GBARNGA, Bong – The international NGO Solidaridad has ended its 50th Anniversary celebration with support to the C. B. Dunbar Maternity Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong.
The US$4,000 donation of an assortment of medical items and supplies to the hospital was intended mainly for nursing mothers and babies.
Dr. Kour Elma Geah, the chief medical director who received the donation on behalf of the hospital, applauded Solidaridad for the assistance, as it came at a moment of great need when the hospital faced crippling financial constraints.
The group’s donation was the first ever to the hospital from an organization working in the agriculture sector, Geah noted.
“This intervention from Solidaridad to celebrate their birthday with us is worth commending, especially from an agriculture institution,” she said.
“We are so happy you are here with these items and on time because we were thinking about our supply, and now you have come in. I understand though you come from the agriculture sector, but you’ve shown that you value the health sector as well. Therefore, everything brought here will be used rightfully.”
With operations in more than 50 countries, Solidaridad says it focuses on developing socially responsible, ecologically sound, and profitable supply chains for a wide range of commodities. For three years, Solidaridad has funded capacity building initiatives for Liberian farmers of cocoa and oil palm industries in Bong and Montserrado as part of its programs.
The 50th-anniversary celebrations also marked the group’s third year of investment in the sectors. Earlier in the day, a formal ceremony was also held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town and brought together various actors to analyze how the production of cocoa and oil palm can positively impact the economy and lives of ordinary farmers.
Solidaridad’s acting country director for Liberia, J. Cyrus Saygbe, disclosed that as a result of the organization’s interventions, a gradual shift was occurring in the oil palm and cocoa sectors that would help boost the economy.
Saygbe also disclosed plans to import modern equipment to help improve oil palm farming, as well as introduce good management practices, with a goal of higher and greater quality yields for the market.
In the past, Solidaridad has provided capacity building training for young people in agriculture. With additional funding, the group says it can continue impacting more farmers and young Liberians across the country.
“It is not that our institution does not want to reach out to other farmers to help improve their productions. but we don’t have that support yet to do so. Moreover, once we start to get more support, we will gladly come in,” he said.
The recently resigned Bureau of National Concessions director-general, Gregory Coleman, also spoke at the program. Coleman lauded the group for its interventions in the agricultural sector, noting that its work has been instrumental in helping to beef up the government’s efforts in cocoa and oil palm productions.
Coleman concluded by calling greater attention to the need for support to local farmers in improving their tending and plant nursing skills, and to provide seedlings for better production and yields.
If its interventions continue, the sector can expect further increases in the quality and output of produce, along with corresponding increases in profitability and livelihood of local farmers.
Featured photo courtesy of Varflay Kamara