(One of the deliverables Post Ebola Education (PEER) Support Project for Liberia)
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”.