Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31: 8-9
The Liberian education system was destroyed during the 14-year civil conflict. The country’s human resources development was neglected and the literacy rate fell below 32 percent.
According to a 2003 Liberian Ministry of Education and UNICEF study, 20% of the schools had been destroyed, and many of the remaining schools are in urgent need of repair.
During the war, many educator including principals and teachers left the country. Therefore, teachers without formal qualifications or experience had to replace them. Currently, the unqualified teachers in Liberia are estimated at 62%. As a result, enrollment has dramatically decreased: Between 2000 and 2002, the gross enrollment ratio for girls declined from over 72% to just above 35% and from 73% to just above 48% for boys.
Due to the continuous disruption in the education system a large number of students remain in the primary school. For example, a recent school census found that 85% of the students in kindergarten were 8 to 20 years old, with 50% being between 11 and 20 years. In secondary schools, 45% of boys and 27% of girls are between 20 and 24 years old.
The limitations of poverty that are regularly imposed upon children in war-torn countries like Liberia deny them the opportunity to reach their full potential, and at the same time, inhibit the adult world from seeing exactly what these kids are capable of achieving.
The village of Galai is located in the Province of Bong County in Suakoko district, Northern region of Liberia,West Africa. It is approximately four hours drive from Monrovia, the political Capital. Ninety percent (90%) of the villagers are rice and crops farmers. According to census, there are 2,760 people living in Galai, excluding surrounding villages.Vision
When I visited Galai, I was moved with compassion after witnessing the devastating condition of the school building. In fact, Galai never had a proper school building before the civil war started.
The current school building was the home of one of the villagers who passed away. It was donated by the family of the deceased. 300 students are enrolled, but because of the dilapidated condition of the building and the insufficient number of class rooms, only 150 students presently attend school from kindergarten to Grade six, with eight under-qualified volunteer teachers, including the principal.
Our vision is to help them build a new school up to Grade 9 by buying cement for a larger foundation up to ground level and plastering of the walls. Also with doors, windows, and materials for a new metal roof. Then the villagers can start the rest of the foundation to roof level from clay bricks. In essence, we are building with them, not for them. Once the building is completed and extended to grade 9, it will then become eligible for funding from the Liberian ministry of education. With this funding, Galai could secure qualified salaried teachers and purchase more resources for their children`s education.We are currently in the process of searching for NGOs in Canada to supervise the project through a local NGO in Liberia if funding becomes available. We are open to any ideas to help make this project a successful one.
Outreach & Ministry
St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church