• Bawaydee, Tchien District, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Ivorian refugee Céline Zouhou (left) with Nancy Gay, her hostess in Liberia.
    • Bawaydee, Tchien District, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Ivorian refugee Céline Zouhou (left) with Nancy Gay, her hostess in Liberia.
      © ICRC / P. Yazdi / v-p-lr-e-00563

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    "Communities welcomed and hosted me when I went to Côte d'Ivoire as a refugee in 1990,” explains Nancy. “We’re from the same ethnic group and we speak the same language, even if the national languages on the two sides of the border are different. My three daughters are married to Ivorians and they live over there. We have relatives on both sides of the border."

  • Grand Gedeh county, Liberia. LBS journalist Jerry Beypu films an ICRC/Liberian Red Cross distribution operation.
    • Grand Gedeh county, Liberia. LBS journalist Jerry Beypu films an ICRC/Liberian Red Cross distribution operation. Because of logistical, budgetary and other constraints, Liberian journalists do not always have the opportunity to travel to remote areas and report on life “in the counties.”
      © ICRC / P. Yazdi / v-p-lr-e-00564

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    Ever since the host families took them in, refugees had been sharing items such as kitchen equipment with their hosts and were lacking such essentials as mosquito nets and sleeping mats. In April 2012, the ICRC distributed a kitchen set, a tarpaulin, a plastic bucket, two mosquito nets, six sleeping mats, two blankets, six “lappers” (pieces of cloth), and six pieces of laundry soap to each of 2,500 families.

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Cecilia Torh sows seed on land cleared by burning.
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    Cecilia has given a refugee family space to build a shelter and a small patch of land to farm. In February 2012, the ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross supplied each of 750 farming families who were hosting refugees with enough seed to grow rice on one acre of land (about 4,000 square metres).

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. LBS journalists Moses Garzeawu and Jerry Beypu interview Cecilia Torh.
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    To share with the media this atmosphere of solidarity and fraternity between Liberian host communities and Ivorian refugees, the ICRC decided to take two journalists from LBS (Liberia Broadcasting System) to Grand Gedeh County, near the border with Côte d'Ivoire.

    "We have just burned and cleared this area so we can sow the seed provided by the ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross,” Cecilia explains. “We hope to have enough rice for our family to eat and some to sell. That way we can also continue to help the refugees we’re hosting.”

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. LBS journalists Moses Garzeawu and Jerry Beypu interview Lawrence Sackor, an agronomist from the Liberia Red Cross Society's Grand Gedeh chapter.
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    In February 2012, 750 farming families who were hosting refugees each received enough seed to plant rice on one acre of land (about 4,000 square metres). All being well, each family will produce 500 kg of rice per acre. Lawrence Sackor will be visiting the farmers and providing advice. "We advise farmers on how to boost their yield,” he explains. “The rest depends on the climate. Ideally, we’d like the families to be able to grow enough rice to feed themselves, sell a certain amount to raise money, and have some left over to sow when the next sowing season arrives."

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Farmers sow crops after burning off the brush.
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    Ever since Ivorian refugees arrived in Liberia at the end of 2010, the ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross have been helping them and their host communities by building and repairing water and sanitation systems, providing seed and farming equipment to host families and distributing household items to refugees.

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Cecilia Torh walks through her village.
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    "We gave some refugees land to build a shelter. We’re from the same large community. You see here how our children play together. They share the same language and the same roots."

  • Torh, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. The village of Torh is hosting a number of Ivorian refugees.
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    "The environment is friendlier, children mix in the village and refugees help the community to develop farming," explains Céline, a mother of four. "We speak French in Côte d’Ivoire and they speak English in Liberia, but communities on the two sides of the border share the same regional language, the same culture and the same roots."


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