Culled from Front PageAfrica Kids Educational Project Raises Fund To Construct More Reading Rooms

Monrovia – Charlotte Konneh, an orphan from the Love A Child Orphanage on Roberts Field Highway in Margibi, who could hardly put a button on her shirt, never thought that one day she would be able to stand in front of a Fundraising Dinner audience, to exhibit her handy work, which she sewed with her hands.

The Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) which held a Fundraising Dinner at the Monrovia City Hall Ballroom, did so in an effort geared towards raising funds to educate less fortunate children like Charlotte and other school going kids with books and reading rooms facilities.

The program brought together top government officials, non-profit organizations, profit organizations, civil society organizations, donors, parents and students, who supported the cause of education for Liberian children.

Sharing her testimony as a KEEP beneficiary, Charlotte said – “It was not easy at the beginning because we never knew how to sew a button on our blouses; but now as you can see, these are some of the things we have sewed with our hands.”

“We say thanks to KEEP organization for their support towards our life and their efforts towards our skills that we can make life in the future.”

“We really need your support to help provide us with sewing machines so that when we are out of high school, we can use that means to support the orphanage and ourselves,” Charlotte said.

KEEP is known for promoting reading among students; developing reading spaces, computer literacy training, after school tutorials and public speaking coaching for adolescents.

“What we most wanted at our school was a library to do our homework and research, but we did not know how this was going to happen considering that we are attending a tuition-free school that is always looking for funds to provide us with better facilities,” said Joetta Sumu, a student of the New Life Academy.

“Today, I am here to appreciate KEEP for providing for our school which has over 800 students, access to hundreds of books that we can read to improve our reading skills.”

“Not only that, but KEEP also established a computer lab which has 10 computers. I am so excited and looking forward to learn how to use a computer. Because of KEEP, we now have a book club at the school with a richly reading section,” Sumo said.

Giving the keynote address, Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore, who spoke on the topic: “Women in public space” said in the last 10 years, there have been so many odds against women in public space.

Having President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a female president, according to Moore, has not changed the society because the two-term tenure of President Sirleaf has not changed the inheritance law which grossly favors men.

“A few weeks ago, a female candidate announced that she was running for the Liberian presidency, and she was taken to task on social. What I have a problem with is, things we tend to use to disqualify a woman from holding public office have never been used to disqualify a man for public office in Liberia, so this has to stop,” Minister Moore said.

Minister Moore observed that in Liberia professional women were not given the respect at their job sites simply because they are women. He noted that Liberian men need to create the public space for women to participate.

“Now we are here celebrating what Brenda has achieved, and we need to support more of the things women do.

At the Public Works, I promote females, so within the next three years, I want my female engineers to have the same portfolio as any of my male engineers have – to be able to do the same jobs that the male engineers are doing now,” Moore said.

KEEP Executive Director Mrs. Brenda Brewer Moore, who has no relations with Public Works Minister Moore, said in 2016, KEEP provided 150 school bags to students, donated educational supplies to five schools in Montserrado and Gbarpolu Counties.

“To all of our supporters, this is where your money has been going; we have completed, powered and equipped two reading rooms. We have provided tuition support to six orphans and vulnerable children. We supported after schools tutorial programs; we have skills training forum with girls.”

“We also do advocacy on the improvement of education for underserved schools.”

“We conducted the first teachers training on reading strategies and we have started the construction of a public school in Gbarpolu County,” she averred.

Mrs. Moore, who admonished guests and supporters to patronize the work done by kids from the orphanage, narrated that KEEP was established in 2014 as an initiative to keep thousands of Liberian students academically engaged during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

The organization reached over 5,000 students since its establishment.

The fundraising session was headed by Mr. T. Nelson Williams, of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, who donated US$300.00, and promised that his organization will provide a few scholarships for some kids, while Public Works Minister Gyude Moore pledged US$1,000.

Esa Eid family of the Lebanese Community pledged 10 sewing machines for the sewing program at the orphanage, while Fawaz Business Center pledged over US$1,000.00 worth of building materials to reach the school construction to roof level.

Pewee Flomoku donated US$500.00 and pledged a sewing machine. Many others gave and pledged cash.

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More Pictures from the event can be found on this link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0_8EvY1U5E4d212MkxjT2F3VTA?usp=sharing