Verna has heard many stories about Liberia over the years from Jane and Jim Park, Kathi’s parents. With Linda’s involvement in Dignity:Liberia, her interest in Liberia has increased. Verna asked if the Rehab Center in Phebe needed a well, but fortunately, the center has water.
However, the Director of our NGO office, Emile Sam-Peal, knew of a group of three villages, collectively known as Cooper Town that needed a well. Their only source of drinking water was a river in which they also bathed and did their cleaning. Emile had noticed a number of the villagers hard skin problems, possibly due to the multiple uses of the river water. After making further inquiries, Emile reported that it would cost $2,850 to build the well.
Over the course of the year, the 10 to 12 members of Women on Mission saved $1,700 toward the well for Cooper Town. Following Christmas, they met their goal. It was time to build a well in Cooper Town.
Emile’s well maintenance man, Varnay, dug the well. There are no roads going to Cooper Town. It is a three-hour hike through the bush; part of the trek involves crossing a river on a log. The entire Cooper Town community was involved in constructing the well. They carried all the supplies and equipment by foot. Even little children pitched in, carrying bags of cement on their heads.
The day before Linda returned to the United States from Liberia, Varnay stopped by the guesthouse, the home base for our dignity advocates, to give Linda a report on the completed well. He gave her pictures of the project and provided a bottle of very clear water that he drew from the well! Daniel S. Cooper, pastor of Faith Baptist Fellowship Cooper Town (as well as a schoolteacher) accompanied him.
Cooper Town has a well because Verna and a small group of women are determined that people have access to clean water. As it turns out, the three villages that make up Cooper Town have a population of 2,500. For the cost of about $1 per person, 2,500 people now have easy access to clean drinking water!