Maryland County former inspector is calling on fellow kinsmen to unite in fostering peace and development in the county.
Speaking at program marking the 4th anniversary of the Episcopal Relief Development or ERD in Harper City, Maryland Henry B. Cole, Jr., who spoke on behalf of Senator H. Dan Morias, emphasizes that holding together as Liberians and businessmen and women would help to improve the county and Liberia’s developmental initiatives.
Senator Morias himself could not attend the program after his vehicle was stock in the mud due to bad road leading to the southeast of the country.
Mr. Cole lauds the Episcopal Church for extending alms to the business community, adding that its support has greatly improved lives of citizens in the county.
He subsequently presented a purse of $150,000 Liberian Dollars on behalf of Senator Morias as initial contribution to the program and promised to do more in subsequent time.
The program, which brought together cross section of business organizations in Harper District, started with a parade through the principal streets of Harper followed by indoor program at Harper City Hall.
In an interview with the New Dawn in Harper, group facilitator Lucy Japay Momo said, the ERD, which is a humanitarian and non-political arm of the Episcopal Church, operating in six counties across Liberia, including Maryland, was established on August 24, 2014.
She explains the purpose of the organization is to provide financial assistance to members of the Church and other community members, who need financial help, but cannot afford requirements set by financial and loan institutions.
According to her, the program with current membership of 1,000, started with 20 business women under the name Favor Saving Group headed by Madam Comfort Kiawhen, after which Lake Shepherd and Rock Town saving groups joined.
She says the organization now has 20 groups across Harper with plans to extend to other districts in the county.
She names Favor Saving, Powerful Women Saving, Big Town Success Saving, Episcopal Ideal Saving, and Episcopal Gift Saving, among others as saving groups making up the organization that is impacting their lives thru loads being provided to them.
She also disclosed that the ERD has decided to engage in agriculture and will shortly start the growing of vegetables in Giabo and Hardwood communities in Harper District, and is encouraging Liberians engaged in petty trade to join the organization to benefit the loan program to grow their businesses.
She adds that the essence of the agriculture project is to handle food security as a means of reducing poverty in the region, and for their consumption and the market as well since majority of the vegetables in the market are from neighboring Ivory Coast.
Speaking in separate interview, Mrs. Anita Jallah and Mrs. Sophia Kotee praise the Episcopal Church in Liberia for the support provided.
Anita and Sophia note that the ERD program has improved their businesses, telling this paper that their businesses were very small, but since the coming of the ERD program they are now owners of shops and other businesses in Maryland County.
They call on other women in the county to join the ERD program to better their lives and buttress their husband in catering to the homes and settling other family problems financially.
Oversight for the group is being provided by Rev. Fr. Ernest T. Johnson of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Harper City, Maryland County, southeast Liberia.
By George Kimbah/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne