In an effort to formally call Government's attention to the unfortunate situation of students in the Kingdom of Morocco, 43 Students gathered at the Liberian Embassy this week in a quest to have their plights addressed by the Ambassador. We have made every effort to speak with the Ambassador ,but the Ambassador maintained that he will not speak to the general student body as he is not the one accountable for Students allowances.Op-ed 

Laila Fofana: The Florence Nightingale of Liberia’s COVID- 19 Lockdown

 

The Editor,

 

The delicate frame and gentle disposition of Madam Lalia Fofana must not be taken for granted. She is lively a strong-headed woman in what may appear as a down-to-earth character, a glimmer of hope, and a breath of fresh air during this pandemic.

Having followed Madam Laila Fofana’s illuminating but torrid life journey from a very pastoral family to a benevolent philanthropist, I REMEMBER, I feel justified by my enthusiasm for accepting from the records, the privilege, and challenge of bringing it to the attention of prospective readers via a review. There are not many individuals who are often in the service of humanity and whose history and the people will honor their good gestures. The culture of documenting events, be it in a diary or a notebook, requires exceptional discipline and commitment especially in our polarized Liberian society which fails to honor people below the helm of political and economic power who are making exceptional strives in contributing to the growth and development of the Liberian society. Unlike other civilized societies which honor and award people such as servicemen, schoolmasters, nurses, doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, gardeners, janitors, activist, rubber tappers, miners and petrol attendant et al. Ours is a society that reward, honor, and award greedy politicians, warlords, slave masters, feudal landlords, sycophants, and gatecrashers. Ours is a society that does not create platforms and opportunities for young activists and entrepreneurs to explore their full potentials.

Ours is a system that doesn’t place efficacy and merit on decent and selfless humanitarian, servicemen and women. Ours is a society that celebrates thieves and corrupt government officials who are squarely responsible for the debauchery of the state.

For us, we have chosen not to proceed on such putrid path of giving chapeau and roses to undeserved spineless and corrupt government officials who are the main villains of the people that are the ultimate reason we still have poor healthcare delivery system, messy educational sector, under youth capacity development, unemployment, deaths and incurable diseases in the 21st Century; henceforth, we wouldn’t give them our grace or salute. We rather reward, honor, and appreciate people like Lalia and other activists, teachers, doctors and nurses, and other decent entrepreneurs and humanitarians who selfless sacrifices are contributing to the advancement of society.  Mrs. Fofana reveals that she will continue to stop to nothing to impact change since she was at the tender age of fourteen when she scooped the BEST FEMALE QUIZZER AWARD of the Progressive Youth Initiative Academic Quizzing Tournament, and then use the proceeds collected from the coveted prize to begin her humanitarian work by serving meals to less fortunate students during recess period at the A.M FOFANA ISLAMIC & ENGLISH SCHOOL. Her foresight philanthropic gesture is a trait she inherited from her parents – both father and mother are said to have kept records of humanitarianism in their own ways. This has resulted in a most authentically-documented personal history.

Mrs. Lalia Fofana’s name, if I wouldn’t be underestimating, hardly requires an elaborative and a living celebrative philanthropic introduction. She is one of Liberia’s most outstanding academics and philanthropist, a first-class scholar who, according to sources, attended the Len Millar High School and manage to have scholarly graduate as one of the best-uncontested students of her class before journeying to the Universal Standard School of Health Sciences to pursue tertiary education in Nursing. She was a beneficiary of many scholarships and won herself several awards, including prestigious awards like ‘the best female meet-the-challenge award winner. There can hardly be any doubt that Ms. Fofana is truly an accomplished scholar. Lalia is not only a humanitarian but also an outstanding social justice and gender equity advocate, but her passion to feed the poor and give back to society is incredibly phenomenal. She stands out even more resilient and unyielding in this cause of feeding hungry minds as well as protecting women’s rights and participation in governance. She is also a pro-Girl educationalist and an afro-champion of women’s rights.

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
Laila Fofana

And this unquenchable passion for girls education, affirmative actions, and gender equity led her to embark on another worthy cause along with Hellen Momoh entitled, “BOOKS BEFORE BOYS” Campaign — a campaign aim at putting emphasis on girl/women education. Lalia is not only raising awareness to educate girls but also fighting in the cause end rape and violence against women and girls in Liberia and worldwide.

Besides her enviable academic credentials in Len Millar and Liberia as a country, Madam Fofana is also known for what may be penned as ‘Her Hot Meals Distribution Project’– a project directed and dedicated to feeding abandoned and vulnerable people and disadvantage youth (zogos) who are unable to fend for themselves during the COVID- 19 Pandemic and the declared National State of Emergency lockdown. A countless number of communities in Monrovia and its environs have shared their experiences of how they were aided during the lockdown and even before the Covid-19 situation with eatable and consumable sumptuous meals that had substantially sustain them, especially during this lockdown.

According to sources, for those of us who were fortunate to have met people who were rescued by Madam Fofana during this lockdown, we were oriented to understand that Madam Fofana and her team without aid from government or NGOs distributed food substances: bags of rice, gallons of oil, fast foods and anti-coronavirus paraphernalia to those Liberians masses who were left with nothing to live on during this lockdown. Many of those people who were given these food items were less fortunate people from neglected zones of Monrovia: ELWA JUNCTION COMMUNITY, WEST POINT TOWNSHIP, and VAMOMA STREETS, etc. In this lieu, we call on international partners, reputable NGOs, and other progressive Liberians to join ranks or support this selfless young Liberian and her team in this worthwhile cause in feeding and assisting the needy in these troubling times of our human existence.

Madame Fofona’s effort during this lockdown is reminiscent of the sacrifices and services of Florence Nightingale during the ‘Crimean War’ in which she organized care and give first aid to wounded soldiers in the heat of the war. We extend rivers of thanks and appreciation to this compassionate and charitable young Liberian activist as she continues to feed hungry minds, inspire hope and impact humanity; may she live the longest to achieve all the heights of humanitarianism and rise to become a revered Heroin as Florence Nightingale for she’s indeed a “Lady with the Lamp” during this lockdown for many Liberians.

Salute Madam Fofana. May Allah (SWT) continue to favor her and bless her family as she favor and helps many Liberians family.

 —–Yours By Mustapha Kemal Ataturk

 

About the Author: Mustapha Kemal Ataturk (Mustapha Kanneh) is a Senior Student at the University of Liberia, studying Economics. He is the member and Chairman of the Bureau of Press, Propaganda, and Research & Guidance of SUP. He can be reached at mustaphanuchkanneh@gmail.com

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