Tuesday, October 29, will be a special day in Liberia! President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will celebrate her 75th birthday in a unique way. In addition to the Government, the President's sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Eta Beta Omega Chapter - will honor her in a very special manner.
The day will begin with a Thanksgiving Service at the Centennial Pavilion at 9 a.m., to be attended by officials of Government, members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Clergy and general well-wishers. Those attending will be regaled by some of Liberia's finest choirs, and the message of the day will be brought by the Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake, Co-Pastor of The Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Cathedral of New York. Dr. Flake, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, will be accompanied by her equally famous husband and CEO of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, the Reverend Floyd Flake, and a delegation of fifteen, including members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Inc.
Following the Thanksgiving Service, the Ministry of Gender and Development will host a Children's Concert in honor of President Sirleaf at the Monrovia City Hall, at 11 a.m. According to Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, the children are very excited about singing for Madam President on her natal day.
The Diamond Jubilee Ground Breaking Ceremony and Fun Fest will be held at the Omega Market Site, in Paynesville, from 12 noon until dusk. This exciting event is being organized by the President's sorority sisters of Eta Beta Omega, as well as a committee comprised of diverse members of the community who have wholeheartedly supported fundraising efforts and the planning of a fun-filled afternoon in honor of Madam President. Liberian artists, led by Ambassadors Juli Endee and Miatta Fahnbulleh, will perform an original song which is already available on CD and DVD. Commemorative lappas are being sold. There will be cultural arts and music performances throughout the afternoon. Food and craft vendors will be selling a wide range of edibles and other items in celebration of the day. Some companies and individuals will provide complimentary food and beverages; however, because this event is to raise money to complete the Omega Market, and to relocate the marketers of the Red Light area, everyone is encouraged to come out in the spirit of giving instead of receiving!
The Omega Village Project began in 2008, during President Sirleaf's first term in office. Approximately 450 acres of government-owned land, located in Paynesville, Liberia, was identified as a site to develop "state-of-the-art" markets for 3,000 market women whose work conditions were unacceptably appalling. In 2010, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority contributed an initial US$500,000 toward Phase I of the Omega Market Project, and pledged an additional US$500,000 of support. Close to completion, thus far, are market spaces for more than a hundred vendors, including storage space; four restrooms; six enclosed shops; a cold storage warehouse; a clinic equipped with four examination rooms, a pharmacy, two wards, restrooms and offices; a generator house; and a waste disposal site.
The members of Eta Beta Omega Chapter would like, with your generous assistance, to complete the Omega Market portion in Phase II of the Omega Village Project. Completion includes designing and constructing an elementary through high school, an adult continuing education school, a maternity waiting room within the clinic, a food court, a truck park and a transportation park for buses and taxis.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was the first sorority for women of African descent organized in 1908 at Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA. Today, it is a global corporation with the continued legacy of sisterhood and service to all mankind. In addition to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, active members in Liberia are: Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes, President; Ms. Chiquita Johnson, Vice President; Dr. Jean Bell Manning, Second Vice President; Ms. Candace Eastman, Secretary; Mrs. Meatta Hage, Treasurer; Mrs. Clavenda Bright Parker, Chaplain; Mrs. Jennie Bernard; Mrs. Florence Chenoweth; Mrs. Mary Brownell; Dr. Elizabeth Davis Russell; Mrs. Ethel Holt-Toles; Mrs. Zoe Davis Traub; and Mrs. Genevieve Barrow.