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.  

Christian Wolo Bethelson

Field Coordinator for Alliance for the Earth, Mindfulness Teacher
Christian Wolo Bethelson spent 27 years in the Liberian National Army, was trained in Libya, Israel and Romania and served as one of President Samuel Doe’s personal bodyguards. When Charles Taylor took power, Bethelson was imprisoned and tortured. He escaped and joined the rebel forces, fighting under the name, General Leopard.  After the 14-year civil war ended, he was on his way to offer his mercenary services in the Ivory Coast when he happened to meet the peace building group, Everyday Gandhis, who invited him to join them instead.    He 2010 he became the Field Coordinator for Alliance for the Earth where he has done community outreach and helped to oversee a grassroots Peace Hut building program. Bethelson has trained in mindfulness mediation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and now teaches mindfulness to other ex-combatants inside the Peace Huts.    He speaks 12 languages and enjoys drumming, dancing and singing. He and his wife Rebecca have 3 children and live in Monrovia, Liberia.