Ebola: A Special Report from Liberia

Broadcast on September 15, 2014
With Harper M. Karmon & Christian Wolo Bethelson & Cynthia Jurs

The Ebola outbreak has claimed over 2,400 lives in West Africa. Like Sierra Leone, Liberia is in the heart of the Ebola crisis and is a country still recovering from its bloody civil war and that it is routinely listed near the bottom of the UN Human Development Index. We will hear front-line reports from Harper Karmon and Christian Betheleson who are using radio and mindfulness meditation to help people deal with the harsh realities of the outbreak. Bethelson, a former army general, had attended a retreat at Thich Nhat Hahn's Plum Village and is finding culturally appropriate ways to introduce the meditation techniques. We also will hear from Cynthia Jurs, the founder of the Alliance for the Earth, who is supporting the work of Harper and Bethelson.  

Harper M. Karmon

Peacebuilder, General Manager of the Peace Hut Alliance for Conflict Transformation with Alliance for the Earth
Harper M. Karmon, is a community organizer, social worker, peacebuilder and the General Manager of the Peace Hut Alliance for Conflict Transformation with Alliance for the Earth – which has (so far) constructed three peace huts in three counties in Liberia. He travels all over Liberia mobilizing communities in peacebuilding and organizes trainings to empower women, and teach former combatants the skills of conflict resolution inside the Peace Huts. During the war, Harper was a proud supporter of the Liberian Women’s Mass Action for Peace (headed by Nobel peace prize winner, Leymah Gbowee) and stood firmly with them, praying and fasting for the country and demanding a cease fire and mediation between the warring factions. As a filmmaker, he documented their activities in the sun and rain, day after day.   He is a trained nurse with an interest in the environment who majored in Forestry Management at the University of Liberia. He became a trainer in peace building, conflict transformation and reconciliation for the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Program (THRP) where he also served as head of the social workers on a special psychosocial intervention project for Ivorian Refugees in Nimba County from 2011-2012. He lives in Monrovia and is a father of four.