Aid for Those in Need
Liberia Is in Trouble
The driving force behind the beginning of the foundation is a native Liberian who is determined to improve the living conditions for the people who live there. Born on her grandfather’s farm in Liberia in 1980, Hawa Asmahan Sheriff was sent out of the country to safety as the Civil War began in 1989. Unable to return home as war continued for 14 long years, she eventually moved with her foster families to the United States. In 2014, she finally found the courage to return to her homeland, only to find that it was no longer the “sweet Liberia” of her childhood. Children with torn clothes roamed the streets barefooted. Children begged for food or peddled wares on the street to make enough money to buy food for their next meal. Young people who should have been in school stood on street corners because they had nothing to do. Adults who graduated high school could not speak or write proper English, even though English is the only language taught in schools. People in need of healthcare were turned away because they could not afford the fees. Heartbroken by what she saw, she returned to America. But it didn’t end there.
Ebola Strikes Liberia!
A month after her return, Ebola struck Liberia. In a sweeping epidemic, the virus raged throughout the country for over a year and a half before the country was declared free of Ebola. Over 10,000 cases of Ebola were documented, resulting in 4,808 reported deaths. The poor sanitation, lack of proper nutrition and healthcare in the wake of the civil war was now far worse after the decimation wrought by Ebola. The struggling country was knocked down again, and is in great need of assistance to survive, much less become the thriving, beautiful place it once was and could be again.
Resolved to Help
During the epidemic, family members still in Liberia informed Hawa that some people were turned away from clinics because they needed to provide their own exam gloves or didn’t have money for checkups. Corruption at various levels prevented aid sent to the country from reaching the people in the way it was intended. Hearing these horror stories—and more—she promised her brother, who still lived in Liberia, that she would find a way to help. Out of this resolution to help the people of Liberia, the Ri’ayah Foundation was born.
We have personally seen and experienced the harsh living conditions in Liberia, but as heartbreaking as they are, we firmly believe that, with financial support from caring individuals and organizations, we can provide help and hope. By providing Liberian children with basic nutrition, healthcare and education, we can give them a better chance to reach adulthood, thus enabling them to become self-supporting individuals who are able to care for themselves, their families, and contribute significantly to the future of their community.
Your Donations Can Provide Food for Starving Families!
Simple projects such as encouraging community gardens so people are able to feed their families themselves can be easily accomplished with our help; providing seeds and gardening knowledge and skills are a one-time need. Once accomplished, we can move on to help other communities. Your donations of money, gardening equipment, or seeds can improve the lives of an entire community!
You Can Improve Healthcare and Help Save Lives!
Along with the fresh vegetables a garden can provide, we will train individuals in communities on the elements of healthy nutrition, helping them make better choices to live healthier lives. Improving nutrition will also improve their immunities, but we do not stop there. Your donations of medical equipment or perhaps your volunteered medical expertise can make the difference between life or death for many Liberian children and adults.
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