The Association of Evangelicals in Liberia (AEL) is Tearfund’s main partner in the country, and has experience in water and sanitation, health education, food distribution and shelter projects.
During the upsurge of fighting in 2003, AEL constructed shelters for vulnerable families and improved conditions in camps for internally displaced people around Monrovia. They also distributed food items such as flour, lentils and oil. They are currently managing projects enabling families to return home after years of conflict, improving health and promoting peace. For example:
Resettlement Project: Dewoin District - AEL is helping displaced families to return to 12 villages in Bomi County in southwest Liberia. In this area there are major problems with poor health and a lack of food or the means to grow and store it. Houses and wells are also damaged. Most people drink from local creeks, which also serve as their latrine, leading to diarrhoeal diseases. This project is helping more than 7,500 people, the majority of whom left their homes during the conflict, to re-establish their lives.
AEL is repairing or building 12 wells and providing 100 new latrines. Community members are trained to provide education on hygiene and sanitation. They also tackle wider issues such as nutrition, HIV/AIDS and malaria.
In each village, a development committee is set up to include men, women, youth, elders, and people in positions of local leadership. The committee helps AEL to oversee the project work and look after the facilities such as wells.
Voter Education Project
AEL is encouraging communities and churches to get actively involved in elections.
Workshops are being used to train 160 church leaders, community leaders and school pupils on the election process and the need to actively participate in this. They then raise awareness in the community, particularly through schools and churches. Other community members are also being trained to monitor how the elections are carried out to help ensure that the process is free and fair.
In January 2005 Tearfund sent a disaster response team to Liberia to work alongside AEL. As well as supporting our partner’s work, they have set up some independent projects in local villages. These include: