The statement also denied the petitioners’ reference using the outbreak of the Ebola virus as a justification for cancelling the Special Senatorial Elections as “illogical and baseless at this time”.It emphasized that the twelve parties are of the firm conviction that holding of the special senatorial elections will prevent an even bigger constitutional crisis when the tenures of 15 senators expire in January 2015.The statement reminded the public that the various political parties participated in all of the consultations during which the vast majority of the parties and civil society organizations agreed for the special senatorial elections to be conducted on December 16, 2014 in order to save the democratic process.“We see no rationale for a national conference when, the people have spoken through their representatives in the legislature. Their voice was echoed loudly through a Joint Resolution of the legislature mandating the National Elections Commission to conduct the Special Senatorial Election on December 16 this year.”Cllr. Jallah argued that the lifting of the State of Emergency, which had prevented the holding of the elections on October 14, 2014, is sufficient proof that the atmosphere does exist now for holding the delayed elections.The Lofa Senatorial aspirant said, “Facts available to us suggest that this process can be conducted with adherence to the safety measures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW) and other international partners to prevent the spread of the disease.“According to him, the undersigned political parties are committed to adhering to all of the Ebola prevention measures instituted by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its international partners.Witnessing the conference were, Unity Party, Wilmot Paye, National Patriotic Party, Andrew Peters, Congress for Democratic Change, Nathaniel Mcgill, Alternative National Congress, O. Gould, Liberty Party, All Liberia Coalition Party of Liberia (ALCOP) and People’s Unification Party (PUP) among others.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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D. Webster Urey V Dies – Former Assistant Minister of National Security, R.L.

first_imgThe death is announced of Mr. D. Webster Urey the Fifth (V),   which sad event occurred at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America on Thursday, November 20, 2014, following a brief illness.  He was 66. Following his graduation from Cuttington University College (now University), D. Webster V  commenced his professional career as Director of the Afro-Asian Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He was later appointed Assistant Minister in the Ministry of National Security in the Executive Mansion.Following the 1980 coup d’etat, he served as Assistant Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Liberia and as principal of Todee Presbyterian Mission.Webster later traveled to the USA where he lived for a number of years.  According to his younger brother, Mr. Benoni Urey, Webster returned home three years ago.Mr. D. Webster Urey the Fifth was born on January 25, 1948, the second of 11 children born to the union of Mr. D. Webster Urey the Fourth (IV) and his wife Mrs. Emma Boyce Urey.D. Webster V attended the Careysburg Public School, B.W. Harris Episcopal School and Lott Carey Baptist Mission where he graduated from high school.  He later matriculated to Cuttington University College, where he graduated in Political Science.He wedded Ms. Teplar Tumu Urey and this union was blessed with a daughter, Emma Sophie Urey.  This marriage having ended in divorce, D. Webster V entered into holy wedlock with Ms. Shirley Urey which union was blessed with a daughter, Danielle Urey.Mr. D. Webster V was also blessed with a son, Fongbana  Urey.Survivors include several children, including a son,  Fongbana; six daughters,  Emma, Patience, Elaine, Danielle, Darmain, Daria; a sister Mrs. Abigail Urey Ngara;   several brothers, Calvin (Dedosta), Emmanuel, Edwin (Kumba), Benoni (Mai),   Ernest, Oral (Fatu) and Evann (Barkari); and many other relatives.       The funeral service will take place in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA on December 6, 2014.  Shortly thereafter the body of Mr. D. Webster Urey V  will be flown to Liberia where the final funeral rites will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Careysburg, at a date to be announced.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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GOL Gets $5M for Decentralization

first_imgThe government of Liberia has received US$5 million from the Swedish government for support to Liberia’s Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) for 2016 and 2017.The amount was announced at a signing ceremony on Wednesday, December 9, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which along with the Governance Commission (GC) manages the nation’s decentralization program.Included in Liberia’s decentralization program is a plan to bring public services closer to the people. People’s participation in some forms is an essential part of a successful decentralization process. After the signing ceremony, the Ambassador of Sweden, Lena Nordström, underlined the importance of bringing the public services closer to the people: “The passing of the Local Government Bill is another important milestone to develop democratic and inclusive governance in Liberia.” She disclosed that her country’s embassy is the second largest bilateral embassy in country. “Sweden and Liberia’s ties have been broadened, and today they include both political, commercial and development cooperation relations,” she added.The Swedish diplomat named security, peace and rule of law, governance and public institutions and economic transformation as areas of concern for their support to the government and people of Liberia. She also stated that their focus is on women’s empowerment and gender equality.“Sweden supports the building of feeder roads; developing markets for smallholder agriculture businesses; supports the Ministry of Gender through the UN Women in the fight against rape and sexual and gender-based violence; the Liberia National Police to improve its investigative capacity,” she added.Amb. Nordström stated that Sweden is also providing support to the Justice and Security Trust Fund, the Public Financial Management Reform – to manage public funds effectively – and the Civil Service Reform, among others. “In summary, the bilateral relations between Sweden and Liberia are long and strong,” she emphasized.The Swedish Ambassador praised the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led administration for “showing leadership” in the drive to decentralization. “Sweden will continue to be a partner to Liberia when you continue to strengthen peace and build a more inclusive society where all parts of the country can and will prosper,” Amb. Nordström promised. Representing the Liberian government, Acting Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, promised the government’s full commitment to taking public services closer to the people. He thanked the Embassy of Sweden and other partners of the government for supporting development initiatives of the people of Liberia. Also representing the government were the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Governance Commission (GC). The Liberian government has said that the participation of communities is needed to enhance the effective use of public funds and the resilience of the Liberian society. According to the UNDP, which will be the custodian of the US$5million, “People’s participation will empower the communities themselves – women, men, girls and boys – to take leadership of the local development and contribute to national development with the full human potential.” The LDSP is aimed at the development of a responsive, capable and accountable county administration for effective and equitable service delivery in counties. According to the government, it supports the implementation of the National Decentralization Platform of 2015 in cooperation with all involved ministries and government agencies.The UNDP further stated that the envisaged partnership between the government and the people can increase people’s confidence and the trust in state institutions, and vice versa. “This is needed for sustainable and peaceful development in Liberia in the coming years.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Chinese Medical Team Takes Service to Community

first_imgThe Chinese Medical Team working with the John F. Kennedy Medical Center has begun reaching out to communities in Monrovia with its services.Dr. Sun Lijuan, head of the team, told the Daily Observer Saturday in the Rock Crushing Community in Congo Town that they decided to reach out to communities to help those who are poor and unable to seek medical services at local clinics.She said the agreement between the Liberian and Chinese governments does not set a barrier between the haves and have-nots, and therefore they are under obligation to reach out to those who are poor and cannot access medical facilities.She said the team will reach out to communities in Monrovia and may extend to other parts of Montserrado County and surroundings, if time permits.Dr. Sun said the team liaised with community leaders to select the needy and 40 men, women and children, were identified for assistance.Among the conditions the Chinese Medical Team is treating are high blood pressure, diabetes, and malaria.The Team is accompanied by three Liberian medical personnel.In separate interviews, the head of the China-Liberia Friendship organization, Siafa G. Sheriff, said organization’s impact on Liberians has over the years been tremendous.Mr. Sheriff said the community outreach is one of the many accomplishments of the Chinese in Liberia, adding “that the current initiative is a way of reaching the common people in order for them “to directly feel the impact.”He said such a gesture is commendable because people do not have to spend money except to get to the center where the services are being rendered.The community chairperson, Krangar J. Diggs, lauded the Chinese Medical Team and said the process that leads to the selection of patients is transparent.Mr. Diggs said most of the patients who cannot afford treatment were treated, and they are grateful to the team for helping Liberians.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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