News / Africa

Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africai
X
Carol Pearson
August 27, 2014 11:35 PM
Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Carol Pearson

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history.  On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the U.S. are doing the same.  

If you walk down Mills Avenue in the nation's capital, you will see a sign on a front lawn that reads, "Help Action Africa. Send supplies to Sierra Leone.” Inside the house, box after box is filled with latex gloves and chlorine bleach, disinfecting wipes, crayons and notebooks for children. All are being sent to Sierra Leone to help in the effort to end the Ebola crisis.

Chris Egbulem, the founder and director of Action Africa, organized the effort. Even though he has lived in the U.S. for years, he hasn't forgotten his past. "I was born on the African continent," he says, "and I continue to remain connected with the people on the mother continent."

Egbulem also helps ordinary Americans connect with countries fighting Ebola. A Lutheran church in the nearby city of Baltimore donated metal school desks to replace the wooden ones contaminated by students suffering from the disease.

Churches raised money to ship the goods. The shipping company scaled back its fee. Egbulem said Americans without connections to Africa contributed as well. "They brought supplies. We have people from Virginia, from far away Maryland. People have responded very powerfully."

The container that Action Africa sent from the port of Baltimore in late August is due to arrive in Sierra Leone in early September. The organization also is sending another shipment of medical supplies to Nigeria.

"We have a group of 25 hospitals that are going to be working with those supplies," Egbulem told VOA, "and most of it too is more at the preventive level, to make sure the kind of outbreak that we see in Liberia and Sierra Leone, doesn’t get to that level in Nigeria."

In another part of the U.S., another immigrant from Africa is getting help from his community to assist those in need. Eric Wowoh came to the U.S. as a refugee from Liberia. He has since settled in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he founded Change Action Network, an organization that normally builds schools and provides classroom supplies for Liberian children.

Since the Ebola outbreak in his home country, Wowoh started collecting medical supplies and bottles of chlorine bleach. The World Health Organization recommends that people wash their hands in water that contains chlorine before they enter a building, including their homes. Wowoh explains how a bottle of bleach can help in the fight against Ebola. "This could save a whole household of people against the spread of Ebola," he says. "In Liberia, one of these would be $10, which most families cannot afford. They live on less than a dollar a day."    

Americans also are donating soap, water, medical gloves, protective glasses and other supplies that health care workers treating Ebola patients need. Wowoh says, "The people in this area may not be able to go directly to Liberia, but they can do something to help in the process."

Wowoh says these simple donations will help save hundreds of thousands of people. He says his organization's first medical supplies shipment to Liberia will be sent in early September. His plan is to send a shipment with food and medical supplies every month until the deadly Ebola virus is brought under control.

 

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

update Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs