November 7, 2022: For the first time in 48 years, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), has launched Liberian Diaspora Initiative Funds (LDIF) aimed at lifting all Liberians out of poverty. Established in September 2022, the initiative is a subsidiary of ULAA social services program in response to poverty reduction efforts irrespective of ethnicity, language, religion, and gender.
ULAA President, Hon. Shiwoh Kamara speaking at the lunch in Atlanta Georgia said ULAA believes all Liberians should have equitable access to living a life of dignity, equality, justice, and economic success. “This is a historic moment that all Liberians should be proud of,” Mr. Kamara said in remarks. “ULAA is moving towards solidifying its advocacy role to the actual economic development agenda. That is why this project is aimed at promoting economic development and reducing poverty in Liberia.”
As part of LDIF targets, the initiative focuses on education, health care, technology, agriculture, and entrepreneurship. As part of its implementation process, ULAA would seek to collaborate and develop partnerships with the Liberian government, United States partners, Liberians in the diaspora, corporations, foundations, non-profit organizations among others. “No child or family in Liberia should go without food, education, or equitable access to healthcare,” ULAA president said during the launch. Graced and endorsed by ULAA chapter delegates, the Union agreed to officially open a Monrovia-based office soon for full implementation of the fund projects.
As part of implementation processes, LDIF management team would select organizations or entities with a track record of yielding results, good leadership structure, and a mission of focusing on women, children, and youth, using a four-step process. The process includes identifying organizations, establishing project criteria, requesting proposals as well as the publication of implementing organizations.
Under its pillars of identifying projects, ULAA has developed a mythology to determine clients’ project eligibility using the highest opportunity for poverty reduction, economic development, and funds availability. The project, which was recently tested in Paynesville City, brought together scores of Liberian youth and officials of ULAA under one banner cleaning city areas in partnership with the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC).
Calling on all Liberians across the US to embrace the project, ULAA said the sustenance of the projects and program would depend on the support of all Liberians in the diaspora. “For far too long, we as Liberians have sat on the fence waiting for the government to do everything.” Kamara toned. “But today, ULAA has opted to take a different modern approach by aiding our people directly through development projects through a ULAA vehicle.”
Naming other initiatives ongoing, ULAA President said the Union is currently holding consultations with the government and its partners to ensure a Liberian diaspora voting system in the upcoming October 2023 general and presidential elections. He named the passage of the recent Dual Citizenship bill as a major boost for Liberians, which among other things maintains Liberian citizenship despite citizenship in other countries.
The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is the umbrella group of Liberians and their various organizations in the Americas. ULAA is a voluntary, nonprofit and non-governmental organization established July 4, 1974. ULAA’s mission is to advance the just causes of Liberians and Liberia at home and abroad. The union’s general principles are to promote and encourage national reconciliation, integration, and unification; preserve and protect Liberian culture, history, and traditions; uphold and defend fundamental rights. It also seeks to defend the human rights and civil liberties of Liberians everywhere; cultivate and harness the energies and resources of Liberians to improve the quality of life of all Liberians abroad, and advocate and advance the cause of constitutional democracy and sustainability nationally.
For more details, visit https://ulaalib.org/ldif-page/
Mr. Stephen Binda
Deputy Press Secretary
Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA)