By: John Dennis Weah, Jr.
Less than a week to the celebrations of Christmas, the Malachi Z.K York Foundation in collaboration with Lifespan Liberia have identified with people living with disabilities. The Liberia School of the Blind was the host recipient of a donation of assorted materials. According to the donors the items donated are intended to demonstrate the foundation and its partners’ attachment towards enhancing a sustainable lifespan to the less fortunate and physically challenged persons, irrespective of creed, sexuality or ethnicity.
Some of the items donated are toy drive, Eighty (80) white canes or walking sticks, organic skin care medicated soap, two (2) MP3 based speakers, chest freezer etc. A cash donation of 150,000 LD was also made available to the authority of the school by York Foundation intended to support the school in its budget for fuel, food and clothing. The program marking the donation of items to the School of the Blind was held on yesterday at the school’s compound located in Mango Town, Virginia.
In the opening remarks one of the members of the faculty, Mrs. Eve D. K Nifor welcomed the donors with assurance that the doors to the School of the Blind are at all-time opened and they highly appreciate the gesture. “Today marks the beginning of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Dr. Malachi Z. K York Foundation for the Disabled and School of the Blind and we are very happy’ Mrs. Nifor said. The Principal, Johnson Suah explained that the school is the only public and specialized school for the blind under the Ministry of Education, Republic of Liberia.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the School of the blind was Mr. Kpaka Bill Kemah the District Education Officer (DEO) along with the school authority. The DEO who represented the Ministry of Education expressed gratitude to the York Foundation and Lifespan Liberia for the timely donation and said the physically challenged need special needs that required full attention. Mr. Kemah named social workers and the provision of basic social services. He made a call to Foundations, NGOs, Embassies and Governments in an appeal for goodwill.
The President of the Dr. Malachi Z. K York Foundation for the Disabled Mr. Den Tut Rayay firstly thanked President Dr. George Manneh Weah, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and extended warmed felicitations to the Coalition for Democratic Change led government for receiving their foundation in Liberia. Mr. Rayay said they are working to keep the dream of Dr. Malachi Z. K York alive.
He further informed the gathering “as a savior we are taught and it is a dream come true that we are in Liberia and our presence was to provide gifts such as walking sticks, money and other things to the disabled in Liberia. “We are continuing the great work of Dr. Malachi Z. K York making great men better and to send a caveat to other African-Americans in the diaspora to be active participants in the economic growth of Liberia and Africa as a whole”, the President of York Foundation narrated.
Also speaking at the occasion was Prof. Martin Scott-Tabi, founder of Lifespan Liberia and current Minister of European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed delight over the performance of the students and faculty and believed that they can do better by making meaningful contributions in society.
Minister Scott-Tabi stressed the importance for the need of quality programs for the physically challenged and termed it as “the perception changes” as he made reference to up-coming programs intended to be launched at the School of the Blind. He highlighted Music & Drama and Hands-on Agriculture something he said will change the paradigm of the blind and deaf from being beggars in Liberia and made request to the local authority for land availability for the project.
In the same vein, the National Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mr. Mulbah K. Morlu, Jr. was expected to be in attendance and grace the occasion. According to the host it was the wish of the CDC Executive Partisan honoring the gesture as a Pro-Poor Dream but could not attend due to other official engagement.
However, Mr. Morlu was represented by Sheik Boima Sambolah at the occasion. Mr Sambolah said his boss was seriously engaged due to the heavy task of the Pro-poor Agenda but regretted his absence. He thanked the school administration and guests for recognizing the agenda of the CDC led government. He assured the donors of the government willingness to work in partnership with those who share ideologies of progress.