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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs