T. Q. HARRIS, JR.
Long Beach, CA
Liberia: 6-002-781 / USA: 562-256-4271
16th February 2010
TO: THE FRIENDS OF TQ
My Dear Friends & Supporters:
I write to thank you for the hard work, dedication and the many hours you have invested in organizing and promoting Friends of TQ. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you few of the requests presented to our representatives by the various communities they have visited. As you will see, the challenges facing Liberians at home are overwhelming and the people are desperate.
To you, our partners – the many non-Liberians – who have stepped forward to help revive our beloved Nation, I would like to say a very special Thank You! May the Lord Bless, Prosper, and Shine his Face upon you.
I’m most grateful for how you have in a relatively short span of time transferred my passion for Liberia into a vibrant movement that has become a voice for the voiceless – the forgotten and downtrodden. You have awakened the “Can Do” spirit in Liberians, setting into motion the revival many have longed for.
It is with exceeding joy I note the overwhelming response to Friends of TQ from Liberians around the world. They seem willing to set aside their differences having found a unifying vehicle. As you know, Unity has been the missing ingredient for lasting peace, stability and prosperity. So it is exciting to once again see Liberians working toward a common objective.
As the Friends of TQ extends its reach across Liberia, we have seen firsthand how difficult it is to survive from day to day. The level of hardship Liberians are experiencing is beyond comprehension. A large percentage of the population goes to bed most nights hungry. Many are displaced, homeless, sick, and trapped deep in poverty. And there is no relief in sight.
Children throughout the country are suffering from malnutrition, evidenced by the 250 severely malnourished children recently discovered by two Liberian females while visiting a village in Cape Mount County. Yet the Government claims malnutrition is not an issue in the country.
Furthermore, the citizens generally have no other alternative than to provide their own security, which means engaging in vigilante acts in order to combat armed robbers, rapists, arsonists and thieves, among other threats to their personal safety.
The Nation’s high unemployment has made it impossible for parents to send their children to school or pay for proper medical care.
Though the war has ended, Liberians are dying in numbers from preventable diseases, unexplained killings and accidents.
At every stop, Friends of TQ representatives have listened to people tell of their daily struggles to survive. The evidence is clear. From community to community the stories and requests are almost identical.
It is obvious Liberians are desperate for change. They want answers and solutions to their problems. They want security. They want to be heard and relieved of their current dire circumstances. And of the utmost importance, they want a government that works.
The following is a small sampling of requests Friends of TQ have received from the various communities we visited:
1. Women at the Gorbachop Market have appealed for help to put a roof on the market structure and complete the office. “Please help us,” they say, “we are tired sitting in the hot sun and the rain.”
2. Leaders of several communities throughout greater Monrovia have asked for cutlasses, flashlights, rain boots and raincoats to equip their community watch groups.
3. We constantly receive requests for money from the young and old alike who are in need of medical treatment. Many will die needlessly.
4. Youth groups have asked for soccer balls, jerseys and other recreational items which they cannot afford, but are necessary to keep them away from drugs and other criminal activities.
5. A youth group in Sinkor has requested that Friends of TQ provide a hand pump so the community may have clean drinking water. They also asked that we build a 6-stall public toilet to prevent the spread of disease.
6. Students consistently ask for help with tuition and the payment of their West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees, because their parents have no income.
7. The Women of Gbarzon District have requested that T. Q. Harris pay a personal visit to Grand Gedeh County and see firsthand the hardship the people are experiencing. And the men of Gbarzon District have promised to escort him on this trip.
8. The people of Bella-Yalla, through their leaders, have asked Friends of TQ to send used clothes, slippers, soap as well as other basic essentials. “We are suffering…” they say.
9. A youth group in Bomi County has asked that we construct a 2-stall public toilet for the community. And we were asked by the elders to install a hand pump so the people may have access to clean drinking water. “We have no where else to turn; please help us.” The spokesman lamented.
10. At a meeting in the Township of Caldwell our representatives were presented with an urgent appeal to build a community market and construct three bus stop shelters.
11. The organization – Africans United Fighting Against Hunger (AUFAH) – which is made up of youth farmers from across the Nation has asked for help to grow and distribute food products throughout Liberia. Their request includes, seeds, farming equipment and cash.
I could go on and on listing the numerous requests we have received from communities and groups across Liberia, including Nimba, River Gee, Sinoe, Bong, Lofa and Maryland Counties. There is no doubt the people are desperate, and it shows in the kinds of assistance they are seeking. Listening to their emotional appeals can be overwhelming.
However, I am happy to report that – because of your contributions – Friends of TQ has been able to fulfill a number of these requests. But there is still much more to be done. We, therefore, must reach out to our friends, neighbors and all good-natured people and ask for assistance on behalf of the forgotten and downtrodden in Liberia.
As you know, it is my personal belief that Liberians must first make the effort to do for ourselves before calling upon others. Therefore, as a friend of TQ, I am urging you to lead the way in helping our brothers and sisters so that our partners may feel comfortable to follow.
In closing, I would like to share with you an excerpt from a letter we received from a community that is less than 100 miles from Monrovia. It reads: “We would like you to come to our town and speak to us about Mr. T. Q. Harris. We have heard many good things about him and would like to know more. Please when you are coming – if at all possible – bring some salt, slippers and used clothes. Children here up to 15 years old have no clothes to wear.”
My Friends, the statement you just read is a small example of the hardship the majority of Liberians in the country are facing daily. These conditions persist because the President and those in authority are in total denial. Let no one tell you otherwise.
If you are reading this letter and not a member of Friends of TQ but would like to help in a meaningful way, please log in to FRIENDSOFTQ.ORG and sign up as a volunteer or give a donation online. You may also call and speak with a representative.
Change Is Coming!
Yours for the New Prosperous Liberia,
T. Q. Harris, Jr.