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Liberia Is in trouble

We know there are literally hundreds of non-profit organizations seeking donations.  Why choose Ri’ayah Foundation out of all the charities available?

Founded by Liberians, for Liberians

We have a vested interest in the country.  We are not out to make a profit from your donations. We have family living in Liberia right now, today, who need our help. At the present time, we can help them more from the Ri’ayah Foundation located in Pennsylvania than we could by moving back to Liberia. Yet we all remember a strong, beautiful, self-supporting Liberia. It is so difficult to watch the conditions of our homeland and the people in it deteriorate daily. Liberia was not always in need of help.

“I’m Not Liberian – Why Should I Help?”

Liberians are humans.  People just like you and me. With outside help, this is a country that has the resources to once again become a thriving, contributing member of the modern world economy. With outside help, Liberians can regain their health and their literacy can be brought back to pre-Civil War levels; with these problems resolved, they have the potential to become self-supporting once again. A healthier, happier, more fulfilling life is within their grasp with help from you. Without outside help, their situation is hopeless.

What Is the Problem?

With an average per capita income of $820.00 (most people have access to no more than $1 per day), Liberian people do not have the means to obtain the healthcare and necessities of life – things as simple as food, like rice and beans – to survive without your help. Liberia has one of the five highest infant to age five mortality rates in the world. Preventable diseases continue to decimate the population, even after the Ebola epidemic has been extinguished.  River blindness – which is completely preventable with administration of an inexpensive drug – steals the eyesight of many, reducing the number of years they can effectively work. Many leading causes of death – diarrheal disease (often from parasites in contaminated drinking water), tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease, and malaria – are often preventable or curable through either education or treatment.

But not without money for treatment, or schools to educate.

      A Few Liberian Statistics…

  • 111 of every 1000 children die before age five
  • 40% of all children under age five suffer malnutrition and its associated effects
  • Almost 75% of the population lack the means to practice adequate sanitation, which contributes immensely to the spread of disease
  • 40% of the country is forced to use unsafe drinking water

These statistics can be greatly improved – with your help!

 Liberia Is a Land of Opportunity

Liberia has many natural resources. Land resources are abundant, from forests full of timber for harvesting to vast areas of land well suited for agriculture. Iron ore, natural rubber, gold and diamonds abound. Many crops are lucrative, but take years before harvest becomes available. Liberia is perfect for growing coffee, rice, cocoa, sugarcane, bananas, and many other crops that make excellent profitable exports. But 80% of the population live below poverty level, and do not have the means to begin a startup or wait for the profits. Many people are also afraid to rebuild, worried that another war could again destroy all their efforts.

 Liberia Was Not Always a Struggling Country

In 1926, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company acquired the rights to over a million acres in Liberia for the production of rubber. The production of rubber provided a strong backbone to a solid Liberian economy. Once the largest rubber producing plantation in the world, production was forced to a halt by the outbreak of the First Liberian Civil War in 1990. Firestone began the process of restoring operations after the war, but Liberia’s population, economy, and political state are so fragmented that it has been difficult for the industry to achieve its former strength and become the major economic pillar of the country that it once was.

Liberia Had Forward-Thinking Politics

Many people think of most African countries as backwards, third-world countries. Yet Liberian lawmakers abolished forced-labor practices as early as 1936, and in  1958 (before many other countries), Liberia outlawed racial discrimination.

Effects of the Civil War and Ebola

The Liberia of today is vastly different than pre-Civil War Liberia.  Because of conflicting political factions and influences, government is fragmented and/or corrupt, and promised aid often does not make it to the places where it is most needed. Over 250,000 were killed in the Civil War, and many left to escape the fighting. Following this, the population was decimated by a year-and-a-half long Ebola epidemic, leaving thousands of children orphaned and few families untouched by death.

Eighty percent of the population today live in dire poverty, with individuals often existing on less than $1 per day. Disease is rampant and in many cases, unchecked. Healthcare facilities were destroyed in the war, leaving most communities with no resources for healthcare, no trained physicians, and no access to pharmaceutical drugs. Children and teenagers receive little to no education and have few opportunities to obtain legitimate employment, frequently finding themselves standing around on street corners peddling wares or begging for food, or forced to seek other means to provide for themselves. Land filled with agricultural promise lies uncultivated, with no one having the equipment to work it or the money to buy seed. On its own, it is a land with little hope.

The Solution

The Ri’ayah Foundation itself is new, but our efforts have been ongoing for over four years now. We know that we can make a difference.  With the help and support of others, we can do even more – which is why we formed the foundation.  The people of Liberia are ready for hope, for change, for work. They want to learn and to prepare for jobs and a real future. Help us, through your donations and your volunteer labor, to give hope and help to the children of Liberia. Your tax-free donations will help build schools, healthcare clinics, gardens, create fresh water sources, and provide doctors and medicines to people in need.  Help us help them – one child, one family, one community at a time. Your donations can make the difference between life and death for a child, getting to eat regularly or not for children and adults, and being healthy and able to attend school or work or being too sick to provide for oneself or anyone else.

Make the world a better place. One country at a time.  Help us help the people of Liberia to have a future to look forward to.