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Poverty Alleviation Projects

June 3, 2009

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your May 2009 report for The $10 Club.

Liberia’s three and a half million people are at significant risk of dire poverty and the nation is ranked 176 out of 179 on the United Nations Human Development Index. This Western African nation is suffering from an onslaught of violent crime such as armed robbery. Drug abuse is on the rise, especially among ex-combatants who used marijuana and amphetamines to embolden themselves before battle. As with many impoverished African countries, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria are major killers. Sanitation is poor – only one in 25 Liberians has access to a toilet. And the number of women dying during childbirth has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. These are among the many dismal conditions leading to an expectation that the average Liberian will die before their 46th birthday.

Two years ago we supported Imani House’s work in Liberia with medicines for the clinic they operate, as well as a sewing machine and supplies for a sewing class, a year’s stipend for the clinic nurse, and other items. In the last 8 months alone the Imani House Clinic served 9,837 people; of this group 99.5% were women and children.

Mrs. Bisi Ideraabdullah, Imani House’s Executive Director, has come back to me now asking The $10 Club to consider a request to expand a building that they constructed and used for their children's home during most of the country’s civil war to improve and expand their life-saving services.

This month, 360 of us joined together with our friends at the High Five Club in England to donate $4,150 to Imani House to support their clinic expansion and renovation project, adding three rooms to the facility. Our grant will underwrite 2,000 dirt bricks; 98 bags of cement for the bricklaying, wall plastering, and floor installation; 12 steel rods for pillars, rough sand for brick laying and smooth sand for plastering; two wheel barrows; roofing materials; 15 windows; 15 gallons of paint; whitewash; assorted other building necessities; and a significant portion of the transportation and labor costs. Thank you!

The Imani House clinic sits on 5 acres of land six miles outside of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia, in the semi rural area of Brewerville. This clinic, which was established to meet the emergency health needs of over 10,000 internally displaced Liberians who had fled from fighting in their rural areas, began in a tent donated by the United Nations.

The Imani House Maternal and Child Health Care Clinic is open five days a week from 8 am – 4pm. It serves approximately 14,000, mostly women and children, offering, health care treatments, child immunization, family planning, laboratory screening, pre-natal care, deliveries, collaboration and training for local midwives, HIV prevention, and health education.

The clinic is staffed by capable and qualified Liberians. The head nurse is an RN with over 25 years of experience; the PA has 14 years experience; the certified midwife holds a certificate in midwifery with over 22 years experience; the lab technician has extensive experience and worked for the JFK hospital before the war. They also often have visiting doctors from the U.S. or Europe who work to upgrade the staff skills.

Adding three rooms to the building and renovating it will allow the following:
  • Several additional rooms for screening, laboratory analysis, and treatment will be available. This additional space will be used for various health service activities, including child immunization, health talks and education, and others.
  • The ability to accept and serve more patients.
  • A full building with windows, lights and a good roof. Last year during the rainy season, the roof on the original clinic blew off twice and they had to replace it.
  • Secure storage space for their medicines and equipment.
  • A generator so the laboratory technician can use a modern microscope for analysis.
  • The possibility of extending the clinic into evening hours.
This Clinic is one of the shining stars of Liberia. Mrs. Ideraabdullah emailed me to say: “Thanks so much for considering this project a worthy one. Because we are small it is often difficult to acquire the kind of funding that would help us do the work of expanding or in some cases keeping up with the high demand for good health treatment at our clinic in Liberia.”

This clinic is the only clinic in the area. They have saved thousands of lives during and since the war, and people come from near and far, walking if necessary, to receive treatment there because of the quality of service and the medicines that they are able to provide.

Thanks to you their good works can continue – and expand, serving thousands more impoverished Liberians! $10 well spent.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

PS. Don’t go off on summer vacation without forwarding this letter to everyone you know, encouraging them to join The $10 Club… and make sure you have sent in your June donation, too!

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org