In obedience to the Holy Book the Bible, which speaks of being thy brother’s keeper and lending a helping hand to the less fortunate and afflicted, the Episcopal Church of Liberia has distributed several food and non-food materials to Ebola survivors and victims in lower Margibi County.The Episcopal Church donation exercise was done in collaboration with the US-based Episcopal Relief and Development and the United Society, a Norwegian-based humanitarian organization.The distribution was carried out last Thursday to Ebola survivals and victims in Dolo Town, Lower Margibi. Dolo Town, it may be recalled, was recently quarantined for about a month after several individuals contracted the deadly Ebola Virus disease (EVD) and several others were showing signs and symptoms of the disease.During the course of the quarantine, several residents complained of the shortage of food and other necessities, which was primarily because people could not travel in or out of the area.Government later lifted the quarantine, but residents were still facing the effects of the restriction exercise.Rev. Fr. Victor M. King, who led the Episcopal team to the town, said, “This is why [our church] has come to intervene. We want to help the survivors and victims with the little we have, so that they may start their lives over after such a tense period, during which the people were quarantined.”The items distributed by the Church included, Argo Oil, Rice, soap, Clorox, sardine, buckets as well as flyers to educate them on the prevention of the disease.Rev. Fr. King, who spoke on behalf of the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, who is also archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, said the exercise was intended to buttress the effort of government in its Ebola fight in the country.Rev. King told the gathering that the Episcopal Church is deeply concerned about the Ebola situation in the country, and as such, ECL is ready to go beyond the border to help rescue people who have being affected by the disease.According to him, “the Episcopal Churches does not wait for people to die before extending a helping hand to them, but they are there to help at all times.” Rev. Fr. King, who is also the Archdeacon of the South-Western Liberia, told the survivors and victims that all is not lost. “You can count your blessing and name them one by one, because people that went there did not make it, but for you, you made it and you have the reason to tell God “Thank you.”Moreover, Fr. King urged the survivors and victims to worship God because it was He that saved their lifes.For her part, the program coordinator of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Madam Agnes Wilson Perkins, told the victims and survivors that the church was not only donating food but they are also engaged in creating an awareness on the prevention of the disease.Madam Perkins narrated that the mission of the Episcopal Church is to travel in the fifteen counties to distribute food and non-food items to Ebola survivors and victims.According to her, the disease is now a common enemy in Liberia and as a church, they are not only preaching about Ebola trough sermons but also preaching about the disease through the development of the human mind.The Episcopal Church of Liberia program coordinator put the total cost of the items at US$20,000 which will cover Cape Mount, Bomi and River Cess, among others.Meanwhile, Ebola survivors and victims of Dolo Town used the occasion to thank the Episcopal Church of Liberia and its partners for the gesture.In a related development, the Episcopal Church of Liberia has started a two-week intensive free nutritional meal program for Ebola patients at the Island Clinic Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A balsa wood bridge isn’t something you’d want to drive your car over, but it can be a useful way to expose kids to engineering.Listen nowThe Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program recently hosted middle school students from the Anchorage School District at the University of Alaska Anchorage.In a building on the edge of the UAA campus, 47 middle schoolers are putting last-minute touches on miniature bridges.Glue dries on an unfinished bridge. (Photo by Ammon Swenson, Alaska Public Media- Anchorage)The students gather in groups around blueprints of their own design. They carefully measure, cut, and glue thin pieces of balsa wood, hoping their creations will be able to stand up to the abuse of real-world testing.The bridge building exercise is part of the ANSEP program’s Middle School Academy. For two weeks, the students live on campus and get a taste of college life, while being exposed to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.“So they are getting that experience, they’re able to not only envision themselves here in the future, but actually spend some time here and prepare for their university experience in the future,” Josephine Mattison, ANSEP’s middle school director, said.She says that other than a push in the right direction and some adult supervision, the students are left to their own devices when building their bridges.Students prepare to test their bridges at the ANSEP Middle School Academy. (Photo by Ammon Swenson, Alaska Public Media- Anchorage)“So it empowers them quite a bit and there is a bit of challenge in it as well as they have time constraints and working with others and getting all the kinks worked out in time to test,” Mattison said.Among other things, the students took part in an earthquake engineering session and built computers that they would later use to design their bridges.The students are selected through a process designed to prepare them for applying to college. They submit grades and test scores, complete an essay, and provide teacher references. If they’re chosen, they get to attend the program for free.A student gets help attaching their bridge to the testing platform. (Photo by Ammon Swenson, Alaska Public Media- Anchorage)Nancy Neil teaches at Hanshew Middle School and this is her second year helping at the Middle School Academy. She describes the program as a pre-college bootcamp.“We’re teaching them to be thinkers, we’re teaching them not just to learn out of a book,” Neil said. “They have to problem solve and we need more of that in education today.She says that the bridge building exercise does more than just teach them about math and science.“They might have a mind of an engineer, but they also need to know about how to get along with people and this whole bridge building is a challenge so it’s kind of hitting the best of both worlds,” Neil said.A couple of days later, after the glue is dried and the bridges are complete, it’s time to put them to the test. Each group takes turns describing their process and how much weight they predict their bridge will hold.A bridge breaks apart during testing. (Photo by Ammon Swenson, Alaska Public Media- Anchorage)The bridge is attached to a platform and a wooden tray is suspended from the center. Chaperones then slowly add fist-sized metal balls to the tray until the bridge slowly gives out or like some did, explode.No one appeared heartbroken over their hard work being destroyed and most seemed to enjoy watching how their classmates did. One team set a Middle School Academy record for how much weight their bridge held.While the adults look at this program as a means to get students thinking seriously about higher learning, most of the kids— like Jordan Kehl— are just looking for a good time.“It’s just very interesting here and very fun, if you want to make new friends,” Kehl said.He says the program also helps him avoid a younger sibling.“There’s nothing better to do, because if you have a little sister at home, it gets hectic,” Kehl said.The next round of students who will spend time on campus and get free time away from younger brothers and sisters, will be kids from school districts around the state.