Today we celebrate this great Liberian woman, 2020 Harvard product, 100% authentic Liberian. We say Happy Birthday, Ms. Yassah Lavelah. Yassah is a 2020 graduate of the Harvard Medical School with a Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery. Awesome!!!
Yassah started her educational journey in a slum community in Woodcamp, Gobachop market area, Paynesville. Her love for maternal health was triggered by her mother's work as a certified midwife. Yassah watched her mother save the lives of many pregnant women in that community, right in her house, when she was barely 4 years old. As she grew, she pursued a degree in Nursing from the Cuttington University and then she came back and helped her mother graduate that little facility she had in the house into the MAVEE Maternal Empowerment Initiative, of which she now serves as the CEO.
This was not enough for her, so in 2014, she applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program and became successful. She attended the Notre Dame University as a Mandela Washington Fellow. She completed during the heat of the Ebola pandemic and Liberia. She was offered an extended stay, which she rejected and opted to return home to help her people fight Ebola. Because of this great decision, her school rallied around her and collected about US$26,000.00 and purchased lots and lots of medical supplies and shipped them to her on a 40-foot container.
Few years later, in 2017, Yassah decided to push herself a bit more. She decided to attend the Harvard University. This was not an easy journey, as she had to beg lots and lots of people for help. Many turned her down, but with hard work and determination, she was able to raise the money she needed and enrolled at the Harvard Medical School. By 2020, Liberia had a proud Harvard graduate with Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery.
Immediately upon achieving this mighty feat, Yassah returned to her home country, Liberia, and got deeply involved with ensuring that pregnant women receive good health care. Yassah is driven by the belief that "no woman should lose her life while giving life to another". She quickly started lots of social work in this regard, her latest being the refurbishment of the Phebe Maternal Waiting Home where pregnant women are hosted whilst waiting their time to deliver their babies.
Yassah established the Comfort Closet at the Phebe Maternal Waiting Home, providing birth kits for the women because she believes strongly that every woman should have a decent delivery, thus the "#SayNoTo: Banana Bush Delivery, Bathroom Delivery, Home Delivery, and #YesToClinicsandHospitalDelivery project. Yassah's Comfort Closet is aimed at promoting skilled hospital delivery in Liberia. She has a dream that the Comfort Closet must reach every county in Liberia. Awesome!!!