The EBOLA epidemic which was a determining factor for life in Liberia in 2014/2015 led to a collapse of the already marginal economic situation in the country. Families lost their breadwinners, children became orphans. The death of one or more members of a family proved to be a psychological strain on the population. As the Liberian population is still highly traumatized and has not yet come to terms with the wartime experiences of the civil war which raged from 1989 to 2003, the period during the EBOLA crisis was particularly difficult. The population developed physical complaints which were detected during consultation in the GERLIB CLINIC. Management and the team at the GERLIB CLINIC were actively involved during the EBOLA crisis. Because of the knowledge of the situation of the children in the country and experience gained during the EBOLA epidemic, I decided to found an EBOLA orphanage. This decision was made easier by the offer of the German organization BILD e.V. Ein Herz für Kinder (BILD e.V. - A Heart for Children). This institution and the orphanage program are registered under the patronage of the Margret Gieraths-Nimene Foundation. A meeting of the board agreed that 25 girls should find a new home in the orphanage. Their ages range from 4 to 17 years. I am very aware of the responsibility that I am taking on with this task. I experience these children and their innocence every day at the GERLIB CLINIC as well as the GERLIB COMMUNITY CENTER. Sometimes, it breaks my heart to learn just what conditions these children have to live under. It’s not possible to help all the children in Liberia. Nevertheless, I can make a contribution to helping ensure that some children lead a life in dignity by initiating the establishment of the orphanage and campaigning for their wellbeing. Since my arrival in Liberia, children and adolescents have been receiving support and are now a productive part of Liberian society, going to work, feeding themselves and their families and leading a self-sufficient and independent life. MAGIF Inc. works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and the Ministry of Gender. Financial support from the Government provides a monthly payment of US$ 6.00 per child. This amount is not enough to feed and clothe a child and ensure that it gets a school education.
MAGIF Inc. offers the girls a home where love, understanding, respect and happiness are the rule (or should be the rule). Along with satisfying the elementary needs of nutrition, clothing, hygiene and a harmonious home, the girls also receive a school education. Together with their duties such as learning and helping in the household after school, they also have a right to playtime and relaxation. They are protected and encouraged to develop their independence in accordance with their abilities and interests. At the end of their stay in the MAGIF Orphanage, they should be in a position to be able to lead their lives in dignity and become a productive member of Liberian society. They will attend schools which are located in Zubah Town. The smaller children aged up to 6-8 years will initially visit the GERLIB COMMUNITY CENTER which is about 10 minutes away on foot. Medical care is provided by the GERLIB CLINIC. Community workers will look after the girls; security staff and cleaners will be appointed.
There are six large bedrooms, each of which two or three bunk beds. Seven toilets and showers are provided, as well as a kitchen and a large dining room. In the basement, there is a large room which provides a possibility for games and relaxation. A play area is to be installed in the garden which also offers room to develop agricultural activities such as planting vegetables and/or flowers. A solar power system provides the building with electricity and a well on the site is a source of fresh, clean water. Financing the building has been made possible by the aid organization BILD hilft e.V. Ein Herz für Kinder, Hamburg. The water supply and the construction of the well were financed by HDL - Das Hilfswerk der Deutschen Lions e.V., Wiesbaden (Aid Organization of the Lions Foundation Germany). The financial resources for interior fixtures and fittings such as beds were provided by the German Embassy, Monrovia, as well as Liberia - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Essen (Liberia Association – Help for Self-Help).