School is Starting Soon for Americans…

… And for our friends in the former colony of Liberia as well. However, this school year will be different from previous ones for many.

During the Ebola outbreak, schools were shut down accross the country for six months. The after-effects of such a shutdown would be staggering even in a developed nation like the U.S. For a country a country like Liberia, these challenges are exacerbated by issues such as poverty and loss of family members due to Ebola.

The closing of schools did not just have an effect on the education of Liberians – setting them back nearly a whole school year. It also presents a severe financial burden to thousands. Many Liberian’s paid for a full year of school, only to receive nothing in return because of the outbreak. Now they must pay again to make up for lost time, a necessity many Liberians cannot afford.

Moreover, there are the general hardships Liberian’s face in their educational system. The country’s Education Minister George Werner recently claimed the educational system was “a mess,” even saying that, “in some places the education system has collapsed.”

Education, of course, is critical to the stability of any nation. The connections between lack of education and social ills like crime, poverty, and high birth rates have long been understood. There is even reason to believe that education can have an influence on the spread of disease.

Many of the things students are in need of are simple such as school fees, uniforms, and supplies. Other things like training and housing for teachers, homes for students orphaned by ebola, and textbooks could help rebuild the country and prevent future wars and outbreaks.

So when you or your children begin school this fall, remember our Liberian brothers and sisters struggling to do the same. Please, encourage your school or group to participate in our Change for Africa Project, and make a difference in a child’s life today.

For more information on the issues facing Liberians approaching the new school year see this IRIN article.

For more ways to get involved in Lifting Liberia, visit our Ways to Support Us page.

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