A civil society organization, Liberia Wash Consortium and SHALOM, have pledged support to WaterAid Liberia for the launching of the ‘Healthy Start’ program, which is intended to serve as a fundamental building block of a prosperous and healthy society in Liberia.The program, which was held Tuesday in Careysburg, brought together CSOs, government officials as well as WaterAid partners.Mrs. Pate K. Chon, who spoke on behalf of all WaterAid partners, said they would continue to advocate for access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene in all health institutions in the country.Mrs. Chon said SHALOM and all other partners will remain committed to Liberia’s development by contributing to more success stories, to make the country a better place for everyone.“We will provide WASH in schools and healthcare institutions in all parts of the country, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, through local community structures, to ensure that better hygiene practices are observed,” she assured.All partner organizations would also help to persuade the Liberian government to improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn and child health in the country, which is paramount to sustaining healthy life for the general population. Mrs. Chon noted, “The Healthy Start program launched by WaterAid Liberia for the next four years will improve health and nutrition of newborn babies and children and prevent the next crisis by giving the children in school a healthy start.“The right to clean water and hygiene is a right to life,” she added.She stressed that proper hygiene, which was promoted during the recent Ebola epidemic, is falling away.“As we arrive at the tail end of the Ebola epidemic, we must not forget what brought us here and the lessons we have learnt should be stamped on our national consciousness. These lessons define the situation of Liberia at present,” Mrs. Chon indicated. Also speaking, the team leader of WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, Chuchu Selma, said water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental to human survival and as such they must be given priority as a human rights issue.He added, “Healthy Start is WaterAid’s four-year advocacy priority that focuses on improving the health and nutrition of newborn babies and children. We will do this by advocating for access to water, sanitation and hygiene promotion to be integrated into health policies locally and nationally.”“We also plan to do this in collaboration with the MOH, through local organizations working within the health and WASH sector,” he emphasized.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Most college students can’t wait to relax during spring break, eagerly planning their trips to beaches or mountain areas to unwind and do what they don’t have time to do during the school year. But Shabnam Irilian of Canyon Country, a marketing major at California State University, Long Beach, spent her week on a trip that had nothing to do with relaxation, but everything to do with feeling good. Irilian and 35 other students from the university traveled to Lake Charles, La., for “alternative spring break” – packing jeans, T-shirts and hard hats for a working vacation to help a region still trying to recover in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Katrina. Through their school’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, they created the Gulf States Rebuild Project and partnered with the national nonprofit group Rebuilding Together. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“On Sunday, we got to Cameron Parish, which is in the southwest corner of Louisiana and one of the hardest hit areas,” she said in a telephone interview during a work break. “Ninety percent of the community is gone. The next town over, 100 percent of the community is gone. They are about as close to the water as we are in Long Beach. We couldn’t believe the destruction. “In Cameron, there were 90 homes, only four were left standing and only two of those were declared rebuildable,” Irilian said. “We worked on cleaning those two homes; a lot of the stuff were things people wanted to take with them but couldn’t.” The group dug holes for framing posts, tore off damaged siding, framed a deck and painted the patio of a house belonging to the Nu ez family, a couple in their 70s. On Tuesday, the group moved to Lake Charles, where they were split into two smaller groups, each assigned one house to repair. The workers lived in a retreat center, where thankful local residents prepared meals and shared their survival stories. “We’re eating better here than we do at home,” Irilian said with a laugh. Her group was working on the home of a single mother with two young daughters whose flood insurance ran out two years ago because she couldn’t afford the premiums. “Her house is devastated,” Irilian said. “We’ve truly developed a relationship with her; she’s living in a FEMA trailer and is so thankful that we’re here. She hugs us every day. “At this point (Thursday), we’re inside the house and there’s nothing but framing. We’re racing to put up the drywall and ceiling and plastic around the house in case it rains. You can still see the mark where the water surged. I’m 5-10 and the water line was at my shoulder. “Everybody here is so appreciative, they want to know what they can do for us. Lake Charles is a very giving community. It will be hard for us to leave.” Irilian read a note, written on a beam in the house by the thankful homeowner: “To my friends from Long Beach, California: Help is always a couple of prayers away. Friends come from everywhere when you need them.” The homeowner asked each student to write something on the studs that would be hidden by the drywall so she would have them surrounding her in the years ahead. “That was an intense and overwhelming experience,” Irilian said. “This has definitely changed our lives. We knew when we were coming out that we could come back different people. Anybody can send money, but to have the first-hand experience, we are so fortunate to have made this happen.” Irilian said a lot of college students expressed interest in helping, but when it came down to committing had other plans or couldn’t afford it. “We know that when the Nu ez’s family’s house is finished, when they’re enjoying the color that their patio is painted, that we contributed,” said. “Here, I’m literally putting up the walls that they are going to hang pictures of their family on. We cherish the opportunity to give them a chance to return to normalcy.” For more information on the Gulf State Rebuild Project, visit www.myspace.com/gulfrebuild. firstname.lastname@example.org (661)257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!