In a continued effort to help educate children living in the slum of West Point, Monrovia, Liberia, Smile Liberia was able to provide education for more children for the 2013-2014 school year. In addition to the 25 students being provided with full year tuition, books, and uniforms, Smile Liberia was able to provide educational support for additional 10 students for the 2013-2014 school year. Among the children was 15 year old Jackson Kollie.
Due to poverty Jackson has been out of school since the 2nd grade. Jackson has longed for an opportunity to attend school, but has been unable to do so because his parents could not afford the cost, and because he had to sell petty goods in the streets of West Point to help support his family.
Jackson was overjoyed to have received help from Smile Liberia and assured us that he is going to make the absolute best of this opportunity. Jackson's favorite subjects are Math and Science. He wants to be an engineer. Jackson extends his thanks and gratitude to all Smile Liberia's supporters that have helped in making his dream a reality!
Smile Liberia recently completed a partnership with Church Aid International (CAI), a local Liberian NGO working to provide education for impoverished communities. The partnership is intended to broaden the scope of Smile Liberia's school building project and increase the impact it will have on children and communities living in poverty.
As a result of the partnership, and a number of other potential impediments beyond our control, there is a strong possibility that the project site will be relocating to another community, located on the outskirts of Monrovia, which has similar needs as the West Point community.
CAI has agreed to provide a 5-acre piece of land in the community of Caldwell, Monrovia, Liberia for the school building project. This will double the original targeted number of beneficiaries and provide extended learning opportunities to the community.
Upon successful implementation of our school building project, Smile Liberia and CAI will deliver a school to the Caldwell community that:
In the midst of land negotiation for our School Adoption Project, Smile Liberia recently donated $30,000 Liberian Dollars (LD) to 9 beneficiaries of our scholarship program. Funds will be used to provide full-year tuition, uniforms and school supplies for the beneficiaries.
The donation drew the attention of local news media in Liberia: http://www.thenewslib.com/news/1327-smile-liberia-awards-ld-30-000-scholarships-to-children.
As a related development, Smile Liberia is researching an alternate location for the School Building project, amidst news of possible demolition and relocation of the West Point community by the Liberian government. We are now looking at building the school in the Brewerville area, in the outskirts of Monrovia. Brewerville is believed to be the location where residents of West Point will be relocated. Stay tuned for updates.
Smile Liberia has begun discussions with the commissioner and elders of West Point for a piece of land to erect a new community school to support the School Adoption Project. Pending a meeting with the commissioner and elders and West Community leaders, a final decision will be made by the end of January, 2013. We are optimistic of the outcome of the meeting and are gradually getting closer to fulfilling our vision.
The proposed school will enroll 500 boys and girls in the slum of West Point that are struggling or cannot afford the costs of tuition, uniforms, books, and school supplies.
As part of Smile Liberia's commitment of working to improve the learning condition at Children Hope Community School through the School Adoption Project, the CEO of Smile Liberia, Mr. William Ward, recently paid a visit to the school. During his visit, Mr. Ward completed a massive renovation exercise at Children Hope. The renovation exercise included the replacement of the entire roofing of the school, replacement of the interior ceiling mats, painting of the interior and exterior of the school, and the replacement of old blackboards and arm chairs.
During his visit, Mr. Ward also met with the commissioner of West Point to discuss Smile Liberia's long term goals and plans for the West Point community and the Children Hope Community School. Instead of being a private undertaking, Children Hope Community School has now become a West Point community initiative. Mr. Ward also met with delegates from the Liberian Ministry of Education and presented them with the School Adoption Project plans.
At the end of the renovation project, Mr. Ward awarded 5 scholarships to the top performing students at Children Hope on behalf of Smile Liberia. Recipients of the scholarships included: Solomon Tamba (Kindergarten), Blessing Doe (1st Grade), Musa Kromah (2nd Grade), Elton Balleh (3rd Grade), and Jackson Bondo (4th Grade).
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