Georgetown Fundraising Effort Supports Liberian Parish

MARCH 2, 2015 – A multi-office fundraising effort at Georgetown to support a parish in Caldwell, Liberia has raised more than $4,400.

The Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service (CSJ); the Office of Advancement; the Office of Mission and Ministry; and the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) worked together on the initiative that will aid Holy Family Parish.

“Ebola has not only traumatized all of us but has far-reaching consequences on the [economy] of this country,” says the Rev. Timothy Baghrmwin, SJ, the parish’s pastor, who notes that businesses have closed, people have not received salaries, and parents are having difficulty paying for schooling.

‘Myriads of Problems’

“Children have lost one whole year of academic work,” Baghrmwin says. “There are myriads of problems this epidemic has brought upon this country and our people. Therefore, whatever help that Georgetown can offer will be highly appreciated.”

Rosemary Sokas, MD, MOH, chair of the Department of Human Science at NHS, has worked on the fundraiser as a member of the school’s Committee on Mission and Values, planned two town-hall-style meetings for students, faculty, and staff to discuss the Ebola epidemic, and participated in a related Webinar for Georgetown alumni.

“Many hands reached out to help,” says Sokas, who says she hopes to continue working with the committee to raise funds for the parish.

Women and Men for Others

CSJ Executive Director Andria Wisler, PhD, says she was pleased that the center was able to organize this fundraising effort and notes that the effort took place as part of its participation in the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network.

“Through JUHAN, CSJ faculty, staff, and students act as the university’s first responders in supporting fundraising and awareness raising initiatives on campus around global human security issues, such as the Ebola crisis,” she says. “Working together with campus partners to support Holy Family Parish in Liberia exemplifies the purpose of the network and speaks to our tradition of educating women and men for others.”

With others, Baghrmwin has been working to help the community rebuild after years of civil war, he says. Support from foundations has contributed to building a community clinic and parish hall, supplying portable water for the community, and offering scholarships to students. Construction of a parish school was halted in September due to Ebola.

“We got stranded with the project, but we hope to continue and to start in September this year,” he says, noting that this is an area of needed ongoing support.