Her name is Faith Akovi Cooper and she is the Regional Adviser for West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative program, also known as WADPI in Accra Ghana. Her life story reads like a movie but today we focus on one of her many accomplishments that’s sure to change the way the world views Africa.
Faith was born in Nimba County located in the West African country of Liberia. As most of the world knows, Liberia has endured several set backs; from a war that lasted almost 15 years and killed over 250,000 to the recent Ebola outbreak that ravish through the country killing over 4,000. Faith left Liberia during the war and was a refugee in Ghana’s Buduburam camp for about 2 years. She and her family later traveled to the US to start the process of rebuilding their lives.
Despite leaving her home country as a young girl, war and refugee status did not stop this phenomenal woman in her quest to do something for her country and the continent of Africa. She spent several years working on health and humanitarian issues at the Center for Disease and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine’s (CDHAM)-Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) whose goal is to support disaster management capacity-building in Africa. Although fulfilling, Faith would eventually realize her dream of working on the continent but not until leaving her post at CDHAM.
Within a year of leaving CDHAM Faith was named Regional Adviser for West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative program. She would be able to work in Accra, Ghana the country that accepted her as refugee and felt this was a way to give back. Additionally, the work to be performed would forever change Faiths outlook on Africa.
The WADPI training program in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPTC) was to be held in Accra Ghana. The program worked in conjunction with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in the Republic of Ghana to train 17 countries on disaster preparedness. The main objective of the three-week training was to utilize lessons learned from the recent Ebola epidemic, strengthen national capacities among those 17 West African Partner Nations (PNs) and implement an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and coordination between member States in disaster preparedness and response.
Over the past 6 months, Faith and her team have worked tirelessly to invite, host, and train over 50 to 60 delegates from each of the ECOWAS countries. In addition, they were able to secure high level government officials to support their country men and the initiative. These invited senior officials included, Director Generals, Senators, Deputy Ministers, Charge D’affaires from each participating country.
To date, WADPI has graduated over 600 participants from the following countries and there’s more to come
Although the WADPI program is still in the process of training more countries [Sierra Lone, Mali, etc.] the program has already seen its impact on West Africa. Representatives from CDHAM and WADPI are conducting in-country follow up visits and have proudly reported the countries are already implementing Emergency Operation Center (EOC) methods acquired from the training. Faith and participating countries know this training is vital and one of many steps Africa needs to take become a major player among the super powers like America and China.
On a personal note, I’m proud as a Liberian to know that one of our daughters is leading the path to a “New Africa”. I hope that one day I can call her “Madame President.
“It seems her energy is limitless. I am not sure the WADPI program would ever be without her. You don’t need me to tell you because you’ve seen it for yourself. She is involved in every single aspect of the program. Not only involved but in many cases, she runs those parts.” Kinsey McFadden-Hawaii
“We have a gem in our own “Faith” to lead a West Africa initiative. Faith has steadily grown in her career to become a leading advocate for her beloved African continent. Her energy and passion knows no bounds and you cannot but admire this once almost lost refugee. Strength, tenacity and confidence drips through every word she utters. and her confidence shows in her leadership skills. We are blessed to have her among the WADPI leadership” Dr. Doris Titus-Glover-Maryland
“A no nonsense woman who knows what she wants and has never forgotten where she came from”
“Faith is a good and assertive lady. She has a great personality.” Monicah Musyoni- Kenya
“Because of her background, Faith is perfect in bridging the cultural gap between the United States and Africa. Her life’s story itself is a success story. From Her humbling background as a Liberian refugee in Ghana to her journey to the U.S. made her the perfect candidate for WADPI. Her personal experiences comes out in her professional work. She’s so passionate in everything she does and WADPI is no exception. She has truly earned her title “mama WADPI”! Africa is fortunate to have one of her daughters back to lead the charge in Capacity building and disaster preparedness through cooperation, coordination, and collaboration.”
“TSgt Mo Gadiaga, U.S. Air Force, Ramstein Germany
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_0598.jpg]Liberian participants signing in
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_one_health_img_7309.jpg]One Health
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_12039099_1016972098336536_4882304747434656087_o.jpg]Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep, Ministers, and Senators
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_6971.jpg]Nadmo Staff and Faith Cooper
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_12039008_1016971991669880_3362871123753900802_o.jpg]Col. Kennedy Leading The Liberian delegation
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_wadpi_img_4389.jpg]Leroy Harris
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_1188.jpg]Faith Cooper
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_12029562_1016972531669826_7465023431135332604_o.jpg]Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep, Charge D'affiar of Liberia
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_11947903_10153625802563524_3636948463892252904_o.jpg]Liberia Delagation
WADPI[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_7105.jpg]Kofi Portuphy
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_0633.jpg]Mr. Kehinde, Faith Cooper, Gbeme Teta Horace Kollie , St Jerome Labalee, Lotten Yeaney
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0055-01.jpg]Kofi Annan Course Director- Col Kennedy Osemwegie
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_0599.jpg]Nigerian participants signing in
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_0497.jpg]Ivorian Graduate
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_img_0601.jpg]Faith making welcoming remarks
[img src=http://www.lottenbshow.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/wadpi/thumbs/thumbs_20150904_173529.jpg]IT Bootcamp