A subsidiary of the Indian community, Mahatma Cultural Center, (MCC), has made tuition payments for 23 Ebola orphans in the Power of God Academy in Caldwell, outside Monrovia.The payment is in response to a call by government and international humanitarian organizations for philanthropists to come in with assistance for Liberian survivors and orphans.Philip Jijo president of the Mahatma in his statement during a brief ceremony marking the payment yesterday said their support is to help the beneficiaries take responsibility of their future and country.According to him, they will keep on assisting the needy in communities in Liberia as their social responsibility requires.Jijo said his group went out to the MSF ETU where it found those 23 children and decided to help because they were in desperate need.He urged the orphans to be good students to represent themselves and their country in the future.The care taker of the orphans, Elizabeth Moses thanked the Indians for their intervention, adding, “It is so challenging to contend with these children who lost their parents.”She said, “When I brought them in this clinic after the deaths of their parents, I used US$600 out of my salary from MSF to appeal to the school administrator to keep them in school.“It was within that process that this group came and said they were going to pay their tuition fees. We have also received support from Mrs. Mary Broh, director general of the GSA.”She also disclosed that the Chinese has decided to build 4-bedroom to accommodate the children to make the children’s environment more conducive.In addition to the challenges, Ms Moses said stigma is a factor that is also posing psychosocial pains on the orphans.“People in the neighborhood do not accept the children for fear of contracting the disease. Even some relatives who are connected to them fear to come around them, and as they (orphans) go in any house to witness television or play, they are rejected. This then puts me under pressure to seek television and other musical sets to amuse them,” she emphasized.Indians are one group of foreign nationals with long standing history in Liberia. They are mainly engaged in both merchandised and small retail businesses.They have also entered the mining sector with steel giant Arcelor Mittal in Tokadi, Nimba County. India has also donated several public transport buses to the Liberian government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“It was a huge amount of money for me,” she said. “I went into overdraft to do it, but what else can I do – throw in the towel, just give up?” Becoming a U.S. citizen, or even a legal permanent resident, is already expensive. The proposal announced Jan. 31 by federal immigration officials would increase price tags on individual forms by an average of 66 percent. The $350 Nikitina paid this year to Citizenship and Immigration Services would go up to $645. She’s already filed these forms four times and has to resubmit them each year while she awaits her “green card” – as the legal permanent residency document is often called. The law allows some to file for free – members of the military, refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking among them. But for the vast majority of legal immigrants, the packet of four forms plus the fingerprinting fee needed for one person to become a permanent resident would go from $935 to $1,985 under the proposed fee schedule. “A lot of them are making very difficult choices, between food and bills and rent and these fees, plus whatever they have to pay an attorney,” said Susan Bowyer, managing attorney at the International Institute of the East Bay, a nonprofit which gives newcomers cut-rate legal help. “Even with our reduced fees, it would be a real hardship.” SAN FRANCISCO – Supporting herself and a 7-year-old son on a preschool teacher’s salary in suburban Marin County forces Sveta Nikitina to keep a tight budget. But there’s one expense the Russian immigrant can’t control: fees for filing immigration forms. Already, the cost of applications that allow Nikitina to work and travel in the United States while she waits to become a permanent resident have pushed her careful bookkeeping into the red. But a proposal by the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services would increase the filing fees for more than two dozen forms. The proposed fee hikes, which are likely to take effect by summer, could make her plans – and those of many other immigrants – out of reach. The federal agency, mandated by Congress to support its operations with fee money, plans to use the funds to reduce months, and even years, of delays in processing certain applications. It would also use the money to strengthen its security and fraud investigations teams and modernize equipment, said agency spokeswoman Sharon Rummery. “We have an obligation to charge the amount of fees that are going to cover the cost of doing business,” Rummery said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!