Liberia Albino Society Reminds Boakai Of His Promise By: Julius Konton

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The Liberia Albino Society has joined the global Albinism community in observance of the 10th International Albinism Awareness Day.  The day was set aside following a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on June 13, 2014 to be observed and celebrated as International Albinism Awareness Day. This year’s celebration was held under the global theme: Ten Years of IAAD , A Decade of Collective Progress. Speaking at the ceremony, Assistant Gender Minister, Ophelia Kennedy, commended the Liberia Albino Society for its contributions to society. She told the gathering that the efforts of the Albino community in rendering free health care services to its members thereby buttressing government’s efforts is welcoming. She called on the public to have respect for diversity including equal participation for all. Madam Kennedy indicated that the celebrations serve as a reminder for the many challenges faced by people living with albinism and the need to advocate appropriately as a means of addressing such challenges. She named the fostering of awareness in schools to ensure that people are aware of Albinism as well as education to avoid stigmatization and discrimination. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which serves as the mother government arm of LAS through the Assistant Minister for Gender, joined her voice to that of the Albinism community following a petition to call on members of the National Legislature to establish special schools and health centers to cater to the needs of people living with albinism. Also speaking at the ceremony was the Executive Director of the Liberia Albino Society, Patricia Logan, who hailed past and present governments for care and support to the Albinism community even though she stated that more still needs to be done. Particularly, Madam Logan praised the past government headed by former President George Weah for increasing their allotment from 150, 000USD to 230, 000USD, respectively. Madam Logan also appreciated the current President, whose during his administration as Vice President of Liberia, LAS allotment was increased from 50,000USD to 150 000Usd, respectively.  “President Boakai, she disclosed, “made a commitment that when he becomes President of Liberia, LAS allotment will experience great increment. ” According to her, it is now time that the President be reminded to live up to his promise to the Albinism community. She, at the same time, commended First Lady  Katumu Boakai for initially including her, the Executive Director of LAS at a major women’s forum, something she pointed out was a good step in the right direction and serves as a good beginning, going forward. Despite the challenges over the period, the LAS head stated that members of the society remain resilient, passionate and committed to serving the larger society. She also bragged that the Albinism community has capable, competent, qualified and professional people as such, they deserve to have a chance to serve in national government. “Give us the chance, we are willing and prepared to serve and to make a difference, ” Madam Logan noted. Meanwhile, the annual celebration held in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, ended with the distribution of food and nonfood items to the Albino community of Grand Bassa County.  Also, over 300 pregnant women, Albinos and non-Albinos received free treatment and walked away with malaria and other related drugs and medical supplies as LAS way of giving back to the larger society as the beneficiaries  appreciated LAS for such  meaningful services and gesture  to them.

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