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Powerful activist succumbed to the new coronavirus

A former Women’s Project Officer of Agency for Rural Transformation (ART) passed away in the United States as a result of COVID-19 related illness.

Originating from Liberia, Miama settled in Grenada in the late 1980s with her then Grenadian husband, Irvine Mc Queen of Saint Patrick who shared fond memories of her with The Grenadian Voice. “After the Revolution, I returned to Grenada from the United Kingdom and was working in local government when I was sent on a course in the United States. She was on that course too and that is how we met. She was a very bright woman.”

 During her tenure with ART, she was a passionate advocate, championing the advancement of the status of women and children. 

She worked tirelessly on the themes of women’s economic empowerment, working particularly with rural women; domestic violence and incest. 

Networking and collaborating with colleagues from other NGOs and government agencies, Maima’s work contributed significantly to the realization of the setting up of the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child, the establishment of the Project for Adolescent Mothers and the passage of A Child is a Child Legislation. 

She was a member of the Women’s Steering Committee which was the precursor to the Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW). 

With deep appreciation for Maima’s contribution to the development of women and children in Grenada, the Inter Agency Group of Development Organisations (AGDO) extends condolences to her family and former colleagues and friends.

Vyra Mc Queen, the first president of GNOW said Miama was approachable and in her own quiet way contributed to the social consciousness and economic life of many women. “I met Maima during my close association with the Women’s Organisation. I found her to be quite reliable and cooperative. She was very intelligent and unassuming.” She added that the world has lost a precious soul.

After leaving Grenada in 1998, Maima earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Howard University in 2008 and was then known as Dr Maima Darbah Fahnbulleh. She previously earned Master’s Degrees from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Social Work in 1971); (Public Health in 1973). She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology at McGill University in Montreal, QC in 1970.

Her long and illustrious career in public service spanned five decades and several countries including Liberia, Grenada, and the United States. She served as the Deputy Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia and the Director of Social Welfare and Assistant Minister of Social Welfare.

 Maima also served as a consultant to UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund. Her area of concentration for this work was Reproductive Health in the Caribbean. She returned to Liberia in 2010 as a Senior Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

Maima is survived by her children Kpana Kpoto (Chad Royer), Konah Kpoto Bernard (Jonathan), Irvin McQueen, Fahsia McQueen (Adric Ewing).

Her funeral service was held in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.


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