In 2016, KEEP ‘adopted’ Small Bong Mines as one of its beneficiary communities. In the agreement, with the full corporation of the community, KEEP agreed to construct a primary school in support to the Ministry of Education policy to providing free and safe learning spaces for Liberian children within the country.
With the generous support from its individual and corporate sponsors, the construction work of the school started thus immediately. After its completion, a modern primary school building was dedicated to the people of Small Bong Mines community in Bopolu district, Gbarpolu County on September 6, 2019. The building contains five furnished classrooms with an office for the administrative staffs.
The dedicatory ceremony was attended by some officials of government and the entire community of Small Bong Mines and its surrounding communities. Some of those who attended the program include the Fiscal Affairs Superintendent of Gbarpolu County, Hon. Anthony Yorkor, the District Education Officer of Bopolu district, Mr. Charles Kaba, the Child Welfare Coordinator of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Gbarpolu County, Mr. George Scott. Others include the town chief of Small Bong Mines Community, the women and youth leaders, elders and children. People from the surrounding communities also attended the ceremony.
In her turning over remarks, Mrs. Brenda B. Moore, Executive Director and founder of the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project, (KEEP), firstly congratulated the community especially the women for their invaluable and tireless efforts in getting the work of the building completed. “You (women) have done exceptionally well.” “Without your cooperation this project wouldn’t have been completed.” She praised the women of Small Bong Mines Community. Mrs. Moore outlined some of the works done by the women as the gathering of sand and gravel throughout the construction exercise. She further extended thanks to the entire community for its support rendered till the completion of the project. “You all helped in the process.” She hailed them. As the school is being dedicated, the executive director calls for the community to take ownership of the facility since it is exclusively theirs and not for KEEP neither the government. “This building was constructed here because of the number of children in this community and its surrounding and the poor learning environment in which we saw them.” “We begged people for money to construct this school, and all the furniture placed in the classes. Please take good care of them. She pleaded.
Mrs. Moore than encouraged every parent of Small Bong Mines and the surrounding communities to take advantage of the facility by sending their children to school. She ended by thanking the principal of the school, Mr. Boakai for his support to the work.
For her part, the chairlady of Small Bong Mines community, Mrs. Marie Massaquoi, on behalf of the women congratulated KEEP for erecting such a big and beautiful project in their community. “We have longed for such a facility for long and today we are celebrating the dedication of our dream. We are grateful to God.” She said. Mrs. Massaquoi thanked the community for the effort applied during the period of the construction and encouraged her fellow women to take seriously their children’s education. “KEEP has played her part by helping us build this structure but the building doesn’t make the school, it is the students.” “Let’s send our children to school to meet the purpose of the building.” She ended.
“We don’t know what voice to give as thanks to KEEP for this great initiative.” Mr. Uriah Johnson, the chair person for the Parents teachers Association (PTA) said. He told the gathering how long the Small Bong Mine and neighboring communities have prayed and dreamed for a decent school building for their children, and today KEEP has brought their dream alive. Mr. Johnson said it is a bounty beyond measure.
The district education officer of Bopolu district, Mr. Charles Kaba on behalf of the County Education Officer and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Liberia, congratulated the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), for such a wonderful undertaking. He said the economy of the country is currently in shamble and so the Ministry of Education heavily depends on partners like KEEP to help support the educational system in Liberia. “This is what we called partnership.” He said. Mr. Kaba challenged the parents to take ownership of the school by managing and properly taking good care of the building and everything that is being placed it, and above all, by sending their children to school.
Making remarks, the Fiscal Affairs Superintendent of Gbarpolu County, Hon. Anthony Yorkor, congratulated KEEP for its endeavor to supporting the educational system in Liberia. Besides the primary school building being dedicated, he named many other facilities which KEEP has constructed not only in Gbarpolu but many other counties around Liberia exclusively for learning purposes. Hon. Yorkor than, called on the communities benefiting from the initiative to be their own security for the protection of the facility. He said KEEP has done its part now it is left with you to play your part by keeping the building cleaned and sending your children to school to learn. “We will help the Ministry of Education to monitor the upkeep of this building and the progress of the students in this school.” “This building is not erected here to beautify your community but for you to make use of it by sending your children to school.” He told the community dwellers.
The constructed building is valued at U$21,000. Excluding the cost of the chairs and desks, which were donated by NetLib and Mr. Daniel Menyon.