United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy has visited the Look to Jesus Medical & Laboratory Clinic in 72nd Community, Paynesville. The owner of the clinic, Ms. Helen M. Bongay, received a grant from the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund last year, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy. The grant helped expand and improve the clinic’s obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) ward, which benefits an estimated 2,500 people in the surrounding community.
The Special Self-Help Fund gives the Ambassador the opportunity to respond directly to requests from communities for small-scale, community-based development projects that promise to have an immediate impact. “The Look to Jesus Clinic is the perfect example of the type of business or organization who should receive a Self-Help grant,” Ambassador McCarthy remarked during his visit on May 12. “The funds were responsibly used, the impact on the community is obvious, and the work Ms. Bongay and her staff are doing as a result is, frankly, inspirational.”
Ms. Bongay, who is also a nurse, used her Self-Help grant of US$9,000 along with US$11,000 of her own contribution to retile the clinic, install windows, renovate a bathroom, and purchase an ultrasound machine, mattresses, and beds. She employees two doctors and two nurses, who see patients daily as well as deliver an estimated 35 babies a month.
Since 2004, the release says the U.S. Embassy Monrovia’s Special Self-Help Fund has contributed to agricultural modernization, economic development, sanitation improvement, empowerment of vulnerable populations, and expansion of access to clean water, health services, and education. Each year, approximately 12 to 15 projects are funded.