Thousands of Liberian youths are expected to benefit humanitarian services from a newly established group, “You Are Us Foundation” or YAU, headed by Liberian-born Lebanese Linda K. Fawaz.The Foundation was established in May 2018 with an emphasis on humanitarian works in Liberia. It seeks to tackle extreme poverty, hunger, education, lack of agricultural activities and healthcare.
Making brief remark at the launch of YAU Foundation in Sinkor Monrovia, Linda says it is sad that Liberian kids go to school daily hungry.Providing the thrust of the Foundation, she notes that everyone in Liberia and the Diaspora is fully aware of the devastating consequences and levels of deprivation inflicted on Liberia and its people, mainly school-age children by the civil war.
“It is in response to these long-range realities as outlined in YAU Foundation prospectus that I am endeavoring to mobilizing support that will contribute toward alleviation processes leading to the level of empowerment envisaged, essentially it is most gratifying to note that we have a common vision because “You Are Us and We Are You”, she says.
Ms. Fawaz says YAU Foundation’s first mission is helping to improve the educational system in Liberia, adding the Foundation will help school-going kids and young people to achieve their goals.“We will ensure that every child and young adult has the opportunity at education, as well as reducing the high dropout rate.”
She continues the Foundation also looks forward to tackling humanitarian issues. “From an underperforming educational system to non-existent healthcare system, extreme cases of poverty and hunger – our foundation is committed to facing every issue head-on, starting with ensuring the empowerment of the youth of Liberia through improving educational institutions.”
Liberia’s educational system is struggling to recover from prolonged civil unrest and the closure of schools in 2014 due to the Ebola crisis also contributed to the setback of the educational system.On the question of agriculture, Linda vows to work with various communities by providing tools, seeds, and training farmers to ensure food self-sufficiency.
“Hunger is the world’s biggest health problem – every year it kills more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Join us and help put an end to hunger,” she pleads.“We will provide food to poor people, we will give them rice every time at least to help parents who cannot afford to find food for the kids after school.”
Serving as chief launcher, Montserrado County District#9 Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood stresses a need for unity in the society.
She expresses delight that a young Liberian woman could establish such big dream to help her fellow compatriots.Representative Youngblood urges well-meaning Liberians to embrace Linda’s vision and calls on young people here to put aside politics and concentrate on contributing to the growth of the society.
“We will support this initiative because it is about giving back to humanity and the society, not many people will share what has been given them with other people,” she notes.The Chief Executive Officer of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission, Bobby Whitfield pledges to partner with YAU Foundation.
He says YAU could be helpful in disseminating WASH messages to students and community dwellers about hands-washing, cleaning the environment, increased access to safe water supply, sanitation and improved hygiene practices, among others.
“With the establishment of this Foundation, it means that Liberia is heading somewhere, and we will get there in the soonest possible time with the vision of our President George Weah and his government’s pro poor policy,” Bobby notes.
The program was graced by several dignitaries, including representatives from the U.S. Embassy, Orange Liberia, CEMECO, Stop and Shop Supermarket, Fawaz Building Material Store, and United Commodity Incorporated (UCI), among others.