The Executive Director of Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), Brenda B. Moore, says with long term commitment of support toward the improvement of quality education in Liberia, the country can make a difference.
Mrs. Moore made the remarks at KEEP’s fundraiser program held at the Coon Rapids in Minnesota, United States. The fundraiser program brought together many of Liberians and friends of KEEP.
Mrs. Moore lauded supporters for the hospitality shown to her organization at its first annual fundraiser in the United States, while emphasizing the importance of donating books to Liberian kids.
“Tonight, I want to share a bit of the work we are doing in Liberia with you. By doing so, I hope not only to inspire your generous support, which will really help KEEP do more, but also, I am hoping to inspire a long term commitment of support toward the improvement in quality education in Liberia. I believe we can make a difference, Mrs. Moore said.
She noted that there’s something extraordinary about helping others, especially children who are in need.
Mrs. Moore said in 2014, as Ebola ravaged the country forcing the closure of schools, like all parents, she was concerned about it, and tried to find ways to keep her two children educationally engaged at home.
“It occurred to me that many homes in my community had the same problem, but not all parents either had the time or the means to help their children as they may have wanted to,” Mrs. Moore explained.
She further explained that she saw a gap – a need to reach out as best as she could. It did not seem enough that I would only try to keep my kids educationally engaged as some of my neighbors’ children sat home unengaged. None of us knew when school would be reopened. And so, I decided to reach out across my neighborhood with school lessons and materials I would monitor.
Mrs. Moore said while she tried to take educational materials and lessons to kids in the community, it was not with any thoughts or dreams to manage an NGO that would someday come to Minnesota to raise funds and support children’s education.
“It was just a small effort on our part to fill a gap – to care that other children, my neighbors’ children, had a chance like mine, to remain educationally engaged while their schools were all shutdown due to Ebola,” Mrs. Moore told the audience.
According to her, the decision to help; to fill in the gap from July 2014 to February 2015, directly impacted more than 52 communities and more than 7,000 children, and subsequently planted the seed that has me here today.
“As many of you already know, KEEP is a small organization, but our dreams are big. Our hearts are big, and our commitments strong. Through our various interventions, we are determined to make sustainable difference and long term impacts,” Mrs. Moore said.
She added “We should all be concerned because our collective future is threatened if all of our children do not have a fair chance at the quality of education they deserve to make their lives better than those of their parents.”
Dr. Miata Getaweh who served as keynote speaker at the fundraiser program called on everyone to be part of KEEP’s mission as reading will make Liberia a better society.
“It doesn’t matter your background or parent’s background, whether they are illiterate or have PhD, books can open a world of possibilities for anyone. Let’s support the work of KEEP,” Dr. Getaweh urged the audience.
Dr. Getaweh said “if you cannot reach to a child, donate a book or contribute to the work of this great nonprofit organization, so that together we can help develop great leaders for the future.”
She said though education has been cited as one of the catalysts for development, poverty reduction, and gender equality, tens of millions of children still do not have access to books.
Dr. Getaweh said she was aware that many children do not have the privilege of growing up with parents who are literate, which makes the work of KEEP vital.
She said with a high illiteracy rate in Liberia, it is only through the efforts of organizations like KEEP that the society will bridge the reading and literacy gap.
“If Liberia is going to be successful, we need to create a culture of reading. By introducing children to books, we will empower boys and girls all around the country with the power to dare to dream big. Every successful leader has attributed their success one way or another to books, as the saying goes great readers make great leaders. And as we provide our children with literary work, let’s not forget African literature,” she said.
The event raised a total of U$8,500.