The value is not in the money.   The value is in the cooperation.” – Samuel Koimene

On August 4, Samuel Komiene decided to take action.  He, along with friends: Angelo Koimene, Thomas Yolain, and Chris Konneh make up “The Herd”, a group that symbolizes unity and togetherness.  The Herd is responsible for the $10,000 “Supporting Our Own: Olympian” GoFundMe Campaign circulating around the internet. In 14 days, the campaign raised $1,990, but still has a long way to go.  Below, Samuel shares what inspired him and his friends to start the campaign and how he plans to get the money to the athletes.

What is the purpose of this GoFundMe? 

The purpose of the GoFundMe is to acknowledge the athletes; letting them know they are appreciated and to offer a show of support. The description on the page was written to focus on the Liberian community, but is definitely not limited to just Liberians.

 “Who am I to stop anyone?  It is open to anyone that wants to support!,” he says.

What inspired your group to start the campaign?

I met Emmanuel online a few years ago. Recently he shared the news that he had qualified for the Olympics. I was excited for him because I knew what this meant and how hard it is to accomplish. Coupled with the article from Okay AfricaThe Herd decided to include Olympian Mariam Kromah in the campaign as well.

How do you plan to get the money to the athletes?

We plan to place the money directly into the hands of the athletes. I plan to meet Emmanuel in Minnesota after he returns. If I cannot make it to Minnesota, I will transfer the money to Emmanuel’s account. We plan on wiring the money to Mariam.

I will post the receipts of the delivered money for the community so they can see because honestly, it is not my money. They trusted me with their money to hand it to the rightful person.

What is your message for Liberians?

I personally feel as Liberians we are wise enough to identify the problem.  If we are wise enough to identify the problem in our community, we are wise enough to come up with a solution.  We sometimes focus more on the negative…we don’t support or value our community. It starts with us working together.

When does the campaign end?

The campaign will end on August 24, the National Flag Day for Liberia.

Samuel feels that regardless if the $10,000 goal is met, the campaign has already accomplished something. “The response received from the Liberian people highlights that there are people out there who want to do something.  We just need someone to step up.  We are far away from the goal, but honestly, the value is not in the money.  The value is in the cooperation,” he says.

To donate towards the GoFundMe campaign for the 2016 Liberian Olympians, visit here

You can follow Samuel and the Herd on Instagram @__theherd.

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