06 Mar A Bright Future for Liberians Orphaned by Civil War & Ebola Crisis.
PHEBE GREY RESPONDS TO THE EVER-EVOLVING NEEDS OF ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN LIBERIA.
When the issues facing a community are ever evolving, existing services must also adjust the way they operate in order to adequately meet those needs. This is no easy task and is an ongoing struggle, especially in communities where services are scarce and are lacking in resources.
Phebe Grey Memorial Orphanage is a proud partner home of Serving Orphans Worldwide. This home faithfully serves over 100 children. Their quality of care far surpasses the standard of many orphanages in their community; and therefore, have become a reliable Government resource for referrals of children orphaned by the many issues facing Liberia over the past few decades.
The first wave of children came to Phebe Grey due to the Liberian War that left so many children orphaned. Sixteen-year-old Desmond is one of them. Desmond is one of the longest residents at Phebe Grey, arriving at the home shortly after birth. Sadly, both of Desmond’s parents were killed in the second phase of the Liberian war.
The second wave of children came to Phebe Grey due to numerous orphanages shutting down in the area. In 2007, the United Nations Missions in Liberia released a report revealing the poor living conditions and abuse experienced by children living in various non-licensed orphanages. Their report concluded with a recommendation that encouraged the “closure of all illegal orphanages, ending illegal adoptions and the reunification of children with their families.” (UN.org)
It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 orphans in Liberia. While completely necessary, these closures added a burden of responsibility to legitimate homes such as Phebe Grey Memorial Orphanage. Despite this, Phebe Grey responded to the need and took in numerous children whose relatives could not be located by UN efforts.
Twin sisters, Elizabeth and Angel are constant sources of joy at Phebe Grey. Their laughing and singing can often be heard around the home. Currently, the girls are in the sixth grade and have high aspirations for their future. Elizabeth loves biology and spelling, and hopes to become a bank manager one day. Angel dreams of pursuing a career in journalism.
Elizabeth and Angel are among the many children who came to Phebe Grey as a result of these orphanage closures. UN envoys continued to make radio calls, looking for any surviving relatives to connect the girls with. However, they were unable to locate any family members. Finally, the UN envoys brought them to Phebe Grey, where they were welcomed with open arms. Elizabeth and Angel have been at Phebe Grey since they were six years old.
Developing solutions for the overwhelming number of orphans has always been a daunting task for Liberian officials, particularly in the more rural, inner parts of the country. However, in 2014, the Ebola outbreak further escalated the orphan crisis as it devastated much of West Africa, infecting more than 28,000 people and killing 11,000 people. Liberia was among three of the most heavily impacted countries. Unfortunately, when the World Health Organization announced the end of international public health emergency in 2016, it also marked the beginning of a whole host of other issues.
The fear of catching Ebola kept many surviving relatives from taking in children whose parents died from the disease, leaving countless children with nowhere to go. Once again, Phebe Grey raised their hand and gave them a place to call home.
Today, Phebe Grey Memorial Orphanage is a safe refuge for the most vulnerable children in Liberia. The home rests in the beautiful countryside, right outside the city of Monrovia. The facility is made up of several buildings surrounding a large yard where children can often be found playing rocks, jumping rope or playing soccer under the trees.
Children are referred to this home for many reasons. No matter the story, Phebe Grey believes that each child deserves to be loved, and that they are not defined by their circumstances.
If you would like to sponsor a child from Phebe Grey, please know that 100 percent of every dollar will go directly toward improving the life of that child and not to any of SOW’S administrative costs. That’s our promise!