Stand And Be Counted In The Fight Against Ebola

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[Commentary]

The Leadership of the United African Congress and Give Them A Hand Foundation have cared and been counted. The  Ambassadors of the Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Permanent Observer to the United Nations have cared and been counted.

The United States Sierra Leone Association (USSLA), AfricaWrites, AMULOMA Foundation, Mandyn Dyama and Bintha Phil Porta with a Diaspora contingency from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea have all cared and been counted.

Africa’s most distinguished and authoritative Newspaper Publisher of The Black Star News cared and have been counted. Nominated Nobel Peace Prize candidate cared and have been counted. Distinguished Scientists and Providence Medical Society President have cared and been counted.

The World Health Organization (WHO) cared and have been counted. Distinguished Faith Based Leader Reverend Dr. Luonne Rouse, Pastor of the United Methodist Church of Huntington, who could rightfully claim a patent for his vision in providing the PIT concept that is now been parroted all over the globe cared and been counted along with such luminaries as Pastors Cutts, Emmanuel and the world’s most celebrated marcher for world peace and justice with 27,000 miles under his career belt, the Reverend Danny Garcia have cared and been counted.

Ms. Sigga Jagne from Kentucky cared enough to board a plane from Kentucky to New York to report for duty in the name of humanity. She has been counted.  Dr. Tom Baryoh, one of the most respected radio personalities from Sierra Leone cared enough to join the event for caring and sharing upon his arrival from the JFK into the event the day after his arrival in the United States from his native country, Sierra Leone. Indeed, the world communities and civil society friends and supporters of Africa cared and have been counted , with all of us reporting for duty to STOP EBOLA from taking the precious lives of our peoples in the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

They all joined more than 300 others at a conference on Ebola at the United Nations on August 27th, 2014.

Believe me, all of these organizations and individuals could have continued reading the newspapers and lamenting about the epidemic spiraling out of control while over 2000 lives have been lost. No they did not. They did not fall into the blame game syndrome. They did not pontificate and make elaborate plans that go nowhere. They did not blame the world for the epidemic.

They did not continue to romanticize Africa or show their credentials as Pan Africanists.  Instead, they boldly and basically said "We are present for duty and want to see how we can help." Period.

They each decided on their own to reach into their pockets to contribute whatever they can afford to assist. Some pledged material goods that still need to be collected and shipped to the needy.  Some organizations have pledged to contribute $1,000 dollars from their own organizational coffers to be part of human history.

Others are in consultations with their respective Boards, place of employment, friends and network to enlisting them in a campaign that might well go down in this century as the most important project in our lives as true Pan Africans who believe in humanity and the preservation of life.

Others are organizing fund-raising events in selected cities across United States. Others are raising awareness through the world-wide net. Others are focusing on private solicitations of goods to some of their own countries of choice, villages and families to contain the virus.

Whatever form these solicitations provide through the recording of in-kind services by individual or through the collective resolve to make a difference during this critical time could produce, one thing remains true -- we must act now and fast.

Let us do it now, right now not six months from now because waiting for too long might not save the lives that we can save now. Many have already died. Some of those infected are now going through enormous challenges just to survive. We do not know whether they will live or die in the process. For now, we must act and act fast and decisively. Tomorrow will be too late. We must act now and do what we can to assist.

This is the time Africa and Africans everywhere, including people of goodwill all of the world must demonstrate their incredible human generosity in caring and sharing for our people that are desperately in need of their prayers, financial and material support and assistance during one of the most challenging times in the continent of Africa’s history.

This is not the time to romanticize Africa. This is not the time to heap blame on the leaders who have inherited years of neglect of their infrastructures due to protracted wars and incredible challenges in development. This is not the time for ethnic or regional politics. This not the time for neighboring countries to close their borders to the needy neighbors. 

This is definitely not the time for the African Diaspora constituencies to pontificate on intractable and no-win fights.

Definitely not the time for grandstanding. Definitely not the time to blame the international community in their slowness to respond to the epidemic. Plainly and strictly speaking, this is our time for concrete action in saving lives.

The lives of people who are calling for and counting on our assistance and support.

Can we count on you to stand with us? I hope and pray that you do as others are incrementally trying to do.

 

Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai is President and National Spokesperson, United African Congress

 

 

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