By Stephen G. Fellajuah
Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, yesterday demonstrated once more a strong feeling for humanity and compassion for the elderly and needy in our society when she turned over an apartment to old lady Ma Yeatta, a widow, who also lost her children during the Liberian civil war. Madam Taylor also gave some cash, food and non-food items to the beneficiary.
It can be recalled that Vice President Taylor got attracted to Ma Yeatta’s conditions after the Director General of the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Mr. Kwame Oldpa Weeks and his LINA Panorama team visited Ma Yeatta in Kpelleh Town, Paynesville and reported the difficulties she was going through at the time, a report which drew the attention of Vice President Howard-Taylor and she immediately began the construction of a new home for her.
At the turning over ceremony on Monday 28, 2021 Madam Jewel Howard – Taylor said she has special affinity for older folks who do not have any means of support, stressing that Ma Yeatta is older enough to be her grandmother who lost her life during the war when the community in Suakoko fled from gunmen leaving her alone.
She thanked the family who had been providing care for Ma Yeatta long before she (Mrs. Taylor) got involved and presented several lappas and assorted food items including five bags of rice and twenty thousand Liberian dollars.
“When I saw her story, I wondered what could have happened to her as was in my case. In these times we forget that everybody has been affected somehow by the war, everybody has a story, sometimes we don’t take time to look at what has happened to others. I believe every family has been affected by the war”, Madam Howard-Taylor said.
She narrated of her own story where she lost her late father who was killed during the war to show some instances of how one way or the other everyone got affected by the war. “My father was killed as one of the doctors at Phebe Hospital when the fall of Gbarnga took place. He and three other doctors were shot and killed. That was just an anger that happened to me as an individual, I don’t hold it against anyone because I know we had war.”
The Vice President pointed out that there are many people like Ma Yeatta, and said if everyone who has the means to help one older citizen, the older folks will be taken care of, because there are many out there who don’t have children to take care of them but need help. “If each one has the capability to touch the life of one person that is in need in the community, more people will be taken care of”, she said, stressing that it is impossible for the government to cater to everybody.
The VP stated what she wants to be remembered for after her political activities is to be someone who cares for others and added that her compassion has led her to touching many lives across the country.
She furthered that it is part of her humanitarian work to extend helping hand to the needy, saying she has about 2,000 girls across the country that she is providing education and mentorship and was pressed by her spirit to provide food and other items to women and girls during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Liberian Vice President averred that she doesn’t get a lot of support but shares the little that she is able to get. She at the same time said her office is available to those who want to do humanitarian work through her office by reaching out to the vulnerable, to start a program that will take care of the older folks.
Receiving the house key and other items from the Vice President, Ma Yeatta who spoke through an interpreter, said she was delighted by the gesture of the Vice President, Madam Jewel Howard -Taylor. She narrated that she has nobody but was glad to have the Vice President as her family,