Event creates educational opportunities for Ebola orphans

Scholarship students and staff of St. Andrew, Mbaloma, with orphan children of Ebola

Scholarship students and staff of St. Andrew, Mbaloma, with orphan children of Ebola

The prayer of Jabez (I Chronicles 4:9-10), was the ultimate intention and desire of PIMIL, Partners-in-Ministry-in-Liberia, when we held the sixth annual International Luncheon and Silent Auction fundraiser on July 11 that celebrated the 10th anniversary of PIMIL. This popular annual event is organized to raise funds to augment the generous donations of sponsors for the ongoing education of children in Liberia. Annual donations from sponsors total $11,000, but the annual scholarship assistance needed for the children is $16,000.

This year, our goal was to raise $7,000; over $13,000 was raised! Now, PIMIL can extend the educational territory/tent of opportunity to Ebola orphans at the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year, in addition to the students normally benefitting from our fundraising efforts.

The words of St. Paul speak to the efforts of the 2015 event organizing team, the giving of contributors and to the supporters, signified by an overflow of guests: “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:21). PIMIL gives humble, grateful and profound thanks to all for the tremendous success of the celebration!

The Ebola virus that plagued Liberia unabatedly for about a year, left over 2,000 orphans. Liberia was declared Ebola free in April 2015. Although the virus returned at the end of June, it is under control and health officials have assured the public and the international community there is no need to panic. Indeed, in the communities affected by the virus, about a hundred persons have been quarantined and treatment has been administered successfully.

The educational plight of these orphans call for concerted efforts from many organizations in order to restore hope and assure fulfillment to the children: United Nations Children and Educational Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, Gender Equality of the Liberian Government, religious organizations, and religious-based organizations, such as PIMIL. According to reliable sources, surviving relatives of the orphans have abandoned them. PIMIL has received appeals for scholarship assistance on behalf of the orphans from members of the Episcopal Church of Liberia and other institutions created to help the children attend school. The children are being cared for in homes of church families.

PIMIL is excited to begin responding to the educational needs of the orphans, and invites you to join us in this Christ-like and humanitarian endeavor. Jesus’ teaching encourages us as well in our compassionate response: “… Whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!” (Matthew 25:40-GNB). Send donations to: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Address: 23 E. College Avenue, Westerville, OH 43081. Write in the memo area: Ebola education.

PIMIL is supported by voluntary donations from sponsors like you. “Gbakai” – Thank you! (in Vai, a Liberian language.)

Abeoseh (Abby) Flemister is a member of St. Matthew’s, Westerville and serves as PIMIL director. Contact her at aflemister@insight.rr.com.