Elton is an 11-year-old boy from Nimba County in Liberia, one of seven siblings who have attended LIFE Literacy. Always keen to support others, Elton took it upon himself to encourage his friends from a neighboring community to join his school last month. They began the school year with enthusiasm – together they helped the school construct new benches for the growing number of students. From a distance, Elton would seem to be an ordinary Liberian student but there is great deal he has in mind to impact his community.
Just two years ago, Elton lost his father. Although himself uneducated, Elton’s father had made it his duty to actively participate in all of the school’s activities. He was constantly helping out around the school and doing odd jobs. It was important to him that his children benefited from the opportunities he never had. Elton is now following in his father’s footsteps, participating in school and helping out where he can.
Recently Elton’s mother has also started visiting the school and joining the PTA meetings. Although she can’t speak English, someone is always there to help her join in the discussion. During the school’s end-of-year ceremony, Elton gave the welcoming speech with such poise, that he received a standing ovation. His mother was smiling from the audience – ‘His father would be so proud’.
This September marked the tenth anniversary of LIFE Literacy’s operations in Liberia, and building relationships with students and their families has always been at its core. Although Elton and his family have their struggles, LIFE provides them with a community where they always feel welcome and supported.
Elton dreams to buy land someday and build a house for his mother, something she has never had. For now, he is looking forward to his upcoming school year where he plans to join the quiz team and lead the school in the spelling competition. His mother will be there to encourage him and LIFE will support him every step of the way. And Elton will continue to make his father proud.