EbolaBeGone, a local activist group gathering supplies and resources to combat the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and other West African countries held a candlelight vigil at the State House attended by over two hundred people last night. Speakers spoke movingly of having lost friends, families and classmates to this terrible disease that has now claimed over 5000 victims.
Governor Lincoln Chafee, who publicly rebuked the positions of Governors Chris Christie in New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo in New York when he said Rhode Island would base its policies regarding Ebola on science (as opposed to politically expedient fear), attended in full African dress and spoke briefly to the crowd, but he kept his comments off politics and on the message of hope and remembrance.
One surprise speaker was Ashoka Mukpo, the Rhode Island native and journalist who contracted Ebola in Liberia and survived. “Liberia for me was a second home,” said Mukpo, “I love the country and love the people… I was very lucky to have all these resources that could take care of me… and I know so many Liberians have not had that opportunity…”
Towards the end of the vigil, a woman sang “God is bigger than us” in Grebo, a language native to Liberia.
Consider donating to the efforts of EbolaBeGone. You can find out more on their Facebook page.