By Victor C. Hanson, Jr
Some Ebola orphans from the Taffi Dollars Children’s Welfare Center (TDCWC) yesterday gathered in front of the Ministry of Gender with placards requesting for support from government to enable them get back to school.
The children had lots of placards like “I am Joshua Kangar; I am from Dolo Town; my father, Rev. Brown Kangar died of Ebola so please help me.” Another one stated, “Thank God for Taffi Dollar Children’s Welfare Center (TDCWC).” Another placard read, “We are 100 children orphaned by Ebola sponsored by ALC at TDCWC.”
The Spokesperson for Taffi Dollars Children Academy, Julius S. Jarwood, in an interview with the Press also expressed concern over how the children have been left alone after their parents have died from the deadly Ebola virus.
Mr. Jarwood said Abundant Life Chapel (ALC) has been taking care of the children for the past four months while the Church is not an orphanage home. “Let me make things clear to the outside world that we do not encourage orphanages in our country any more due to many incidents that have happened in the past,” Jarwood explained.
He said they decided taking the streets with placards because the children’s caretakers can no longer take care of the Ebola affected children and the government told them to give the children back to their caretakers who have been taking care of them.
Mr. Jarwood added that the church was taking care of the children because at that time the country was going through an Ebola crisis but now they can not continue appealing to the church to take care of those children and leaving those children in the street would cause future embarrassment more than what is happening.
He said, “The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Gender told us they can not assist us since indeed we have organized ourselves under an umbrella to take care of the children, the government says there is no money”.
Mr. Jarwood said that they were told by the government to turn the children over to their families to be supported and they had a meeting with the children’s families and told them that they do not have confidence in the government’s promise.
He stated that they were told by families of the Ebola affected children that if the government is willing to support the children at home, then they will not support the children under the church’s umbrella.
In a chat with one of the Ebola affected children, Bendu Dumbai, who lost 14 family members and is also a survivor is calling on the government and the international community to come to their aids.
Miss Dumbai said they have been through lots of frustrations due to the Ebola crisis in the country causing them (children) to lose their parents, brothers, sisters and other relatives.
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, the acting Minister Peter Roberts said his ministry will see how best to handle the situation of the Ebola affected children in the country.
Min. Roberts promised that the Ministry will work on the detailed information when provided it by the Abundant Life Chapel, the parenting organization for the children and that if need be, the government will intervene appropriately.
He encouraged the administration in whose care the children are to desist from putting them on the streets especially when schools are in session.