While we in America suffer through one of the worst economic times most of us have ever seen in other parts of the world are suffering the hopeless fate they always face In this dark time when the world needs a hero more then ever the first superhero has been born. This hero is not out of a comic strip but out of Africa. This new superhero is Lion Heart.
Lion Heart has recently appeared in Monrovia the capital of Liberia and the villages near Monrovia. Over the last few weeks this new hero has been helping to improve the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet. Lion Heart has been giving people knowledge that can help save their lives. Much of what he teaches include simple things that make huge differences.
Mr Morris Kamara said, “my family and I usually fetch drinking water from a creek… I had no idea about boiling water…we had one death in the family from diarrhea and it may have been from not knowing to boil drinking water.” Had Mr. Kamara known to take this simple precaution before using the local river water he may not have lost his loved one. Mr. Kamara and others are taught information and told to teach other people and spread the word. All happily agree to spread the news.
Mrs. Annie Doe lost her husband to diarrhea and said, “we have never had running water and we had to fetch water from nearby creeks and never had the slightest idea we should boil before drinking.” Mrs. Doe also agreed to tell friends, family, and everyone in the local village of the need to boil water.
Millions of people die every year from water related aliments which could be avoided. Dehydration from diarrhea is one of the major killers of children in the world. Lion Heart has been visiting the people and seen those that are currently suffering from diarrhea that would kill them. A simple concoction of an exact amount of water, salt, and sugar mixed together can save them. By giving this information he has been able to help save those who were about to die.
The developing world suffers from many other easily remediable problems and Lion Heart is teaching those in Liberia how to fix the problems. Many people did not know they should not be cooking indoors in unventilated homes. This is one of the worst killers in the world. Once people were told this they have realized that this was likely caused the death of loved ones.
Tuberculosis is also a major problem in the area. Many people Lion Heart visited had family with it. No one knew to do simple things like covering mouths when they cough or sneeze. Locals use the same utensils and cups as the sick. Mrs. Annie Kanneh from West Point Town had lost a husband to Tuberculosis and her son got it as well. She asked Lion Heart what could be done to save the rest of the family. If they had this information the son may not have been infected. The TB-annex in Monrovia can treat those that already have Tuberculosis.
Health issues are not the only thing that Lion Heart has been helping to educate the people about. Slavery is also still alive in Africa as well as the developed world. Many people had stories of family or friends who were taken to North America or Europe to be used as sex slaves. Letting people know the lies that people use to get people into slavery is a small step to stop people from becoming enslaved. Some people had stories of pretend missionaries who sent their children to get educations abroad but never heard from them again. Mr. Kahn Jackson of Monrovia even lost a daughter to a NGO worker involved in human trafficking. If a family can learn the tricks the slavers use they will know not to trust them.
What makes Lion Heart different from NGO’s that are trying to help? Lion Heart is African. Local people do not always trust foreign aid but they listen to him because he is one of them. He started a grassroots movement with people telling friends, family, neighbors, and whole villages. Already a few people such as 34 year old Phillip Kanneh have been taught by Lion Heart and go and teach people in the villages themselves. This small following of helpers is likely to grow. Lion Heart listens to the people and learn what problems they need help with. While teaching villagers he learned of the large problem of diarrhea and was able to learn about ORT (Oral rehydration therapy) saves lives.
Lion Heart has only been helping for a few weeks now but has already been able to provide information that can save lives. He has already been able to give important information to those that needed it right then and saved lives. Lion Heart has more plans and is continuing to figure out how to help more people.
Many will likely debate if he is a true superhero. In comics Superman the first superhero started out doing similar things. Superman fought social injustice. Superman originally did not have all the powers he has now. Lion Heart is doing many similar things to the earliest version of Superman. Lion Heart has saved lives. He even helped fight crime. There is even a danger to what he does. Human traffickers do not want want someone warning people and telling them their lies.He could get seriously ill working with the sick. He may not have a supervillain but Superman did not at first. With no super powers he is like other superheros like Batman.
A cool name, mask, and cap may not make a hero. Anyone who saves a life is a hero. Lion Heart may not be a superhero but he is a hero. You can’t save the world if you don’t try.
This article is an original work with information and quotes gathered from an old friend and business partner Phillip Kanneh of Liberia as given to him by Lion Heart.