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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid