While COVID-19 buried some of our plans for 2020, it didn't stop us from distributing food still or bringing joy to children or learning much more about agriculture. That learning brought us to submitting in June a request for an agribusiness grant.
We were most grateful in January 2020 to receive an email from agricultural specialists in the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Australia. This pointed us to books and other literature about agriculture and farming. So we set off early in the year looking for farmland with agricultural specialists in Liberia. Then COVID-19 got in the way. That written and geography-based learning taught us quite a lot about what we knew, what we didn't know and considerations for moving forward.
Despite COVID-19 we were keen and ready to lodge an application in June for a grant from the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture under the auspices of the World Bank.
The assessment of the grants program commenced in November 2020 with their initial investigation to ensure that we were a legitimate NGO charity in Liberia.
It has been with great excitement that we were invited to an award ceremony on Saturday 23 January 2021. The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Jeanine Milly Cooper, with staff from the Ministry in attendance, announced the recipients under the program. There were 49 formal businesses awarded a grant and a further 63 small businesses that received a grant.
The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc was among the formal business recipients and the grant was and is received with great gratitude to the Ministry and the World Bank. Some photos from Saturday's event are in the carousel below.
It is important to note that the mission of our Agriculture Ministry includes "Vision 2: 'To support the whole value chain of agro allied industries and support the development from seeds to plates'". This aligns perfectly with The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc values, intent and plans to help feed children, the elderly, the sick, and anyone without adequate food supplies to sustain them. Many thanks go to the Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture for seeing our alignment with the Ministry's vision.
We still have a long way to go to raise sufficient funds to progress our journey to buy land and establish our first farm. We are very grateful to donors who have helped us thus far. If you can continue to support us even simply by raising awareness of our journey and fund-raising efforts, we would be most grateful.
If you would like more information about the World Bank which was set up in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference. you'll find it at https://www.worldbank.org/. The bank's purpose is to help economic development and thereby achieve its mission "to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way." The World Bank was co-founded by John Maynard Keynes the acknowledged father of modern economics.
If you'd like more information about the wonderful work of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, you'll find it at https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/.
The grants awards ceremony is available through the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kmtvlib/videos/122889059686251/.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones, all in deep gratitude.
A year to remember. A year to forget.
Certainly, a year that has been vastly different than others in recent memory for lots of people and communities in Liberia and around the world.
Our hearts go out to the many families around the world that have lost loved family members or friends due to COVID-19. It has been a very tough year and the pandemic is not over yet. We are privileged to still be alive. Let's work to help each other.
I am really thrilled however with the magnificent efforts of the volunteers on which The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc depends.
We helped as best we could when the orphanage burned in January. We helped distribute masks and safety advice, as well as, raise awareness about COVID-19 in May this past year. We helped people effected by flooding that occurred in June.
Also, in June we lodged our formal application to the Ministry of Agriculture seeking support for our plans to develop self-sufficient farming communities. Assessment of that application commenced in late November and continues in 2021.
All the while we have managed to keep up our monthly food distribution through local communities to people who are extremely hard pressed to get sufficient nourishment for their children and themselves. It has not been an easy year to keep going for anyone. We are grateful for the support that we have received.
The 2020 Christmas was hugely different to the 2019 Christmas celebrations.
In 2019 and previous years, we were able to have hundreds of children gathering to tell the Nativity story and to visit with Santa Claus. This year, such gatherings were impossible given pandemic restrictions that are in place to look after ourselves and other people within our communities. These restriction sit well however within the African psyche of looking after one another.
It meant simply that The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc volunteers needed to go out to communities rather than bringing the children into one central location. No Nativity play this year and no Santa in one place only. But many of the children told us it was the best Christmas they had ever experienced.
Our volunteers visited communities at Sand Beach-Duazon, Lower Margibi County, Duazon community-lower Margibi county, Shara-Duport Paynesville, Duport Road Paynesville. We climaxed the home delivery celebrations in the SKD Sports Complex Community (this community has five sections with over 100 houses in each section).
Kids were amazing throughout the distribution. At a certain point we became embarrassed because we took 200 gifts and food items for distribution. The kids heard the news, they ran behind us. A mother from the Duazon community told us thank you that it was the very first time for such an event to happen in their community. Seeing people distributing gifts and food for the kids, we received blessings also.
In Duport, when we were almost finished, I presented the gift to another little girl. She shouted saying "Thank you! My Christmas is here!" Other kids smiling and offering gratitude gave us the strength to walk throughout the day. It was a long day and quite exhausting for all of us. We were glad to sleep that night!
Our efforts at The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc must have been noticed somehow. A story appeared in the local newspaper after Christmas. We are most grateful for that publication of our journey so far.
Please feel free to read the original news article below and support this newspaper.
Daily OBSERVER: Fètes 600 Kids with ‘My First Santa’ Initiative
It is our hope that this article and others will help our fund-raising efforts in 2021 ... that we will get to raise sufficient capital funds to start our self-sufficient farm communities!
2021 … here we come! Happy New Year to everyone!
Raphaelyn C N Bomosy
It might have been our biggest day ever or it might not have been so. But it is a while since our team was feeling quite so tired from walking around on uneven pathways, going up and down hills, and then stopping to talk with individuals, families and communities and moving on again.
We were gifted an extra-large supply of rice for our monthly food distribution by the Hon. Saah Joseph, Montserrado County Junior Senator for which we are most grateful. Thank you, Senator, from the depths of our hearts for assisting us to help those less fortunate in our communities.
We collected the bags of rice on Friday 8 May 2020, packaged it to the measures needed for distribution and set out on Saturday to deliver it to our gift-receiving community members.
We had been able to order tee-shirts for each member of our team and these arrived in time to have a unified display of ourselves to those we have been visiting for a long time on our monthly rounds and some new people. We want to grow the number that we can help with rice and other produce as time goes along. We need help from lots of people to help this to happen.
In this time of the COVID-19 crisis, we also took the opportunity to talk to people about the need for hygiene in our communities. Not only did we talk to people, but we had also printed some posters about hygiene that we pasted up on walls in the various communities. We wore face masks and demonstrated hand washing as we moved around the communities.
Tiredness did not diminish our enormous joy when one young boy yelled out: “Thank you aunty!” as we handed his mother her rice package. He also was overjoyed when we acknowledged his politeness and his effort to give thanks.
It is the little things that make our day when we are kind and courteous to those we meet and deal with on a daily or regular or infrequent basis. It's also good to learn from those that are older and have more experience of life and it's ups and downs.
Tired or not, we all had a fulfilling fun day being with each other. All the members of our volunteer team working together for a common cause to help others.
If you can help us, please do so. If you are unable to do so financially, please raise awareness about our objectives by passing this information onto others. Suggest that they visit this website and if possible, donate or raise awareness.
May joy and blessing fill your hearts and soul. Our grateful thanks go out to you and to those you love and cherish. We hope you'll enjoy some of the pictures from the day included below.
Raphaelyn C N Bomosy
Honorary Colonel Captain Tom Moore is certainly to be congratulated on his 100 years young birthday today 30 April 2020 for taking up his quest to raise GBP 1,000 for the dedicated men and women of the NHS in the United Kingdom. The results have far exceeded his expectation and that of others.
The fantastic work of the NHS (and of other medical and support staff around the world) should be applauded in this year that is like no other for many years past. As the Australian Chair of this Foundation, I'm also particularly proud to hear that a sizeable portion of people working in the United Kingdom's NHS are fellow Australians.
But wherever we come from or whatever our heritage there are less advantaged people throughout the world who need our help even more so in this time of crisis.
At the time I'm writing this (30-04-2020) there are said to be 141 confirmed people with COVID-19 in Liberia. Forty-five people are said to have recovered. Sixteen have died. No matter the numbers, it's about human tragedy and suffering for families. It's about misinformation and human fear. It's about the continuing need to help people within the context of them wanting still to become a self-sustaining community of people looking after each other in multiple ways.
It's about walking for humanity - just like Tom. The volunteers of The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc are still doing all in their power to help their communities. Included below are some recent photos of our volunteers "working and walking for humanity" ... young and older. To these volunteers, people matter in very many ways.
Will you walk for humanity with us and help us to be the best charitable organisation that we can be in Liberia? Will you help feed the hungry and educate those wanting to learn? Over time, will you help us to rebuild an economy that was decimated in the Ebola crisis - now uncertain about what COVID-19 will do to the Liberian economy?
Please take action today to make a donation to The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc to continue and improve the mighty work ethic of its volunteers to feed and education communities, as well as, become a self-sustaining community over time.
Take care ... stay safe ... may all the blessings possible within the universe descend upon you and those you love.
Chair - The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc
I may look relaxed, but our 10-year plan starts this year – it starts NOW! In fact, it has started already late last year in our enquiries and planning!
It’s a bit scary in its size for all of us. So, we need to break it into bite-sized pieces and chew away at it until its digested and accomplished.
For some years team members, now formally members of The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc, have sought food donations and/or money (to buy food) for disadvantaged people in our communities – whether young struggling mothers, elderly people or others suffering in some way that makes life very tough for them.
I’m so proud of my team of wonderful people who have helped so many. And I’m privileged to be a member of the team with them - equals sharing the work among us.
This year we begin our journey into food production to be able to help the people we are already helping and to help many more. Our aim is to be able to give out US$2.5 million worth of food annually to those in need by 2030. Included in that expanded group will be the Love A Child Orphanage, so disastrously affected by fire burning its dormitories in January 2020. Please continue to help our efforts to help them.
For some weeks now we’ve been searching for suitable arable land to begin a farm for food production. We’ve driven, ridden and walked great distances in our search – included below are some pictures from our searching earlier this month. While we still have several options to explore, we need your help to buy the land and the means (in farming equipment and ancillary items) to buy, plant and cultivate seeds and plants that will bring us to plentiful annual harvests.
This year also, at the very least, we want to double the number of students we sponsor into education. Last year we started with five (5) students. This year at least ten (10) more students hopefully will be able to join in the school program. Education helps break the poverty cycle and the degradation of our communities that poverty often brings.
Our plans for self-sustainable communities in Liberia over the next ten years are huge and in some ways frightening. But we believe we are better off aiming big and falling (slightly) short than simply achieving smaller goals when we could do better. Please see our 10-year Charter (separate page on this website) that’s included into our registered charity organization.
Will you help us, please? We’d love for you to come with us on this journey … this new mighty adventure … for The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc and help us to be the very best we can be as an NGO Charity in Liberia.
You can help us in many ways, such as –
· Raising awareness on social media or GoFundMe sharing at http://bit.ly/39ftPVa
· Promoting us to your fans, family, friends and followers via GoFundMe above
· Keeping us in your prayers and thoughts as you talk to other people.
PLEASE take ACTION today to help us help others.
Thank you for taking ACTION … and, may your life be blessed with hope and fulfilment.
Raphaelyn C N Bomosy
At present, we at The Raphaelyn Foundation are saddened by the recent fire which severely damaged the Love A Child Orphanage on Roberts Field Highway, VOA Community, Paynesville City, Liberia.
We didn’t hear about this tragedy until 9 January 2020. The Love A Child Orphanage experienced a fire disaster which destroyed the dormitories and led to a great loss of stock for daily living and leaving 42 children homeless and 9 staff greatly distressed.
This orphanage has done fantastic work in putting smiles on the faces of children who have lost their parents in various tragedies. Members of our Foundation have attended camp and retreats with orphans from this orphanage and know well the fantastic work that’s done for these children.
During our recent trip to Bong County to explore opportunities for our major 2020 projects, The Raphaelyn Foundation was privileged to receive donations of clothes, pots, plates, spoons, tubs, buckets, cooking and eating utensils, and other items. These were given to the Love A Child Orphanage Director, staff and some children present on a recent visit to them.
With grateful hearts, the family of the Love A Child Orphanage received the items and expressed their appreciation for the donations given in their time of need.
The expressions on the faces of the Love A Child Orphanage family brought joy to our hearts and reminded us of the biblical entreaty to “Love Your Neighbour As You Love Yourself!”
The Raphaelyn Foundation motto of Love+Care+Educate serves to remind us about our priority to light up sad faces, give hope to the needy, unhealthy, disadvantaged and others in our communities.
We want to do more to help the Love A Child Orphanage to recover from this tragic event. It's our hope that you will continue to support our different initiatives which will enable us to solve some of the many problems people face today. Restoring hope and putting smiles on faces.
We are doing the best that we can to help this wonderful group of people who care for these children. However, our resources are quite limited, and we need your help to help further the orphans who have now been displaced and to help the orphanage in the repair of its buildings.
Pictures below show some aspects of the damaged building as well as our visit to the orphanage to deliver the gifts The Raphaelyn Foundation has received to help our causes.
Can you donate and help us please to help the Love A Child Orphanage?
Thank you in anticipation of your continuing support and donations to the works of our Foundation.
Stay blessed for your generosity.
Raphaelyn C N Bomosy
We’ve had a big year. Big, not only in our activities but also in getting the Foundation registered as an NGO Charity in Liberia and sponsoring our first students into education programmes.
We will grow in 2020 and beyond to help as many people as possible across the broad spectrum of our charter for the Foundation.
The last week has been enormously busy and exhausting for all our volunteers.
In the last full week of 2019, as well as distributing our final round of food packages for the year, the Foundation has experienced its biggest Christmas celebrations for 500+ children in Bomi County between 22-25 December 2019. Children from eight towns were involved this year.
With some left-over goodies, we gave them out to children in other towns during our three hours drive from Goghen Town back to Paynesville. So maybe next year will be bigger celebrations again.
In our Goghen Town celebrations activities included:
· Food, drinks and gifts to be bought
· Toys to be sorted
· Parcels of gifts to be prepared
· Banners to be printed and drawn
· Decorations to be put up
· Songs and entertainment arranged
· Gifts put under the Christmas tree
· Nativity scene rehearsed and played
· Anticipated excitement for the man in red
· Games organised, managed & prizes
· Proud parents with their children
· Children proudly displaying their new toys
Overall, people young and young at heart were in the Christmas spirit and enjoyed some great times together.
Some pictures from our celebrations in Goghen Town and our final food distribution for 2019 are shown in the carousel montage below.
Proud of the fantastic volunteers (including Santa) that I’m with in The Raphaelyn Foundation Inc does not adequately express my gratitude for all the wonderful work and results that have been achieved this year.
Together let’s go on to build bigger and better achievements for communities in Liberia in 2020 and beyond.
With gratitude I thank also our sponsors, donors and supporters without whom we’d be severely challenged in achieving the massive charter of purpose that we’ve set for ourselves.
If you can spread the word for us, please do so. We will be eternally grateful and you will always be in our prayers for yourself and those you love.
Be at peace and stay blessed in 2020 and always.
Raphaelyn C N Bomosy