A Letter from the President

by Africa

Helping Liberia – Thank you President Obama – from the bottom of my heart

On August 3, at the urging of BobFr, I sent a letter to President Obama. Essentially, it was a modified comment I had posted here.

It was just at the start of the African Summit that President Obama was going to be convening with leaders from across the continent. At the time, news of the Ebola virus ravaging several countries in West Africa, including Liberia, my native country, was being hotly discussed. We also learned that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, would not be attending the conference because of the seriousness of the deadly virus. I lamented here that this would have been an opportune time for her to discuss not only the Ebola virus, but the deplorable health care infrastructure in the country.

I touched on some of those same concerns here in my August 3 comments (here)

That’s why after Bob encouraged me to write President Obama, I did. On September 22, I received a letter from him, dated September, 15, 2014.

I don’t quite remember everything I said to the president in my letter, because I typed it in the White House e-mail format and regrettably did not save a copy. But I believe I shared with him the lack of basic health care in Liberia and my own family struggle with my husband’s illness and desire to return someday, but could not do so. Without adequate routine medical care, my husband would not survive in Liberia, given that there is no treatment center there to treat him.

So, two days ago, shortly after I had gotten home briefly to drop off the car so that my husband could run and see his nurse, as I walked into the door, he said, “There is an envelope for you from the White House.” You can only imagine my surprise.

I immediately dropped my purse and grabbed the oversized manila envelope. I quickly opened it and began reading its contents. I was so excited, I could barely contain myself. I ran to my computer and tweeted that I got the letter and then posted it here.

My friends, words cannot express my deepest gratitude to President Obama for the swift action he has taken to save the lives of thousands of Liberians. It is a massive undertaking that many in Liberia will be grateful for, too. (Liberian Observer: President Obama’s Robust Response: A Security Council Resolution Could Greatly Help the Process)

You see, even before I wrote to President Obama, the U.S. had already taken steps to help Liberia and other countries in the region. And since my letter weeks ago, the President and his administration, alongside their International partners, have done much more to help battle the deadly virus. As part of the efforts to respond the Ebola epidemic, last week, the president sent 3,000 soldiers to Liberia to begin the work of containing the fast moving virus. (WH FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa)

I am hopeful that the residual effects from the aid by the U.S. government and its partners around the world, will offer an opportunity for Liberia to emerge with a health care infrastructure, that will not only allow me and my family to go home, but will benefit thousands of Liberians who suffer needlessly and sometimes die from illnesses that could be easily treated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “the 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first Ebola outbreak in West Africa.” And to date, it has touched the lives of 5,864 people. In Liberia alone, some 1,500 people have died. (CDC: 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa)

So far, both my husband’s family and mine still living in Liberia, have not been harmed by the devasting virus. Many others are not so lucky.

Not only do we count our blessings for this, but also for President Obama’s action to take a stand and join other nations to prevent the loss of countless lives.

For this, as a Liberian native, I am eternally grateful to President Obama and I thank him from the bottom of my heart. Many Liberians will never forget what you have done here today.

Thank you fellow TODers for all your support and encouragement. I am deeply honored to be a part of this wonderful place.


104 Responses to “A Letter from the President”

  1. 12 GGail
    September 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Ooooh Boy!!!!,
    I landed on Africa’s new post!!! How fortunate I am 😀

    Now I have to read and enjoy it. LOL!!!

  2. 13 laraofzhivago
    September 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm


    Wonderful post. A tribute to our own Africa.

  3. 15 GGail
    September 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Africa, this is wonderful ! Thank you so much for sharing your joy with us ❤

  4. 16 MightyPamela
    September 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Africa should have honorary Furst!! ❤

  5. 17 jacquelineoboomer
    September 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    So very happy for you, Africa! What a treasure. You deserve it!

    September 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm


  7. 19 mtmarilyn
    September 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Oh, Africa, I have tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. We are so privileged to have this man as our President. I know his letter and all he is doing are a comfort to you. My prayers have been with all those who are close to this disease.

    • 20 arapaho415
      September 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Africa, MTM and Chips,

      MTM: You said exactly what I was thinking as I read this post, especially when it concluded with

      Chips’: photo of a besweatered PBO, sitting at his desk reading an actual letter (as opposed to briefing papers) — so appropriate for the beginning of Autumn, as sweaters and cuddly clothes are retrieved from the top shelf of the closet.

      Africa: thank you for sharing your uplifting letter from The President of the United States, who is now acting as The President of the World, despite MSM/GOP/Koch whining and lying to the contrary.

      Love you, love TOD, love PBO.

  8. 23 Nena20409
    September 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    So Happy and so very proud of Africa.
    Congratulations GGail for your Gold.

  9. 25 Dakota
    September 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Africa, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful letter with us. What a thrill it must be for you! This touches my heart. God Bless You. Thank you Chips for posting this for us.

  10. September 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Madam Africa. I bow to you and your passion. As the President said yesterday, the most important title is not “President” but “citizen”. You my sister are the upright CITIZEN. Kudos!! 🙂

  11. 27 HZ
    September 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Africa, thanks so much for your courage to take action on a matter that is so important to you and to the president. This is such a beautiful letter from President Obama.

    Congratulations to you with much love. Thanks for sharing with all of us.HZ

  12. September 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

  13. September 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    One Person can change a room……


  14. September 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I am happy that someone was able to figure what the rant of Cristina Kirchner was about. Listening to it was perplexing to say the least.

    FRANCE 24 ‏@FRANCE24 · 51m
    At UN, Argentina’s Kirchner slams debt ‘vultures’ http://f24.my/1uHyN2C

  15. 31 sherijr
    September 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    (((((((Africa)))))))) Thank you so much for sharing this with us.. I hope you and your husband will be able to return home too someday.. and I wish him good health soon.

  16. 33 anniebella
    September 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Rev. Al was talking about how foolish the Republicans are acting about POTUS saluting with the coffee cup in his hand. Not a word from the right about GW Bush dog being in his arm as he salute.

      September 25, 2014 at 6:47 am


  17. 35 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    September 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Good evening, TOD! Africa, what a wonderful post to find as I return from my September travels! I’m sure the Presidents letter will have a revered place in your family’s archives.

  18. 36 Judith Fardig
    September 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Dear Africa,

    Out of millions of messages to President Obama at the White House, yours stood out and was rightfully honored with such a personal response. Thank you for doing this, at Bobfr’s behest, and for sharing your joy with us. There has never been and will never be a President I love and respect as much as Barack H. Obama!

    With vicarious excitement and new energy for the cause of world peace and justice…

  19. September 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks africa for sharing your wonderful experience with us, and brava for being a courageous voice for the people of Liberia. Obviously your impassioned letter must have stirred something in our President. It must make all the difference in the world when you feel that the one person with the power to make change is actually heeding the voices of ordinary citizens. And thanks go out to Bob as well for his kind encouragement!

  20. 38 jacquelineoboomer
    September 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    What a thrill to witness the President chair the UN Security Council meeting earlier. It seems so surreal to me that HE has been able to make sitting partnerships with nations who previously would not have gone along on anything. Even though the meeting was a diplomatic event and manners and protocol were the rule of the day, you could FEEL the respect all the other leaders have for him. America is so lucky, to call him our President! As is the world, to call him a friend!

  21. September 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm


  22. 41 99ts
    September 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Wonderful post – thank you Africa for sharing your letter and your thoughts – PBO is the President for all of the people, all of the time.

  23. 42 JER
    September 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm


  24. 44 TrumpDog
    September 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I counted 86 time Pres. Obama mentioned “I” in his letter. What a narcissist!

    Seriously, I am so proud of you for writing. And I am happy you received a response. Sorta wished you had put in a good word about me and mentioned how he should hug and kiss me maybe. Ah well, I guess you ran out of room. 🙂

  25. September 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Agence France-Presse ‏@AFP · 7m
    Obama offers to lift sanctions if Russia ‘changes course’ on Ukraine http://u.afp.com/8vE

  26. 48 JER
    September 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    That you Africa for sharing. I am so thrilled for you.

  27. 49 forus50
    September 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Africa what a gorgeous letter from the president. Oh my gosh what an amazing person he is. Thank you for sharing it here. Let’s hope that all the efforts of the best medical people in these countries are going to be able to stop this dreadful disease.

  28. 50 sabreen60
    September 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Africa, I’m sure your family, friends, the people of Liberia, TOD and all those who know of your letter are so proud of you. President Obama is indeed a unique and awesome person. He’s always shown such compassion for people. We are so fortunate to have him as our President.

  29. 51 FoxfireTX
    September 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you Africa for sharing both your story and your letter from PBO. What an honor, and so well deserved.

  30. September 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you, africa, for sharing President Obama’s letter with us. More than that, thank you for your spirit of passionate commitment to the well-being of all Liberians. You are an inspiration and I hope you and your husband — if the medical infrastructure in Liberia improves sufficiently to provide him necessary care — will be able to return and visit with your families.


  31. September 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

  32. September 24, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Afternoon Obots!

    Busy but good day in LL-land.

    First off, Africa is one awesome lady for writing PBO and getting a response.

    Secondly, I finally found out what happened to my patron who may have a position for the missus but had vanished with no resolution: she has been in Japan! Her husband is under contract to help rebuild Fukushima. But, obviously, no rebuilding can be done yet. So he gets carted out there ever few months for months at a time to sit in on meetings and sit in a hotel room with nothing to do. He’s going spare. So he called my patron Gail depressed, and she got on a plane and spent 6 weeks with him. They’re trying to get him out of his contract, but Japanese law is as slow as US. But, she did forward my missus’ resume to her boss, so she just needs to interview her.

  33. September 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    “3. The solution of the Ukrainian situation will become the main priority for the new NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, who will assume office on October 1st. The almost-NATO General Secretary stated this himself.

    What gives hope is the adequacy with which Mr. Stoltenberg explained his approach. It is the understanding of the unacceptability of changing state borders using military force, and the comprehension of the threat which Russian aggression poses to the entire civilized world.”

  34. 58 desertflower
    September 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this letter from the President with all of us, africa. I feel as if I’m living vicariously through you…as I think we all do when something this momentous happens to a TOD’er:) I read this with joy in my heart, for you and the people of Liberia. To have this great empathetic, caring human being in the office of POTUS at this time, makes me so proud. You and your husband are in my thoughts..as are the people of your birth home. I wish only good things for them…together we can do incredible good in this world.

  35. September 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

  36. 60 anniebella
    September 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Mark Knoller said that POTUS and FLOTUS are dinning out tonight. Hopefully after a busy day, POTUS will have a relaxing enjoyable dinner with FLOTUS.

  37. 65 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

  38. September 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm


    that must have been something…getting a letter from the President!


  39. 69 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm

  40. 70 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Anyway Martin sure loves his President! No wonder MSNBC found a way to get rid of him…

  41. September 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    So they pay the own troops?

  42. 72 carolyn
    September 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Africa, thank you so much for sharing your letter from the President with all of us. Perhaps yours was one of the ten he reads each night. I know it touched his heart. You are doing important work for Liberia. Have you found the right frame for the letter yet?

  43. September 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    No we want dirty lakes… Defund shut down the Govt etc… 🙂 🙂

  44. 75 dotster3
    September 24, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Very cool penpal you have, africa! Excellent work!

  45. 77 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

  46. 81 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    • 82 susanne
      September 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      scrounging and scraping, i can find some brief mentions in the media, but usually with a snarky twist. imagine how much this great president could do with the support he deserves!

      • 83 arapaho415
        September 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        104 countries!

        Once again Team Obama has left the MSM/GOP/Kochs in the dust, just in time for #LandslideDems2014.

  47. 84 susanne
    September 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    oh, africa! your beautiful post has truly touched every heart here today. our president is such a man that his heart is also touched by your story, by your strength and faith, and by your courage. what an honor to come here each day! thank you chips, thank you africa, and thanks to all the regs for staying true.

  48. 85 daisydem
    September 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I love that my President and Michelle are in NYC! I love that they are dining out there, so enjoying some of what NY has to offer. I love NYC and NYC loves our President!!

  49. 86 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Roll Call:

    Political Junkessa
    Proud Former WH Intern
    Bill (Not Bill R, the other Bill)

    • 87 arapaho415
      September 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Yes, I remember Bill, from NC.

      Haven’t seen KatherineKevitt (I’m certain I have her last name wrong, but they posted here frequently when the full scope of 2012 gerrymandering in NC became apparent.

      And yes, to everyone else you mentioned — TOD would love to hear from you!

    • 88 vcprezofan2
      September 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Last time I heard from Political J (in June) she was just busy with life and family birthdays &/graduations; she was also quite happy that Cantor, her former district rep, had been shown the door.

      > Didn’t Jeff say ‘goodbye’ in frustration one day (during Israeli-Palestinian confrontation), then return shortly thereafter?

      LisaLovesObama = another villager who hasn’t answered roll call in a very, very long while.

  50. September 24, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Africa, thank you for sharing your magnificent news. What an awesome surprise for you to receive a reply from our beloved President, and not only is he addressing the concerns that are dear to your heart, he is taking action. I wish the very best to you, your husband, and your country.

    Chips, this photo of our President is the perfect complement to Africa’s letter.

  51. September 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    • 91 carolyn
      September 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Out of all the million or so times he has saluted in six years……this one the RWers land on. The first thing I noticed about PBO’s salute was that it was sharp, smart and executed properly, in contrast to both Clinton and GWB who were sloppy in their execution.

      But…..I’m sure you all have read, that no president did this until Reagan. He was a wannabe…..said he had fought in WWII, when he had only been in war movies. He was told it was really improper to do this, as he was the top rank, and others were to salute him, but a Marine general said, oh go ahead, do it if you want. So, the following presidents were left with this bit of stage business instituted by St. Ronnie. One more stupidity from him. No president before RR saluted the military guards. It really must get tiresome.

  52. 92 hopefruit2
    September 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm

  53. 93 japa21
    September 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

  54. 94 Roberta in MN
    September 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I had to turn MSNBC off tonight. Even the Rev Al irritated the hell out of me. Wonderful post and letter from our President to Africa. That is just awesome. Been trying to get caught up all day.

  55. September 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Our dear africa! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful keepsake. I’m thrilled that President Obama and his team see the urgency for action in Liberia. You must feel a sense of relief for your people there. I couldn’t be prouder of you and PBO for such a compassionate response. YAYAYAYAY!!!!

  56. September 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Hf, Thanks so very much for the roll call. Would love to hear from all of them, especially Layla. Spelled differently,but same name. Feel such an infinity to her. Someone, anyone know how to get in touch with these TOD family members??

  57. September 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

  58. September 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Today’s speech before the UN General Assembly was historic, our president painting the picture of the fundamental choices facing the international community. Perhaps I missed it, but was a vote planned today on the Security Council Resolution he introduced?

    • 100 arapaho415
      September 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      See HF2’s response above – 104 countries signed on.

      Agree with you 100%, Bill R. — PBO’s speech was historic, had me on the edge of my seat — and no doubt many others across the world.

      Portions of this speech will be taught and memorized by school children all over the globe.

      PBO’s speech was set a clear path forward (without GWB bravado) for the world — it’s clear that the leaders of countries who are US allies wait to get direction from our President.

  59. 101 MadameSoph
    September 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Congrats on your letter from the President! I have been waiting to read it since I saw your tweet the other day! Soooo exciting!

    Love and light to you, your husband and your families.

  60. 102 amk for obama
    September 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    congrats, africa. That was a lovely letter you wrote and a great reply.

  61. 103 africa
    September 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Chips, TODers — many, many thanks to everyone here for your kind words.

    Chips, thank you so much for sharing my thoughts and the President’s response to my letter.

    Bobfr, I forgot to thank you in the piece for encouraging me to write President Obama. Please forgive me. Thank you!!!

    Thanks again everyone!!

    • 104 sjterrid
      September 25, 2014 at 2:24 am

      Africa, thank you for sharing President Obama’s letter he wrote to you in response to your concerns on improving Liberia’s Health Care infrastructure.

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