“This is going to make my Christmas better,” Senior Citizen Soko Kanneh said when he was asked after receiving the food items. A pregnant woman, Mammie Myers carrying her 25kg bag of rice on her head simply said, “It came on time, thanks to the church.”
In an effort to buttress the national government in the wake of this deadly Ebola virus the United Methodist Church in Liberia (UMC) in collaboration with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 has put smiles on the faces of over three hundred fifty vulnerable persons in the Topoe Village community outside of Monrovia.
According to Helen Evans-Roberts one of the three missionary commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church to come to UMC Liberia and provide support for the work of UMCOR, the gesture was intended to provide food for those communities that has not benefited from any other good way gesture since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country. “This initiative is a six months project firstly starting with three hundred and fifty persons with a specific target group including: the senior citizens, pregnant women, the “physically challenged”, and survivals of the Ebola Virus,” Madam Roberts added.
The food package included 25kg bag of rice, bonnie fish, oil, pack of cubes, beans and other cooking ingredients that is expected to last for one month.
Missionary Roberts who is also serving as the Director of the Department of General Education and Ministry of UMC Liberia indicated the beneficiaries were identified by the staff of the Henri Wilmot Dennis United Methodist School and authorities of the Lott G. Matthew UMC which are located in the Topoe Village community to ensure that the rightful people were listed. She noted that food distribution was another UMCOR intervention in Liberia which will affect several communities across the Liberia including communities in Monsterrado, Margibi, Bomi Counties. “UMCOR intends to touch lives in all of the communities that were ravished by the Ebola virus,” she emphasized.
For her part Mary Zigbuo another commissioned missionary said UMCOR funded the food distribution as a result of an appeal made by the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference, Rev Dr. John G. Innis and to UMCOR and other UMC in the Diaspora. The amount of US$15,000 was provided by UMCOR to address the needs that the vulnerable communities are facing in Liberia in terms food insecurity. “We hope this initiative will help the people of the Topoe Village Community to take the first step towards food security,” she asserted.
“People are constrained and struggling due to the effect of Ebola crisis, lots of them don’t have jobs, and the elderly who were already living at the mercy of the community are now finding it difficult to survive,” Madam stressed.
The UMC Liberia-UMCOR distribution was comprised of Eliza Kronyan, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Rev. Dorothy MaCauley, Director of Liberia United Methodist Empowerment Foundation (LUMEF), Joe Z. Malleh, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries, Helen Evans-Roberts, Mary Randall Zigbuo, and Rev. Pricilla Jaiah all representing UMCOR.