Over the last few months, GEM Liberia, like all other organizations around the globe, has faced some challenges due to COVID19. The pandemic has tried to keep us all on pause, but no matter what, we must keep moving.
As you know from our last report, a location for the Jennifer Albee Enrichment School had been secured, repairs to the building were underway, and plans for summer classes was in the works. Then the pandemic hit, schools were closed abruptly, and stay-at-home orders were put in place. We wanted to keep the momentum going as best we could, given the circumstances.
Soon after the shutdown began, we placed an announcement for virtual learning. We knew it would be a challenge for many, but we wanted to try. Unfortunately, not even 5% of our social media users are familiar with technology such as Zoom. Almost all parents are total strangers to this and found it too difficult manage. Buying data for online learning also proved to be a challenge. As soon as the country reopens, we plan to offer an in-person reading program while we prepare for the next academic year.
We have used this time to begin construction of the GEM Liberia website. This website will afford all of you the opportunity to see GEM's work live online and follow the progress we are making with your money to provide quality education for girls in Liberia. We have never been this visible in previous years, and we say that we would not have that much visibility without your support. Thank you.
Another exciting advancement is that just before the pandemic hit, we purchased land that will eventually be the permanent home of the school, freeing us from burden of ever-increasing rent. In the shorter-term, the land will be used for farming, creating a source of income for the school, providing opportunities to local farmers, and addressing food security concerns by providing nutritious food for the students. As stay-at-home orders are lifted, we are starting to clear the land and prepare it for the next farming season.
We know that girls are particularly at risk of not returning to school after a crisis like this global pandemic so the need to protect girls’ education is more important than ever. Thank you once again to everyone who continues to support the project. You are all wonderful examples of love.
We wish you and your loved ones good health.
Founder and Executive Director