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Providing Hope to Ivorian Refugees in Liberia

Refugee camp, Liberian border with Ivory Coast. Credit: Oxfam Intl

The conflict in the Ivory Coast has led to the fleeing of more than 80,000 Ivorian refugees to its neighbor Liberia. In the midst of this humanitarian disaster Aid for Africa member Africa Development Corps, also known as Visions in Action, is overcoming enormous obstacles to restore the refugees’ dignity and hope.

Many of the refugees are farmers and fisherman, who no longer have a source of income. Thanks to an emergency grant from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Africa Development Corps is providing women with tools and equipment to process locally grown peanuts into peanut butter and oil and men with jobs to build shelters at the camps. Enormous logistical hurdles must be overcome that include clearing land, building latrines, and distributing food. Convincing refugees that the camps are safe means building them far from the border areas and transporting mainly women and children up to 40 kilometers in large open-air trucks.

With the ousting of the former president of Ivory Coast this week, life in Abidjan is beginning to return to normal. But the refugee crisis will continue for some time. Africa Development Corps needs to expand its staff to help with these efforts and is looking for three volunteers. Individuals must provide their own airfare and will stay at their compound at Saclepe, which serves as both a guest house and office. If you have international development experience and are interested in volunteering in Liberia, please send your resume, cover letter, and three references to

For the last two decades, Africa Development Corps has put community empowerment at the core of its development work in Africa.  In times of crisis, Africa Development Corps also provides relief assistance in the same manner—collaboratively and by empowering those it seeks to help.

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