Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice Report 2015

REPORT OF THE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, PEACE WITH JUSTICE PROGRAM, LIBERIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH-2014-2015

Respectfully Submitted: Pade Mietakor Kialen, Coordinating Office, Grassroots    Organizing, Liberia United Methodist Church

15 May, 2015

Introduction

The United Methodist Church in Liberia has a Peace With Justice Program, otherwise known as the Human Rights Monitor, which provides advocacy related to various human rights issues and situations in the country. Less than a year ago, the Human Rights Monitor officially established Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice under the auspices of the General Board of Church and society (GBCS) of the United Methodist Church. In collaboration with District Superintendents in the Liberia Conference, three (mostly young) people were selected from each of five districts including Cape Palmas, Gbarnga, Grand Bassa, Kakata/Farmington River and St. Paul River) to spearhead and coordinate the Grassroots Organizing activities in their respective districts. The contents of this report explain some progress and impacts by the Grassroots Organizers for Social Justice submitted by district coordinators of Grassroots Organizing in Liberia through briefings during periodic gatherings. They also reflect the supervisory efforts of the Peace With Justice Program leadership, and fund received from the GBCS and expended for ensuring a successful Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice in Liberia through the Liberia United Methodist Church.

*INCLUSIVE IMPACTS BY, WITH AND THROUGH THE HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR’S NATIONAL LEADERHIP INITIATIVES AND SUPERVISION:

The Human Rights Monitor’s  organized Social Justice organizers on the grassroots level in Liberia, under the auspices of the department, have been practically instrumental in the tracking of social justices cases including, but not limited to human rights violations, Sexual/Gender Based Violence, Domestic Violence, especially  Against Women and Children; as well as the hard  fight against the deadly Ebola virus that plagued Liberia in 2014-2015.

They were, under the guidance of the Peace With Justice Department, enormously engaged in mobilization, Ebola and social justice awareness; contact tracing, civic education and the distributions of food, PPEs and used clothing provided by and through the Peace With Justice department of the Liberia United Methodist Church, in Ebola affected communities and quarantined homes in especially Montserrado, Bassa, Bong, Lofa, and Margibi counties.

 The Grassroots Organizers’ (GRO) enviable participation in these worthwhile national undertakings added immensely to efforts of others, leading to some progress in the social justice well being in some parts of the country; and Liberia being declared an Ebola-free Country.

With these involvements enabled through their capacity building through the Conference United Methodist Peace With Justice/Human Rights Monitor’s leadership, two Centers were established in conjunction with Alpha-Liberia, an affiliate faith-based organization. The Centers are the Department’s own share of the wholesome contribution to filling the vast needs resulting from the invading Ebola Pandemic.  First, a Feeding Center was established at the worst Ebola-hit community of West Point near Monrovia, Montserrado County. The Center caters to some 500 beneficiaries, including, but not limited to Ebola victims, residents of the community who cannot afford a day’s meal, including street children, moms, and pregnant women.

Second, with burning passion of the leadership of the Peace With Justice Department, and  involvement of the Grassroots Organizers, the Gorlu Care Center was established to ensure the well being of Ebola-Orphans in the Lofa River District of the United Methodist Church in Lofa County where the Ebola virus first hit, and was also at peak. 

The Gorlue Care Center caters to almost 60 beneficiaries (Orphans).  Because of the symbolic and strategic nature of this Care Center, it has been selected as venue for the 2015 Peace With Justice celebration week.  Some Coordinators of the Grassroots Organizers of Social Justice are expected to join with the staff of the Peace With Justice head office to add a new meaning to Peace With Justice Celebration in the Conference, by carrying out cleaning up,  painting, and other activities  in the vicinity of, and on a recently  constructed building itself at the  Gorlue Care Center solely geared to meeting the sheltering and comfort needs of these Ebola affected kids.

More to it, the Human Rights Monitor is continuing to cater to these centers and Ebola affected young people by ways of ensuring the provisions of key supplies and daily feeding and necessities, including education, health, etc.  with the Gorlue Care Center in Lofa hugging a lion-share.  Funding for daily operations of the Centers is the results of enormous efforts and influence of Mr. Jefferson B. Knight, Program Director of the Human Rights Monitor, on Donors.

It is hope-lifting that the Grassroots Organizers for Social Justice established less than a year ago through the Peace With Justice program of the Liberia United Methodist Church, with the sponsorship of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) are becoming an intentional breed of fulfilling justice watchdogs in their districts, communities and the Country at large.

In view of the foregoing, this report will include some details of these and highlights of some impacts the Grassroots Organizers are making in their districts and communities since their emergence under the guidance of the Human Rights Monitor of the Liberia United Methodist Church, and with the sponsorship of the General Board of church and Society. PLEASE NOTE: Because of the intent of this report, largely contents of each briefing session more relevant to the purpose of the report were selected and herein included.

December 2014 Meeting of Coordinators of Grassroots Organizers of Social Justice/Peace With Justice of the Liberia United Methodist Church Held at the LYWI’s Office on 15th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia:

After breakfast and other pre-activities of the December 2014 gathering of Coordinators of Grassroots Organizers of Social Justice in Liberia, Human Rights Monitor’s Program Director of the Liberia Area, Mr. Jefferson B. Knight, as part of the training needed to equip social justice workers with in the Liberia Annual Conference, introduced the SWOT ANALYSIS to district coordinators of the Grassroots Organizers.  After Jeff’s presentation and other key considerations at the December 2014 briefing, the District Coordinators were formed into working groups to apply the SWOT ANALYSIS to their respective districts so as to provide a clear sense of direction and understanding of their grassroots organizing efforts. The following indicate how some of the district coordinators caught the insights of the SWOT ANALYSIS and applied it.

THE SWOT Analysis – Grass Root Organizers

  1. a.     ST .Paul River District

Strength

  • Our strengths are: Passion, mobilization, abilities and influential supports.

Weakness

  • Our weakness is there is not yet a formal endorsement of the organization on our District conference level.

Opportunity:

  • Our opportunities: our like minds, passionate people, influential people, Supportive people; and Departments and agencies.

Threats:    Distances, communication, and bad road conditions.

  1. b.    Bong County Branch, Grassroots Organizers

Plan:

  • Workshop (3) times within the year.
  • Monitor courts, police, and the prison compound.
  • Tracking Ebola orphans, and creating awareness within the three Districts in Bong County.
  • Establish human Rights/Grassroots Organizers school clubs with in the three Districts.
  • Work with the District superintendents in the three Districts to appoint coordinators of the peace with justice program.
  • Advocate for the Provision of safe drinking water for local churches.

Strength/Opportunity

  • People who are willing to work.
  • Mobilization
  • Good working relationship with head office.

Threats

  • The lack of reliable means of Transportation

Fear/weaknesses

  • Most persons trained and capable are not available or willing to work.
  • Lack of District support

 

  1. c.     Grand Bassa District

 Plan:

  • Rebuilding team (Monitor Network)
  • First workshop in the district-TBA
  • Organize Grassroots Organizers Boys and Girls clubs in various schools churches and communities (Peace with justice).
  • To advocate and lobby for the construction of Monitor network office in the District.
  • To create intensive awareness that will involve the District/leadership, to attract the support and participation of the District.
  • To continue awareness for the total eradication of the Ebola pandemic.

Strength

  • Mobilization

Weakness /fear

  • Lack of support from youth and young adults.

Opportunity

  • Support from HRM office, district and Local Church leaderships, etc.  for a forward push

Threat

  • Bad traditional practices,

 

  1. d.    Kakata Farmington River District 

 Plan:

  • Build a strong team through leadership training
  • Establish Human Right Clubs in various high schools within the District
  • Advocate for safe and clean drinking water, Good Road network in the Timor Region and Johnny Cooper town.
  • Build a Grassroots Organizing office along with a center to provide training for young women and People with disabilities
  • Working with young drug addicts to transform their lives
  • Conduct workshops for local Monitor network
  • Encourage and empower teenage mothers to seek higher education
  • Advocate and ensure that stakeholders provide quality Education for less fortunate children in our District
  • Conduct Annual Peace with justice program and fund raising rallies

Strengths

  • Commitment of team members
  • Support from Human Rights Monitor LCA\UMC, District leadership
  • And Community Leaders

Weakness

The lack of most needed Resources

Opportunities

  • Cordial working relationship with the Human Rights Monitor and our District Leadership
  • Acceptance by the community
  • Good relationship with the community leaders
  • Local NGO, Companies and INGO

Threats

  • Traditional leaders
  • Bad Traditional/cultural practices
  • Failure to enforce the law

 Gathering for Grassroots Organizing Coordinators’ Briefings on 30th January 2015, held in the Conference Room of the Central Office, Liberia Annual Conference, the United Methodist Church, 12th Street, Sinkor near Monrovia:

The contents of the January 30th briefings included but were not limited to pre-Ebola activities, achievements, challenges, as well as Ebola related undertakings on the community, district and, and county levels, and so on. This time being their first reporting, and most of the details being good much more to the local leadership concerns as much less to the level and  purpose of this report, few needed selected details of the briefings were considered. For the same reason, most of the needed contents of this briefing and those of the month that followed (last two meetings held in January and March) are here below reflected to make a whole. On that note, the January meeting is only briefly introduced as in this paragraph, while the needed contents and those of the month of March briefings were selected and are reflected as below:

 

March  2015 Coordinators’ meeting of the Grassroots Organizers for Social Justice, hosted by the Peace With Justice/Human Rights Monitor Department, Liberia Annual Conference, theUnited Methodist Church

Venue: United Methodist Central Office/Conference Room

Date: 26 March/  Starting Time: 10: AM/  Ending Time: 04:30 PM

Pre-activities included arrival, breakfast and registration by participants.

Part one of the meeting began with Singspiration by all participants, while the devotion was led by Winston Varwulu, Coordinator of the Bong County Grassroots Organizers Network. His text was Ephesians 6:1 and he called on fellow social justice workers and networks to seek God, and obey God in their pursuit of justice for all, as these were ‘the right things to do’, Varwulu concluded his meditation.

After the self-introduction by all participants, Pauline F. Gartor gave the statement of purpose of the meeting. Pauline encouraged all participants to remain focused and interactive during the meeting. She concluded by emphasizing that ‘focus should not only be directed to the March 26 Coordinators’ meeting, but also our focus must extend to the month of April 2015, a month intended for all Grassroots Organizers to highlight Sexual/Gender Based  and Domestic violence; and Criminal Justice issues.

Part two of the meeting began with an introduction of Mr. Jefferson B. Knight, Program Director of the Peace With Justice Department, by Rev. Pade M. Kialen, Associate Director and Coordinating Officer of the Grassroots Organizers of the Peace With Justice Program, to make a remark.

In his remarks, Director Knight encouraged the youthful Grassroots Organizers to strategize on Human trafficking, sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), bring their community leaders and members of their Churches together, meet in small groups in their districts and discuss issues relating to these, create awareness on these issues; and use the media as a powerful tool to make your voices loud.

Among other things, the results of sample small group discussions by the Grassroots Organizers right after director Knight’s admonition revealed that in most of the districts of the Liberia Annual Conference, internal human trafficking exists whereby, certain persons from the districts who reside in the urban

Communities do persuade poverty-stricken parents of villages in those districts and take their children under the disguise of sending these children to school. To the contrary, these children are used as care-takers of the guardians’ children, and bread winners of the families of their betrayers.

The small group discussants also revealed that foreigners, especially Lebanese, take young girls from Liberia to Lebanon, India and other countries under the disguise of improving their lives. But evidence have disclosed that most, if not all of the young girls carried under this pretext are transformed into sex slaves, and made to suffer other abusive experiences.

After a five minute break on completion of the small group presentations, the participants attending the Grassroots Organizers Network meeting began their report presentations through their various coordinators (PLEASE NOTE: THIS SESSION OF THE REPORT CONTAINS THE NEEDED AND SELECTED PORTIONS OF THE JANUARY AND MARCH BRIEFINGS APPROPRIATE FOR THE INTENDED PURPOSE):

REPORTS:

The Monitor Network, Bong County

Regular Meeting

Among other districts selected for Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice, Bong County (Gbarnga District) is unique, because it alone has more than three districts and has an active Grassroots monitoring network, a connecting link to the Human Rights Monitor of the Liberia Conference on various human rights issues and situations prior to the emergence of the Grassroots Organizers for Social Justice.

The Bong County Monitor Network has finally developed its regular meeting schedule for every Friday of the week to discuss issues pertaining to the growth of the organization in Bong County.

Visitation to Taylor’s Town

On October 19, 2014, The Grassroots Organizing, Bong Branch in collaboration with the Ebola Social mobilization of Committee of Bong County visited Taylor’s Town and its environs to create awareness on Ebola.

During this awareness, we observed that about ten (10) Towns and Villages were been quarantined. And we assessed the needs of the people quarantined. We are pleased to submit to your office attached plan of action.

Establishment of Girls Forum

During the period under review, the Bong Grassroots Organizers agreed to establish a Girls Forum in the Frog Island Community, Gbarnga. This Forum was formed to create intentional awareness for, to and through young Women about the following: Home management, Domestic Violence, Rape, Ebola; Women and Children’s rights\Human Rights.

Police Reports on Rape

During our visitation to Gbarnga Police station we observed that odors at the Police station and its environs were very offensive and the surrounding needed cleaning.  For the same reasons, the conditions of the cell are very discouraging, and need improvements.

However, the head of the Liberia Nation Police Women and Child protection Section in person of Henry Cooper said that he could not release any information to the Grassroots Organizers without letters of Accreditation from the Organizers’ Umbrella Organization.

Prior to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, the organizers met twice a month. But since the Ebola outbreak, the Organizers are struggling to ensure meetings at least once a month. As the result of difficulty in getting members to meet, the Network has had just one successful meeting since the outbreak, during which strategies including mainly awareness were key on the agenda. The meeting also considered recommendations/requests to the Human Rights Monitor for support and the facilitation of the awareness efforts.

Ebola awareness: During October 2014 the Grassroots Organizers Network Ebola Task Force, led by its coordinator, Mr. Winston Varwulu, carried out Ebola Prevention awareness in ten towns and villages in the Yelequelleh (political district), part and parcel of the Gbarnga District of the Liberia Annual Conference. Educational messages included- ‘‘Do not accept a strangers/visitors even your family members, until the Ebola virus is over’; ‘do not treat a sick person at home or touch a dead body’, ‘report all cases of illness to the health workers; wash your hands regularly’, ‘no more shaking hands’, ‘do not burry any dead person except on medical advice’, ‘call cell phone # 0886 806 283/ 4455’; etc.

During September 2014, the Grassroots Organizers, led by Saypaylay Brown visited the Kokoyah district along with the Kokoyah district superintendent, Rev. Benedict Greene, to create more awareness on Ebola in that district. During the month of October, Mr. Winston Varwulu also took a tour aimed at training community members on the measurement of chloral for the washing of hands against the Ebola virus.

As the result of its active involvement in the Ebola awareness in communities of Bong County, the Grassroots organizers Network became member of the Rubber Factory Community Ebola Task Force. On Thursday October 23, 2014 Monitor Network Coordinator, Winston Varwulu joined the Conference United Methodist youth and Young Adult Fellowship to create awareness and identify with affected communities, homes and family members of Ebola victims in Kokoyah, Gbarnga, and Jorquelleh districts. Disinfectants, food and other items were distributed. The GRO in Bong County received one bucket and one bottle of Clorox. The Organizers followed up activities relating to Ebola/orphans- visited Millionaire Quarter, Civil Compound community, and other communities to ascertain the status of, especially the kids whose parents fell victim. It was discovered most of these kids were no longer going to school as they were when their parents were alive. No other support seemed to be directed to them from government or any humanitarian group.

Another Prison Statistical Report

On September 24 2014 Winston and other members of the Monitor Network visited the Gbarnga Central Prison in Bong County and ascertained the following report:

Crimes allegedly committed, and # Perpetrators:

  • Crime                # of persons alleged
  • Rape                           24 persons
  • Murder                       10 persons
  • Statutory rape         03
  • Manslaughter          1 person
  • Aggravated assaulted      2
  • Armed Robbery         8
  • Theft                            4
  • Illegal possession of Fire Arm    1
  • Total number of alleged criminals        53

 Pre-trial Detainees   convicted and detained   

# of categorized pre-trial detainees:

Adult-males- 96

Adult-females- 33

Total – 129.

The Organizers monitored and collaborated with National Police: On 7 February 2015, the Bong County Police, through Officer Peter Gweh, entrusted the Network’s coordinator, Winston Varwulu as mentor for a 13 year old juvenile who got in conflict with the law. She left school. Earlier, she had poisoned her father’s meal because the father frowned on her and against her early sex practices. At present, mentoring on the part of Winston has enabled the child to return to school, and is responding well to the mentoring.

The Gbartala Police cell was monitored and is in a very bad condition. An extremely offensive odor from that facility is a strong evidence of exceptional negative sanitary condition. A nine year old inmate (juvenile) was in the Gbartala Police cell. But with the intervention of the Gbarnga District/Bong County Grassroots Organizers, he has been charged with rape and sent to court.

The Gbarnga District Social Justice network also monitored the Courts during the period under review. On February 25, 2015, a Circuit Court judge, Judge Dolokelenh, was charged with illegal possession of fire arm, which led to his son shooting himself in his father’s room thereby committing suicide. Judge Dolokelenh was subsequently imprisoned, but later released based on valid bond filed by his lawyer.

The network monitored and followed up cases:  In the month of February 2015, it followed of a case from Grand Bassa County which spilled over to Gbartala, though later transferred back to Grand Bassa County. Suspect Jerry digs claimed his cousin was murdered by some of the opposing villagers, and the deceased’s family members (including Jerry) had gone to the murderers’ village to revenge. In the process, the deceased’s family members burned down houses, huts and kitchens. Because the case was sent back to where the offenses were committed, beyond the Gbarnga jurisdiction, follow-up became complex. The police was already involved, but the Organizers kept monitoring.

In the month of March 2015, a teacher, William Sumo, stabbed and killed another teacher, John O. Sumo with a scissors. Both taught at the same school (The St. Mark Lutheran High school). But the killer later hanged himself without any explanation, and no cause established by the police or any of both families of the deceased. The Network’s follow-up along with the police did not disclose why the two acts were committed.

The Network has established a Social Justice Club at the Gbarnga United Methodist Mission high school otherwise known as Tubman-Gray high school. First official meeting will take place on Monday March 30, 2015.

During the March 6 meeting, there were concerns for clean and safe drinking water were also discussed.  And it unanimously agreed that the Water for Life Project of the Conference Peace With Justice Program be requested to kindly extend its hand pump construction to United Methodist churches in six of the extremely needy communities in Bong County: Tulamue UMC, Galalah UMC, Gbarnsue UMC, Gray UMC, Wonwon Town UMC, and Sua-wumah UMC all in Gbarnga and Kokoyah districts.

Recommendations:

 That the conference Peace With Justice Department kindly negotiate with the authorities of the Gbarnga School of Theology for an office space of the Gbarnga District Grassroots Organizers for Social justice.

  •  And that the conference Peace With Justice department respond to members of the social justice network in time of emergency
  • That the Grassroots Organizers Network be empowered to facilitate the achievements of intentional goals and objectives of the Peace With Justice Program in targeted communities, including continual awareness and advocacy, etc.
    • That the Human Rights Monitor ensures effective coordination of the programs and activities of the Bong County Grassroots Organizers.
    • provide one digital camera for needed photographs
    • Facilitate Mobility for Monitor Networkers,
    • Provide ID-Cards for the volunteer staff, letter of Accreditation to meet the demands of critical Government agencies,
    • And help ensure an office space for the Monitor Network in Gbarnga.

Respectfully Submitted:

Winston S.K Varwulu, Coordinator/GRO

 IMPACTS:

-Bong County Grassroots Organizers’:

Persistent visitation, monitoring and reporting of bad conditions at various prison facilities have resulted to improved cleanliness of the physical structures and surroundings of several prison facilities.

-identification  and advocacy for such acute needs as clean and safe drinking and lobbying with the Human Rights Monitor on the part of the Grassroots Organizers, has led to the provisions of Hand Pumps in several communities , towns and villages in Bong County.

-engagement of community leaders and the media, as means of advocating against murder, rape and mob violence, the Grassroots Organizers have helped ensured arrests and sending to Court of perpetrators in Bong County. Bong County is reported to carry the highest number of murder cases in Liberia.

-exposure of unethical, corrupt practices and other social vices was evident When the Ebola Virus began to subside and Government decided to open schools around the Country. From pre-grade to grade 9 were free of all academic related fees; and grades 10 through 12 were required to pay very limited fees. To the Contrary, several school administrators chose to require all students of their schools to pay fees anyway, some at inflicted levels. The Grassroots Organizers in Bong County tracked the violation, and appeared to have the lead voice in exposing the unauthorized financial burdened weighed on students and their parents. The government conducted its own investigation and school administrators caught in the act were punished by dismissals and made to refund the students.

 -In order to control the Ebola Virus,  national government mandated all schools and institutions to ensure there were ‘Hand Washing  materials’ (Bucket, soap, or Sanitizer, etc). The Bong County Grassroots Organizers intentionally monitored the schools for the implementation of this mandate by national government  and disclosed that there were violations of the mandate and identified several schools, including the Government owned leading High School in the County-the Dolokelenh Goveh High Schools, whose administrators were also caught in the violation of the school fee mandate. This particular advocacy on the part of the Gbarnga District GRO stuck a welcoming impact for the whole country

Kakata Farmington River District Grassroots Organizers’ report:

The Peace with Justice Program of the Kakata Farmington River District began its reactivation on May 10, 2014. During the date mentioned, there was a major consultative meeting at the Peter Jeru United Methodist Church in Cotton Tree, Margibi County. At this meeting, thirteen young people were in attendance, including both males and females.

The following individuals were appointed as leaders of the committee:

  • Patrick M Geeko————————-Program chairperson
  • Edith Richard——————————Treasurer
  • John Nelson—————————–Financial secretary
  • Samuel G.Cleon————————-secretary
  • Antorma B Gibson ————————- Asst. Coordinator
  • Pauline F.Gartor—————————– Coordinator

Our goals developed at that meeting a network included the following:

  1. Practicing social justice in our homes and churches.
  2. Meeting Parents one on one concerning social justice
  3. Conducting workshop (s) on issue relating to social Justice in the district.

Long Term Goals

  1. Building our office, with training center for young women to learn through formal or informal education.
  2. Conducting workshops in the five regions, with in our District.

With the help of God, the Human Right Department LAC/UMC, and the efforts of others we were able to implements all of our short term Goals.

Assessment Tour 

An assessment tour was done on the Kakata/Farmington River District, May 17, 2014.

Mr. Jefferson Knight, Director Human Rights Department LAC/UMC, sis Ruth Kono and sis Pauline F Gartor went on this assessment.

The tour took us to four villages within the Kakata Farmington River District:

  • Johnny Cooper Town
  • Kafa town
  • Zuawein Town
  • Duawein Town

These towns are located around the Firestone Rubber Plantation Company, specifically Division 4 camp “C” except for Dorwein Town which is located on the Buchanan high way.

The primary reason of this tour was to see how people in the District are living and if their rights have been violated. During our visit we discovered that people in these towns and villages are faced with challenges:

  • Poor health sector
  • Bad Road Net Works
  • Poor educational sector

As well as:

1. Firestone Rubber Plantation company, which is closer to the mentioned towns and villages, and has schools, hospitals, electricity and the access of Good road net works; yet does not allow citizens of surrounding towns who are not fully employed with their company to benefit from these facilities.

2. B.H. P. Billiton Iron Ore Company located on the Buchanan high way has polluted the Farmington River where villages go fishing. Due to the pollution people in the district can no longer carry out fishing in the river, which was one of their main sources of income.

No one in the town where B.H Billiton is located is fully employed with the company but few are part-time workers.

1. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf   Public School which is situated in Zuawien town Mambahn Chiefdom has three hundred and Nineteen students to three instructors. The Principal of the institution sleeps in one of the class rooms.

The following recommendations were made by town and village dwellers during our visit.

1. School building

2. Hospital or clinic

3. Good road net work

Workshop

Our first workshop was held at the Quest UMS, Cotton tree town Margibi County Liberia from May 30th-31st 2014.

The Workshop which brought together about 34 persons from in and around cotton Tree town Margibi County was held at the Quest UMS from May 30th-31 2014.

Topics treated during the workshop were:

1. Sexual Gender Base and Domestic violence

2. Human /Child Trafficking and teenage pregnancy

3. Conflict, drugs and violence Reconciliation

The following person served as facilitators for the Workshop:

  • Mrs. Catherine D.Nynewo (Asst. Directress Y/YAF LAC /UMC)
  • Rev.Pade M. Kialen (Asst. Director HRM LAC UMC)
  • Mr. Jefferson B. Knight (Director HRM LAC UMC

A big thank and appreciation to the Human Rights Department of the LAC/UMC for the amount of one hundred (100USD) and their support given us towards the facilitation of the workshop.

By the help of God with the support of the Human Right Department, our District

Superintendent and his wife, the People of Kakata /Farmington River District, our Committee we were able to have a successful workshop.

In the midst of the Ebola crisis, 40 active members of Kakata/Farmington River District including pastors, youth, children, women and men, lost their lives to the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.

Mr. Jefferson Knight and the entire Human Rights Monitor department donated the amount of twenty thousand Liberian Dollars (20, 000.00LD) to the Kakata/Farmington River District Anti –Ebola Task Force, and also joined in the fight against Ebola on the District.

The Anti-Ebola Task Force and the Human Rights department were able to create awareness, distributions of Anti Ebola materials, and food items in some of the following Communities:

  • Little Bassa community
  • Cotton tree Community
  • Marshall City
  • Ben Logan Town
  • Dolo’s Town

We believe that by the help of God, and with the high level of awareness carried out on the Kakata/Farmington River District, people now believe that Ebola is real and they are now taking the preventive measures to help stop the spread of Ebola.

EBOLA STATISTICS KAKATA FARMINGTON RIVER DISTRICT:

# Of death – 40 persons

# Of churches-8

# of survivals-13

# Of persons that lost dependents-40

# of orphans-26

And 8 local churches

Churches affected by the deadly Ebola virus in the Kakata/Farmington River District include:

  1. St. John UMC
  2. St. Mark UMC
  3. 1st UMC
  4. Peter Jeru U.M.C
  5. Joe S. Dean UMC
  6. I .J. Williams UMC
  7. Zoegar Town U.M.C
  8. ST. Matthew UMC

Considering  the deep death, wounds and extensive  depth of injuries, weighed on and against  the people of Kakata Farmington River District by the dangerous  Ebola  virus disease,  leading to the death of forty (40) active members  from eight local churches, with thirteen (13) survival and twenty six (26) children without parents , the  following recommendations are hereby advanced for your consideration:

1) The a monthly feeding program including medication be put in place for at least six months.

2) That a scholarship program be established for these orphans.

3) That a monument be constructed at strategic point in the Kakata Farmington river district to remember these great persons who lost their lives to the virus.

Fact finding October 30th 2014 on Kakata Farmington River LAC/UMC:

A fact finding was done on a fifteen year old girl called Decontee Topayon who was murdered sometime in September 2014 in Owensgrove District, Grand Bassa County; and a man called Junior Gaye who was also murdered in Timor District, wowo’s town Grand Bassa County.

Father of Decontee, Joseph G. Topayon informed the team that his daughter, little Decontee had the habit of sleeping out of the home. But this time around, she met her untimely death after she was sent for a bucket of water in her Owensgrove community around 6:30 pm.

When her prolonged stay for the water claimed the parents’ attention, they decided to search for her. Surprisingly, her body was found around the River where she went to get a bucket of water with some parts missing.

Mr. Topayon mentioned that he was accused and jailed as the suspected murderer of his own daughter. After a prolonged investigation by the police, it became clear that he was innocent and later freed from prison. He concluded that he is a poor man, therefore he does not have money to fight for justice, but rather he left it with God, who truly vindicated him.

The wife of Mr. Junior Gaye, who was also murdered in Wowo town in the same September 2014 in Timor District, Grand Bassa County, Oretha Gaye said, her late husband was a famer. She explained that her husband woke up that morning, took his working tools and told her he was going to the farm to look for means of earning some money for his wife’s honoring ceremony as Queen of the Church; and that her husband did not return home even on the next day. Then, a lady from the town found his body floating over the river, with rope tied to his body.  A man volunteered to take the body on shore.

She mentioned that after the body was brought on shore it became clear parts were missing. She said her husband died leaving five children with her; but presently depending on God and family members for the survival of her own and her children. She reported that her husband was murdered, there has been no investigation by Government, and she appealed for intervention and inquiry into the murder of her husband, Junior Gaye.

RAPE CASE:

A sixteen year old girl named Martha Gibson, lived with her older sister Shadley Gibson and her husband on 10th street Sinkor. Martha and her brother-in-law (her older sister’s husband: George Dorlah), have been in active sexual relationship for about one year. The sister’s husband threatened to kill the sixteen year old girl if she ever told anyone about their secret affair.  But, the secret was discovered one night after one of their sisters went for vacation and saw brother in-law making attempts to sex the sixteen year sister of his own wife. When the wife returned home she decided to tell their family about the situation. When Atomar, a Grassroots Organizer and one of the sisters of the victim advised the family to report the crime, her older sister- wife of George Dorlah got the information and told her husband to escape.  Until present nothing has been done about this case, all because the family decided to compromise it!

It had regular meetings every last Friday of the week during the period under review, to discuss matters concerning the network.

During the 22 February 2015 meeting, a meeting held at the Kakata/Farmington River district parsonage, it was confirmed that their investigation had convinced members of Network that the Owensgrove district prison facility was a death trap, and unconduceive for the purpose of correction. The network therefore set up a committee to engage the authority concerned with the prison.

An Orphanage called Denny Fenny, owned by Madam Salomé Gbardyue, was also monitored in the Cotton Tree community in Margibi County. The facility has 26 girls and 16 boys. Madam Gbardyue explained that the entity was challenged with the lack of food, clothing, feet wear, teaching materials, etc. There is not even a suitable learning environment for the kids. The entity has a parcel of land, but there is the need for funding to enable a construction of a better facility.

The network has begun its own fund raising in order to facilitate their works/activities.

Though in a different district, the network rescued a girl child that was being beaten by a young man above his teens who claimed that the child stole, but couldn’t tell from whom and what the child stole. He, the perpetrator was handed to the police, and the child went free.

The campaign against early sex, early parenthood is gaining some good results. A case is Miss Regina Fiske a teenage mother who was counseled and encouraged to attend an awareness workshop has become convinced of the importance of education, and has gone back to school. Regina is now actively involved in persuading and convincing other teenage mothers to follow her own example, and she is doing so with some success.

The Network is seeking the District Superintendent’s approval for the establishment of Grassroots Organizers Network Clubs in U M schools in the district.

IMPACTS:

 In Kakata/Farmington River District, Margibi County, through the Grassroots Organizers’ assessment visitations to towns and villages in parts of the district and county, they bring to light unhealthy conditions faced by dwellers in these places, implying the urgent need for intention. For instance, that District’s Grassroots Organizers reported of one of the areas they visited, an excerpt which outlines the plight of the people:

  1. Poor health sector
  2. Bad Road Net Works
  3. Poor educational sector, to name a few.

  Still in Kakata/Farmington River District, the Organizers’ active engagement of teenage mothers through invitation to share their stories is making interesting impacts. This effort is leading to quite a number of teenage mothers returning to school, as well as joining the grassroots social justice advocacy endeavor. Of the thirteen teenage mothers engaged so far, eleven has gone back to school, while some prefer some vocational options to better their lives. A case is one Regina Fiske, whose story depicts childhood abuse by a step-mother, On her encounter with the Grassroots Organizers, Regina made a decision for the optional education through Auto Mechanical as a trade; she also finds much fulfillment in advocacy, especially alongside the Grassroots Organizers, as Regina believes that other teenagers deserve the joy and fulfillment she has gained, and bringing them to this joy is part and parcel of her lifelong task.  

Also, Grassroots Organizers for Peace With Justice Club has been established in the leading High School of the Kakata/Farmington River District in Margibi County- the Harbel Multi-Lateral High school. For this club, the Grassroots Organizers emphasize education on Domestic Violence, especially with women and children as victims.

Grassroots Organizers in this District were able to track two murder cases: one was an apparent ritualistic killing, of a middle age male farmer who was found dead in the Owensgrove community, with such body parts as eyes, tongue and other parts cut off afresh. Since the Ebola Virus was still active, traditional and other community leaders were well ahead with plan for a secret burial and closure of the case. But the Grassroots Organizers who exposed the secret attached to the crime alarmed even louder, informed the Human rights Monitor, leading to the direct intervention of the Monitor through the Program Director, Mr. Jefferson B. Knight. Police was brought in, and national government was more formally involved, with an arrest made. But the case is still been monitored.

In the same community, a 13 year old girl was raped and subsequently killed. The case was on the verge of being compromised but the Grassroots Organizers got into the fight for justice. As the result, suspected perpetrators were identified and arrested, including the child’s father. Both were imprisoned, but a law maker from the District is said to have used his influence on the judicial system, leading to the release of the two suspects. The Human Rights Monitor is actively monitoring the process and engaging stake holders.

In that same community was a case of a man who would only treat teenage wife inhumanely, and physically assault her habitually, though he has a number of kids by her. In November 2014, he beat on her severely and inflicted wounds in her body, especially her head. The families of both the girl and her husband attempted to blame it on the victim on traditional grounds. But the Grassroots Organizers invited the police to the case, investigated and found the man guilty, and imprisoned him. He was sternly warned against repeating the abuse. The grassroots Organizers are actively monitoring the situation.

The Kakata/Farmington River Grassroots Organizers, during the Ebola crisis, tracked and identified 30 Ebola orphans. Several People were engaged for their care within the community, because government and others didn’t show readiness for catering. The Organizers therefore ensured initial contributions food; and temporary shelters were arranged with friends, relatives. Until present, these orphans have got no formal support, but just on the minds of people-and some members of the district at times drop in an item or two, just like that…

Given the concerns these Grassroots Organizers attached to the situation of the Ebola orphans and other people of abject needs, each Organizer of the Kakata/Farmington River district decided, and continues to contribute monthly an equivalent of $1.00 in Liberian dollars (LD) , the total of which has been used to purchase cassava and other local foods and send them to homes where these orphans and others are.

Briefing by St. Paul River District Grassroots Conference Organizers/Monitor Network       

The St. Paul River District Grassroots organizers Network Coordinator, Bro. Alfred Mensah reported that the Ebola outbreak disrupted the Network’s plans previously outlined for interventions in several issues, including, but not limited to poro and sande society activities in the St. Paul River District.

Ebola:

Bro. Alfred Mensah explained that the latest outbreak of the Ebola pandemic spread to the St. Paul River District early October (2014). Infected persons in the St. Paul River district and their contacts have not been quarantined, and are moving about at will in and out of their communities and the district. More to it, most people in the district are nurturing their state of doubting and denial without second thought.

On the other hand, stigmatization of survivals is ridiculously being perpetuated by many people, all out of ignorance. As the result, volunteers and other Ebola workers are performing their duties amidst fears and with exceptional cautions. Unfortunately therefore, there is no Community Ebola Task Force, and no contact tracing in the entire St. Paul River district.

In view of the above, Bro. Mensah ensured that the future plan of the network he leads is to establish Social Justice Grassroots organizers Ebola Task Force. Bro. Mensah concluded then that the plan of action for his district Grassroots Organizers Social Justice network would be presented to the department of Peace With Justice Program/Human Rights Monitor by the first week in November (2014).

October 10, 2014 Grassroots Organizers Coordinators’ meeting events were hosted by the St. Paul River District Conference Grassroots Organizers –

The project under taken by the St.Paul River District Conference Grass r root organizer intervened in (6) communities within the District.

The project funded by the Human Rights Monitor LAC/UMC brought together four members of the Grass roots organizer and three (3) Volunteers.

The intervention was basically about:

* Dealing with the psychological harm imposed on survivors and affected family (ies), (stigmatization).

* Preventive messages and sharing disinfectants and flyers.

* Identifying with quarantined homes, providing food and encouragement.

Our intervention were in six (6) communities, they were parker corner, Bangor , lower Virginia , Jah Tondo town, V.O.A. junction, Banjour camp, and Caldwell.

During our intervention the following persons (affected family (ies) or quarantined) homes received a bag of rice each, with a bottle of Clorox.

Name                                                            Community

Sis Jenneh            ———————————Banjor community

Korpn Gborie     —————————-New Georgia North /Caldwell

Elisabeth Nabye   ————————–Down street/Caldwell

Nancy Freeman     ———————–Carr School/Caldwell

Tete Roberts            ———————-Holy family/Caldwell

Caroline Hutchison ———————-Thumps UP/Caldwell

Sam Bogarie             ———————–New Georgia North road /Caldwell

Fund

The project proposal projected the amount of $22,825.00 Liberian dollars. Said amount was received. An additional $50.00 USD was received for Compensation for the volunteers and the Grass root organizers.

 Break down

ITEM QUANTITY                COST  OTHERS

  1. Rice            7bags 10, 500.00
  2. Clorox        5cartons       6, 375.00
  3. Flyers         150 copies    4, 150
  4. Feeding     …………1, 800
  5. Compensation …………… 50.00

GRAND TOTAL

LD22, 825     + USA 50.00

The St. Paul Grassroots coordinators also visited and distributed used clothing to more than 70 Ebola affected families in the St. Paul River District in collaboration with the Conference Peace With Justice Department.

One of the Ebola orphans (3 month old) finally passed off (may her soul rest in peace).

There were followed up of an eleven year old girl called Miata, little Miata is staying with her aunt who was violating her in the home. The Women and Children division of the Liberia National Police was alerted and some corrective measures began, and are ongoing.

Another case of domestic violence was alerted, but alleged perpetrator s apparently sent the child back to the biological parents in remote Liberia.

IMPACTS:

Among other things, one landmark impact of the St. Paul River District Grass Roots Organizers was being at the fore-front of advocacy and exposing the violation of a female teenager whose 42 year old female guardian subjected her to torture in the Red Hill community near Monrovia. The woman, who took the little girl from a relative in the hinterland and brought her to the suburb of Monrovia, used the girl to generate income (for the woman) through petit businesses including sale of water, bread, etc. On that fateful day, the guardian burned a plastic and allowed it to melt hot into the private part of the girl as punishment for wetting the bed (urinating in bed). The teenager later died of the effect a short while on arrival at a local hospital in Monrovia. The advocacy efforts of the St. Paul River District Grassroots Organizers also disclosed that in addition to several Clinics and hospitals earlier refusing to attend this victim of mere cruelty on grounds that Ebola was at its peak in the country, the Police delayed the vehicle carrying the victim for hours despite the undisputed evidence of her conditions, including uncontrollable bleeding. And, though there were attempts to compromise the case on the part the perpetrator, but the GRO remained restless on the matter until the violator of the girl’s rights had her day in court, was found guilty and has since been sent to jail.

When an eleven year old girl called Miata, staying with her aunt was violated in the home; these Grassroots Organizers investigated and alerted the Women and Children Division of the Liberia National Police. The police intervened, and corrective measures began, and are ongoing.

 Another case of domestic violence  against a little was unearthed by theses social justice workers, but in the process of connecting the police, the alleged perpetrator, a woman in her late 40’s,  apparently sent the child back to the biological parents in remote Liberia. Investigation by the Grassroots Organizers continues.

Grand Bassa District Conference Grassroots Organizers report:

The GRO Network was collaborating with some Civil Society organizations since the Ebola outbreak in Grand Bassa County. More especially, Sis. Nimely admitted her Peace With Justice Network’s active involvement in the fight against Ebola began in the month of October 2014.

Sis. Nimely explained that between the first and the eight of October 2014, there was one confirmed Ebola case in the Buchanan, which did with a year old child, currently undergoing treatment at the Liberia Government Hospital in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

By 12 October 2014, the Grand Bassa Ebola Task Force had released `an update on Ebola cases in the County, recording a total of 36 confirmed and suspected death, 11 survivor cases. Yet, by September 1, Grand Bassa had hit five confirmed Ebola death. The latest statistic, at the time of the Grassroots Organizers’ meeting, as announced by the County Ebola Task Force spokesman, Mr. Adonis Z. Greaves included increasing number of orphans due to Ebola. Some of these orphans were already taken to orphanages while others remained with relatives in the communities. There are also numerous widows and widowers in growing numbers in the county.

Sis. Nimely said her branch meets once a month, and was able to conduct one workshop. For fear of Ebola, she said, many members wouldn’t attend meetings; but the branch began awareness to help eliminate the fear of Ebola, which was leading to the deaths of some. The Grand Bassa District Grassroots Organizers for Social Justice coordinator further explained that she and others made some interventions in the situations of some community members who had health problems that proved to order than Ebola. Sis. Nimely said at the time of the report, her branch had not lost any member yet. Finally she said, the awareness the Grand Bassa District Grassroots Organizers and others were exerting efforts and making impacts in the situation. Yet, people were encouraged to remain persistent in following the rules of prevention of the Ebola virus.

They were also engaged in community services:  slashed grass around the Salvation Army school campus in Buchanan; cleaned its surrounding, particularly the nursery and elementary portion, giving a face-lift to the toilet facilities used by the kids, among others.

Monitored the Liberia Government hospital and observed the family planning department was charging fees for services rendered particularly to in-school and out-of school female teenagers and young adults.

The Grand Bassa Organizers interacted with three high school students arrested in possession of illegal drugs:  Students claimed the available means they had for survival and to facilitate their education was the sale of drugs.

The organizers visited the Old folk’s home at the Government Morning School to familiarize with conditions there. Did some clean-up of the environment; discovered the more than forty old folks were like abandoned, hungry and had to somewhat forced their  into begging spree all over the community and market places just to have at least something like a meal for the day. Their health conditions and sanitary conditions are appalling. Care-Takers at the home say they are doing more volunteering even at their own detriment as they leave everything about their own wellbeing and survival just to take care of the old folks, with out a cent or means of taking care of ourselves. “We are just embarrassed with this whole situation…” one care-taker lamented.

At the Grand Bassa district Social Justice Network’s invitation, the District Superintendent of the district, Rev. Frederick Sembo, and the Human Rights Monitor’s representatives attended some of the Grand Bassa District Social justice network’s activities. The Monitor, represented by Rev. Pade M. Kialen and Miss Pauline Gartor, distributed used clothing to the old folks to their heightened joy. The Monitor must be applauded.

Importantly, the Grand Bassa District Organizers established a publicity sloth with the Radio-Dukpa for every last Saturday in a month, Conducted periodic talk-shows, explaining the work of the network, and providing civic education.

The network disclosed two cases of domestic violence: The police were contacted, and their timely intervention resolved the situation.

The network also monitored case proceedings at the second judicial circuit court in Buchanan: It was observed that the defendant in the particular case we monitored did not have access to transparent justice in that there was no interpreter to explain the proceedings to the defendant who was illiterate.

The Social Justice network participated in interactive discussions on the continual initiation into the poro and sende societies in grand Bassa County. The network used the opportunity to discourage the practices of female genital mutilation, and other related practices.

The network plans its first social justice workshop for the first week of May 2015, involving schools, churches and communities

RECOMMENDATIONS:

-That the Human Rights Monitor facilitates assistance to the orphans and widows weighed down by the effects of the deadly Ebola virus in Grand Bassa County.

– That the Monitor empowers the Grand Bassa District Grassroots Organizers to ensure effective and continued awareness of the Ebola virus until we reach a zero case.

-That the Monitor ensures assistance to, and for the empowerment and involvement of the physically challenged community/people with disabilities, in the process of social justice activities and the fight against Ebola.

IMPACTS:

-Among other impacts during the reporting period, the Grassroots Organizers of the Grand Bassa District  identified needs at an old folk’s home and an elementary school in the Upper Buchanan area, and under took massive cleaning up campaigns, and  gave befitting face-lifts to the two.

– It was through their advocacy for the old folk’s home that brought in the Grassroots Organizing Coordination office to distribute used clothing to the old folks home.

The District Social Justice Organizers established a monthly publicity sloth with the Radio-Dukpa, Conducts periodic talk-shows explaining the work of the network, and providing civic education, as well as alerting communities and law enforcers on threats and violations.

 They were also engaged in community services:  slashed grass around the Salvation Army school campus in Buchanan; cleaned surroundings, particularly the nursery and elementary portions, giving a face-lift to the latrine facilities used by the kids, among others.

 The GRO Network collaborated with some Civil Society organizations in the County since the Ebola outbreak in Grand Bassa County.

The Peace With Justice Network actively participated in the fight against Ebola beginning the month of October 2014.

 Cape Palmas District Conference Grassroots Organizers’ report:

On May 10, 2014 an Ivorian named only as Patrick in Pleebo, Maryland County, disguised himself as a businessman, convinced two young women in Pleebo and attempted taking them to the Ivory Coast claiming they would help manage his business. As it came to be, the Liberian Dakay Town border security discovered it was a scheme to kidnap the two young women and use them as sex-slaves. He was arrested and turned over to the magisterial court for Trial, after which the perpetrator was found guilty, and sentenced to imprisonment.

Economic, Security and Social Problems in Maryland and other Counties:

The closing of schools and lack of commercial transportation in Liberia, especially In Maryland County, has caused a serious economy setback. Most goods and cross-border business transactions take place with Cote d’IVoire. Now, business women in Mary land County have used nearly all of their financial and other resources to sustain themselves and take care of families.

The economy crisis has put teenagers in the street as well, caused scarcity of food, medication, and   shortages of gasoline on the market. Based on the shortages of medicine on the market and drug stores; and the lack of sufficient food is helping to lead to starvation.

Teenage Pregnancy On The Increase:

As the result of the closing down of schools due to the deadly Ebola outbreak in the country, many female teenagers are becoming pregnant. Before the outbreak of the virus the rate of teenage pregnancy was 9:10 a teenager in a month. Now, it has increased to 40:50 in a month since the Ebola outbreak. Adding to this, most parents have got no employment opportunities and no means of providing their children’s not needs, and continuing or involving into businesses; nor are businesses running as usual for alternative means of earning. Further, based on the state of emergency and the present health status of our county, most teenagers in Maryland County are being used as bread winners for their families.

Arbitrary Dismissal from Job by C.R.C and MOPP:

The Cavalla Rubber Cooperation (CRC) and Mary land Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) have dismissed 117 workers without tangible reasons. On the 20th of October 2014, workers complained to appropriate government agencies in Maryland County, but Government did not take an action. Today the jobless citizens are languishing in Pleebo without Government’s intervention. Both companies are also involved in bad labor practices. Employees of the both companies are working beyond eight (8) working hours per day without salaries that commensurate, and majority of those workers that were dismissed are females. A group calling itself Cavalla Working Union is highly suspected of being the Company’s agent is perpetuating the odds. The group’s several purported interventions have about nothing to better the situation.

The Use OF Children as bread Winners

It is quite clear that children should not be used as bread winners as it is the responsibility of parents to make sure their children are well taken care of in society. But, acute poverty and the present health status of our country have turned a new page where Children and their parents are both serving as bread winners for their families.

Children in Maryland County between the ages of 6-12 years are found in the streets selling Bananas, oranges, cola nuts, and peanuts, etc. to sustain themselves and their families. They are also found in video clubs, night clubs, and   other entertainment centers within the county between 10-12 pm.

This vulnerability was a most likely reason contributing to the death of a child on the 17th of October 2014 in Pleebo city. The little child was hit by a motorbike in the street of Pleebo. Payla, as the little girl was commonly known, was rushed at the hospital where the doctor found out that her two ribs were broken. But because of the Ebola crisis, little Payla was discharged with out treatment and turned over to her parents. And before the day could come to an end, the child passed. In an interview with the victim’s mother, she informed the Monitor that her husband’s ill-treatment of little Payla, and threats against her had always led to violence against the child’s mother and repeated conflict between the deceased’s parents.

On an occasion, little Payla’s father decided to use a broom Stick along with kicks and blows on this little girl as what became for him a way of life. In this case, and based on intervention by law enforcement agencies alerted by the Grassroots Organizers for  Social Justice, Payla’s father was arrested by the police on grounds that he helped to facilitate the actions leading to the Girl’s demise. He was sentenced for six years imprisonment.

Teenagers Engaged in to Drugs in Mary Land:

Because schools are closed in the country due to the deadly Ebola outbreak, most teenagers have turned out to be drugs addicts and dealers. Monitoring some ghettos, teenagers visibly interact in drugs. For each ghetto visited more than seven children, including both males and females it was discovered that Police officers also go to those ghettos for drugs. Because of this, the Police are unable to arrest people trafficking and abusing drugs. Thus, drug crimes are high in the county.

Seven Inmates Broke Harper Center Prison:

On the 15th of August 2014, seven inmates broke the Harper central prison and escaped. According to the prison superintendent, one of his officers on duty decided to bring the inmates out for routine ventilation. At a point while with the inmates outside, the inmates suddenly rushed on and stabbed the officer in the head. After the act, they all quickly escaped, and neither of them have been nor arrested nor seen.

Suicide in Harper City:

On 17 of November 2014 a fisherman, Joseph Kiea hang himself at his Tubman palace residence up Cape Harper! According to his wife, he was sick and hospitalized at the J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital for a length of time. While her husband was home and his tender decided to go and look for food, he decided to hang himself complaining he was tired of suffering.

RELEASES FROM THE MARYLAND CENTRAL PRISON:

One officer, Cynthia and a CID officer  at the Pleebo Police depot reported to the Grassroots Organizers that from January to June 2014 the crime rate in Maryland was lower because the Police made efforts to work very hard day and night in putting things under control. But since July up to the time of this report, crime rate has increased as the result of the Ebola outbreak in our Country. They also said based on large number different foreign residents in Pleebo, it had been very hard to track the criminals.

1.  The Grassroots Organizers in Maryland encouraged the Police to go after the Criminals.

2. The Grassroots Organizers recommends that Human Rights Monitor should advocate for good quality uniform and for more than a set of uniform for the police in Maryland.

3. That the office makes available one motorbike for smooth networking- reach to all of our control areas for effective networking. If the office cannot buy a motorbike, transportation should be made available to enable us to reach various contacts and areas of violations to collect their report.

4. Stationeries to enable the Monitor’s office in Pleebo to complete our reports on time.

Wesseh Mah ____Coordinator ________Happer area

Roosevelt Carpenter “ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’

Emmanuel Quire__________Pleebo Solder ken District

Elizabeth   Hne     “” ‘’ “”

IMPACTS:

The level of advocacy the Grassroots Organizers ensure in their communities and with authorities, especially the security sector of the country is bringing some  degree of relief to so many people whose relatives and  friends of inmates and the inmates themselves , who suffer unduly  prolonged detention, some without charges or trial,  and whose fate in  detention remain uncertain.  The Grassroots Organizers in Mary Land County have through their advocacy ensured an appreciable level of information dissimilation; and visitations have improved regarding inmates and their relatives and loved ones.  One of such relative in Mary Land County, in southeastern Liberia, remarked:

“I am grateful to God and the Methodist Grassroots Organizers; for more than five years my brother has been in jail for a crime we don’t know. We didn’t even know his wellbeing. But thank God that today, because of you, we are seeing him alive, though not free yet…”

The Organizers are continually alerting the public and the security sector about ritualistic killings has been counted as a key reason the odd practice has significantly reduced in Mary Land County, Southeastern Liberia.

These social justice workers are widely credited for advocacy highlighting child labor and domestic violence, leading to a down trend in these practices in that county.

*Despite social justice work that preceded the formal beginning of active Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice; and despite Anti-sexual Gender Based Violence, Anti-human trafficking and criminal justice issues being considered by the Peace With Justice department leadership and challenging the  Grassroots Organizers to effect same, a more official and collective  launching program for the Grassroots Organizing involving  all district Grassroots Organizers Networks is highly needed and demand to crown ongoing activities denouncing sexual gender based violence including domestic violence and child abuse, etc. and though these very activities  are being focused by the grassroots social justice workers in some local churches, communities and institutions nationwide. It is obvious that an official launching will adorn the process with much greater spirit and weight that could ensure appreciable levels of the success objectives

*REQUEST: In the spirit of the upcoming 2015 Peace with Justice Week Celebration, and as the need is ever pressing to ensure upholding the momentum and progress of grassroots organizing; as well as  in order to facilitate successful implementations of related programs and projects, the Coordinating Office of the Grassroots Organizing For Social Justice of the Liberia Conference’ Peace With Justice Program, hereby requests the kindest release of needed related fund in consideration of timing and the achiements of goals and objectives.

*RECOMMENDATION: That Rebecca, Kristin, Susan and others-as you come on this trip to Liberia- please consider facilitating for the Liberia Peace With Justice Program a much more fulfilling FOUR YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN, one the GBCS will be more inclined to as an axis of its endorsed social justice work Plan, Program and Projects, including the ongoing Grassroots Organizing and other related key activities being carried out by, with and through the Liberia Conference; and which best defines the GBCS’ cardinal priority for sponsorship. And, we invite you, and do count on your intentional support and influences at your level of the GBCS to enable us ensure successful implementation of the PLAN on our level of the Liberia Conference.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:

THE AMOUNT OF $5,000.00, IN THE LAST QUARTER (DECEMBER) OF 2014, WAS RECEIVED BY THE HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR FOR THE ONGOING GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING IN THE LIBERIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE. BALANCE BROUGHT FORWARD WAS $588.00, TOTALLING $5,588.00. THREE ORGANIZERS WERE SELECTED IN FIVE DISTRICTS OF THE LIBERIA CONFERENCE AND DO MEET PERIODICALLY TO REPORT OF THEIR ACTIVITIES, GAIN INSIGHTS AND REFLECT ON WAYS OF IMPROVING FURTHER. THE FOLLOWING BREAK DOWN SHOWS HOW SAID AMOUNT HAS BEEN EXPENDED:

EXPENDITURE FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014

# TRANSACTION COST MONTH DATE
1 BREAK FAST 55.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
2 LUNCH 150 DECEMBER 11, 2014
3 STIPENDS/ 15 ORGANIZERS @ 60.00 900 DECEMBER 11, 2014
4 TRANSPORTATION FOR  CAPE PALMAS/ 150X3 450.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
5 TRANSPORTATION FOR BASSA/ 4.00@3 12.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
6 TRANSPORTATION FOR BONG/ 8.00@3 24.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
7 KAKATA/FARMINGTON RIVER/ 4.00@3 12.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
8 ST. PAUL RIVER/ 2.00@3 6.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
9 HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR STAFF 40.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
X TOTAL EXPENDITURE 1,649.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014
X BALANCE 3,939.00.00 DECEMBER 11, 2014

 

EXPENDITURE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015

# TRANSACTION COST MONTH DATE
1 BREAK FAST 55.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
2 LUNCH 150 OCTOBER 30, 2015
3 STIPENDS/ 15 ORGANIZERS @ 60.00 900 JANUARY 30, 2015
4 TRANSPORTATION FOR  CAPE PALMAS/ 150X3 450.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
5 TRANSPORTATION FOR BASSA/ 4.00@3 12.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
6 TRANSPORTATION FOR BONG/ 8.00@3 24.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
7 KAKATA/FARMINGTON RIVER/ 4.00@3 12.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
8 ST. PAUL RIVER/ 2.00@3 6.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
9 HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR STAFF 40.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
X  TOTAL EXPENDITURE 1,649.00 JANUARY 30, 2015
X BALANCE 2,290.00

 

EXPENDITURE FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2015

# TRANSACTION COST MONTH DATE
1 BREAK FAST 55.00 MARCH 26, 2015
2 LUNCH 150 MARCH 26, 2015
3 STIPENDS/ 15 ORGANIZERS @ 60.00 900 MARCH 26, 2015
4 TRANSPORTATION FOR  CAPE PALMAS/ 150X3 450.00 MARCH 26, 2015
5 TRANSPORTATION FOR BASSA/ 4.00@3 12.00 MARCH 26, 2015
6 TRANSPORTATION FOR BONG/ 8.00@3 24.00 MARCH 26, 2015
7 KAKATA/FARMINGTON RIVER/ 4.00@3 12.00 MARCH 26, 2015
8 ST. PAUL RIVER/ 2.00@3 6.00 MARCH 26, 2015
9 HUAMN RIGHTS MONITOR STAFF 40.00 MARCH 26, 2015
X TOTAL EXPENDITURE 1,649.00 MARCH 26, 2015
X BALANCE 641.00 MARCH 2015

 

FOLLOW-UP/MONITORING VISITATIONS/ DISTRIBUTION OF USED CLOTHING TO SOME GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING DISTRICTS-2015

# ACTIVITY COST PERSONS RESPONSIBLE DATE
1 CHILD MURDER CASE FOLLOW-UP IN KAKATA 48.00 KIALEN, RUTH & BRENDA FEB.  2015
2 MONITORING AND USED CLOTHE DISTRIBUTION  TO ST. PAUL RIVER DISTRICT 85.00 KIALEN, PAULINE, RUTH&ST. PAUL RIVER GRO FEB. 2015
3 MONITORING AND DISTRIBUTION OF USED CLOTHES TO KAKATA/FARMINGTON RIVER DIST. 70.00 KIALEN, PAULINE & RUTH FEB. 2015B
4 MONITORING AND DISTRIBUTION OF USED CLOTHES TO GRAND BASSA DIST. 85.00 PAULINE & KIALEN FEB. 2015
5 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR 45.00 KIALEN & PAULINE
6 LOCAL TRANSPORTATION 40.00 GRO STAFF FEBRUARY TO MARCH 2015
7 COMMUNICATION: PHONE AND INTERNET

45.00GRO OPERATIONSFEBRUARY TO MARCH 20158MONITORING VISIT TO GBARNGA DISTRICT75.00KIALEN & KIALENAPRIL 20159ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING VISIT TO OWENSGROVE, MARGIBI COUNTY

45.00KIALEN & PAULINE

MAY 2015XTOTAL  EXPENDITURE538.00  XBALANCE / CURRENT50.00