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Nearly a million children in Liberia go through life on a daily basis just trying to survive, finding their way alone, neglected, malnourished, impoverished, and uneducated. Lifting Liberia’s goal is to make education a right not a luxury for these children believing education is the key to ending the cycle of poverty and suffering.
After 14 years of violence and civil war, Liberia was left facing huge challenges for recovery. Liberia’s public education system was particularly devastated by the conflict. In 2007, UNICEF estimated that at least 50% of Liberia’s schools were destroyed and many more were in dire need of repair.
It’s a painful reflection for Liberians as they recall this 14 year long civil war in which 250,000 lives were lost. This is staggering considering its small population of around 3.8 million.
The conflict left the country’s infrastructure destroyed and with 83% of its population living below the poverty line. The unemployment rate stands at 85% and the literacy rate at 52%.
Over 500,000 children in Liberia are not in school. UNICEF says, of those enrolled in school, 42% of them sit on the bare floor without desks or properly trained teachers to provide appropriate instructions and there are no adequate books in which to learn.
Lifting Liberia provides scholarships for kids to get them off the road and into schools. We also operate a school in a small community outside of Monrovia. We bring text books and supplies into the country and provide training workshops for teachers. Lifting Liberia also assists with medical care of our Liberian angels and is working on establishing a feeding program as well. This is a daunting task for our small NGO, but we believe grass roots organizations like ours, working hands on in the field, can accomplish great things.
There’s still a long way to go toward making sure that every child is able to get a quality education in Liberia. However, with the support of Lifting Liberia and its donors, children are beginning to get the opportunities they need to become champions of recovery in Liberia.
Song by Jaime Thiettin