BY. VICTORIA JACKSON TOBY (CONTRIBUTING WRITER IN HOLLAND)
The members of the Liberian Association in the Netherlands (LAN) have elected a new corps of officers to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years. Those elected are Madam Mildred Scholte Toweh, President; Madam Mamie Free, Vice President; Lovetee Fayiah De Wert, General Secretary; and Anthony R. Mowon, Treasurer.
The Chairperson of the election commission, Madam Patience Barway, told Womenvoices Newspaper that the candidates ran unopposed. In an exclusive interview with Womenvoices Newspaper after her election, the president-elect said her priority is to promote unity among members of the Liberian community in Holland. She expressed delight over the level of unity shown by the presence of the large number of people that showed up during the election.
The Liberian Association in Holland (LAH) was founded in 1994 by a group of Liberians residing in the Netherlands. Mr. Emmanuel Freeman served as the first president of the organization.
According to information, there have been two leading Liberian organizations in the Netherlands. One was called the Liberians Association in Holland (LAH), as mentioned above, which was under the leadership of Mr. Nicholas Doe. And the other one was called the Liberian Association in the Netherlands (LAN), which was under the leadership of Mr. Abraham Fofana. However, the election held on May 1st was to merge the two organizations into one, which is now called the Liberians Association in the Netherlands (LAN).
The Association aims to unite Liberians from diverse social and cultural backgrounds that reside in Holland. It also promotes socio-economic wellbeing of its member and protect the Liberian heritage. The organization works to achieve one goal, which is, making Liberia better. It is a non profitable.
According to information, there are approximately 3900 Liberians living in the Netherlands. Initially, there were about 6000 Liberians living in the Netherlands from the 90s to early 2000s, however over the years, most Liberians upon getting the Dutch passports, immigrated to other parts of the world like Great Britain, and the US. This is due to the strong policy and bureaucracy in the Netherlands. The Netherlands laws are too strong, especially with the Dutch tax authority. Some Liberians also left the Netherlands because they were in conflict with the tax authority, and could not pay off their due taxes so they had to leave the country, according to history.