(One of the deliverables Post Ebola Education (PEER) Support Project for Liberia)
06/09/2017 Update from Nehmah Yeanay:
It is my pleasing duty to share with you updates from the light distribution exercise in Bopolu District, Gbarpolu County; due to information from the field that most school children do not attend classes in
the rural areas on Fridays, we had to postponed the distribution from Friday, June 2, 2017 to Monday, June 5, 2017.
As earlier planned, we targeted only two (2) schools, Tumukolla Public School and Momo T. Kamara Public School because they recorded large enrolment from the start of the school year. However, due to various socio-economic factors affecting school enrolment all over rural Liberia, we noticed during the distribution that a significant number of students who attended during the First Semester did not continue to the Second semester and some of those who even started the second half of the school year are no longer in school.
As a result, we were able to serve a total of 250 school children and 6 teachers; in terms of breakdown, we distributed lights on 72 boys, 52 girls and 4 teachers at the Tumukolla Public School while 62 boys, 64 girls and 2 teachers were served at the Momo T. Kamara Public School. We considered the possibility of distributing the remaining 148 lights, but due to serious decline in school enrolment and considering the fact that the school year is almost to an end, it was decided that we should bring the remaining lights to Monrovia for safe-keeping until the start of the next school session which is expected in September. The rationale behind this decision is that, we really want the children to use the lights for school work and looking at the level of decline in school activities, especially at the very end of the school year, it will be necessary to distribute the remaining lights upon the resumption of classes so as to serve as a major impetus for academic excellence.
This being said, we only had to distribute the 256 lights because the schools were informed and the children exercised patience by waiting for us to travel from Monrovia to their respective campuses; therefore we couldn’t have returned to Monrovia with the entire consignment without serving the children who were in attendance at their respective schools. Once again, I want to be very clear that the remaining 148 lights are with me in Monrovia pending distribution upon the resumption of schools in few months, by September/October this year.
Once again thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to reach needy children in rural Liberia and we want to re-assure that ALL the lights will reach the targeted beneficiaries. Many thanks to you and all those who made it possible for the lights to be provided for us and our children in Bopolu.
10/19/2016 Update from Liberia from Nehmah Yeanay:
150 lights were distributed on Friday, October 7, 2016. Our team managed to reach Nyaforta Public School on Thursday night from Bopolu City by foot because the road condition had deteriorated due to heavy rainfall. However, they could not leave the town for three days because rain washed away the only bridge linking Nyaforta to Gbarpolu County motor road. An additional two days period of delay occurred when the team had to spend another two days in Bopolu while waiting for the road condition to improve before making the return journey to Monrovia.
Pictures coming soon. 650/5000 distributed to date.
Thanks to generous donors and partners, we have scheduled our next distribution to the students of Bopolu District, Gbarpolu County in Liberia. In February we provided 500 students with solar lights. School starts on September 5 and we are looking to send over another 500 lights as welcome back to school gifts. We are 30% to our goal. Please donate today!
Some of the recipients of February’s distribution of 500 lights.
From the help of a wonderful elementary school, we have raised enough money for 500 lights. We have space reserved in a container for delivery in the Spring. We have partnered with several organizations to make this happen including the Liberian Energy Network. Please help us get to 1,000 lights! Donate Today.
One Million Lights is currently in partnership with Servant Leadership Program, Inc. to undertake a ground-breaking project of distributing Six Thousand (6,000) Solar rechargeable lights to Five Thousand Eight Hundred (5,800) students and Two Hundred (200) teachers in Twenty Six (26) Public Schools and Three (3) Private Schools in Bopolu District, Gbarpolu County, rural Liberia, West Africa. Included in this number of projected beneficiaries are Two Thousand Three Hundred Twenty Nine (2,329) girls, accounting for 38.81%.
Servant Leadership Program, Inc. is a non-governmental charitable local organization that is supporting rural school enrollment and enhancing the delivery of quality education in rural communities across
Bopolu District. The availability of electricity to facilitate the delivery of basic social services in urban areas of Liberia remain a critical challenge to the extent that rural places such as Bopolu do not have access to light of any kind unless the very few privileged people who can afford a private generator. As a result, the only means of light left to most students and teachers are sunlight, flashlight and wood light. This situation has adversely affected the overall performance of students and teachers despite all national renewal efforts following the end of the civil war in 2003.
To further exacerbate this already deteriorated state of affairs, the outbreak of the Ebola pandemic completely paralyzed the nascent socio-economic fabric of the nation. The 14 years civil conflict itself caused the deaths of an estimated 250,000 persons, internally displacement of over one million people and over half a million refugees scattered across West Africa and beyond. Development exports have unanimously reported that some of the most devastating effects of the civil war was the destruction of infrastructures such as roads, bridges and public buildings as well as the total collapse of all social service delivery systems including, schools, hospitals, electricity and water and sewer systems.
It is sad to note that national recovery process after the civil war did not take root when the Ebola crisis began. As the virus raged across the nation, all academic institutions once again closed down, economic activities came to a standstill, border entry points shut down, most international flights suspended, concession companies ceased operation and even free movement from one part of the country to another was greatly curtailed as several communities became quarantined.
With the rechargeable solar lights, teachers will be able to research and plan lessons and students will conveniently study and do assignments at home. Consequently, students’ performance in periodic tests and standardized exams will greatly improve thereby revolutionizing the prospects of learning in rural Liberia for the first time in a quarter of a century.
To make this worthy cause a reality, please donate your cents and dollars today. As it is said in Liberia “one drop of water could make an ocean”.