Some Bad and Good News...
First the Bad News
For a very long time our kids at Children Hope Community School (West Point, Monrovia) have had to walk up to a mile to use the nearest public toilet. Another sad reality is that they had to share toilets with almost the entire community. Not only is this sad but it also poses some serious health risks to the children.
Now the Good News!
In the near future, our kids will not have to experience this deplorable toilet situation. We are currently undertaking a mini-project to build a 2-room flush toilet for the boys and girls at Children Hope Community School. This toilet will be conveniently located in the school’s vicinity and will be accessible for only the students and faculty. This is a huge need at Children Hope and the effort has been highly applauded by the children and the entire West Point community.
Mini Project Status:
We have raised 60% of the funds needed to construct the toilet and will initiate the project when we reach 80%.
As Smile Liberia continues to strive towards helping provide education for children living in poverty, our Liberia staff recently visited a community in Monrovia known as the "Rock Crushers" community. In this community, hundreds of children spend their days laboring in rock fields to earn a little or nothing to help feed themselves and their families. These children crush rocks all day to sell to construction companies.
When we asked a number of the children why they spent their time in the rock fields, their responses were simple, "our parents cannot afford to send us to school" (some of them are orphans and cannot afford to go to school). Most of them look forward to spending their time in the rock fields because that's their only means of affording a day's meal and other basic needs.
Devastated by this, Smile Liberia has committed to changing the lifestyle of these children. Our goal is to provide children in the "Rock Crushers" community opportunities of going to school and get them out of the rock fields. In 2014, we will be raising money to sponsor the education of 20 of these children. By the end of 2016, it is our goal to raise enough funds to sponsor the education of 100 children in this community.
Children in the West Point community will be coming together this Saturday, December 21st, to celebrate the holiday season in honor of the work Smile Liberia is doing in that community. Most of the children celebrating are beneficiaries of Smile Liberia scholarship program, and students from the Children Hope Community School. The children are glad to be given an opportunity of becoming successful someday.
We want to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to all our supporters. Without your contributions and support, the future of many boys and girls living in poverty would have remained bleak. We wish you Happy Holidays and are looking forward to another year of great partnership!
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:
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