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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs