“UNITED AGAINST EBOLA”
YAI directs resources to to combat deadly virus
The Executive Director of Youth Action International (YAI) Dr. Kimmie Weeks has announced that his organization has increased funding allocations and operations in Liberia in support of efforts to curb the spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia. Weeks says that his organization in collaboration with key international partners including SpryteLorianoGlobal, Waves4Water, The Messengers Network, the Burt Family Foundation, Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) and a host of others will work on a series of new initiatives, which are expected to have a significant impact on efforts to eradicate new cases of the deadly virus.
Dr. Weeks outlined that at the grassroots level, the organization will begin training close to 400 of its teachers to form part of community awareness efforts. The organization will partner with close to 100 youth organizations to ensure proper coordination and targeting of community awareness efforts. Weeks says the community awareness programs are essential to ensuring that the average Liberian not only fully believes Ebola is real, but also has hard facts for preventing the virus or understanding how to handle the matter if a family member becomes infected.
“What we really need to ensure is that every single person understands all aspects of Ebola. Everybody knows that name Ebola, but a quick survey we conducted shows that many people do not actually understand it and are ashamed to claim ignorance to something that everybody seems versed about. This is one of the reasons why there is so much confusion and disbelief and we need to work to overcome that.”
In addition, Weeks says YAI and its partners will support other areas including the use of technology to track and monitor cases, the distribution of relief items to target communities, and donations of protective gears to health workers. “We understand that government has a major task on its hands, and strongly believe that this is the time that all sectors of society needs to come together as one to overcome this major crisis,” said Dr. Weeks. He outlined that Youth Action International chapters in high schools and universities in the United States would be heavily engaged in collecting supplies and materials for use in Liberia.
Youth Action International was founded by Kimmie Weeks in 2005 with a mission to support the needs of children and young people in post war African countries. The organization is an international organization based in the United States and has implemented projected in Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.
SPECIFIC YAI ANTI EBOLA EFFORTS
Food support for orphanages: As a result of the national focus on Ebola, most of government’s resources have been dedicated to the national crisis and orphanages reported difficulty getting subsidies and supplies for the upkeep of the children. In continuation of its long standing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Liberia, Youth Action International has extended its Ebola response to the provision of monthly food supplies to six orphanages in Monrovia. Read more and see photos
Food support for teachers: In the wake of the Ebola crisis, the Liberian Government announced the indefinite closure of all schools. As a result, hundreds of teachers were left without a source of income. Youth Action International in collaboration with SprtyteLorianoGlobal has set a goal to provide food aid packages to a total of 108 teachers. Read more and see photos
Beds for Liberia: With the numbers of new cases of Ebola rapidly increasing, containment centers have reported that they simply do not have enough beds. When launched, this program will target providing 1,000 beds to support Liberia’s fight against Ebola. Read Kimmie’s commitment to this cause
Community awareness programs: One of the key ways to reduce new cases of Ebola and preventing the spread if the disease is to ensure that all communities in Liberia have access to information about the disease and basic means to prevent infection.
YAI has formed a coalition of close to 75 organizations and community groups with a total membership of more than 1,500 people to carry out an unprecedented awareness campaign in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties. Read more and see photos