The global outbreak and devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic seriously affected the economies as well as educational systems of many developed and under-developed countries with Liberia being of no exception.
During the height of the virus, many parents and guardians either loss their jobs or were given compulsory leaves from their respective institutions for fear of the spread of the disease among the population. With a massive reduction in the daily cases of COVID-19, the Liberian Government in November, 2020 announced the reopening of in-person learning within institutions in the country with straight mandate that all preventive measures be put in place to include the constant use of nose masks, regular hand- washing as well as the use of sanitizers.
The effect of COVID-19 on the Country’s economy has resulted to the failure of many parents and guardians to send their kids to school with those who might have tried to register their kids are also faced with difficulties in getting them school materials to be fully represented as students.
These and many other reasons attracted a renowned non-profit organization based in the United States of America, “The Gbawin Literacy Project to intervene with the donation of several assorted school materials to over 200 less fortunate students at the Barsee-Giah Public School, a government-run institution that is located in remote Barsee-Giah Town, Grand Bassa County and one of the oldest counties in Liberia.
Parents, guardians and the kids themselves felt relieved and jubilated when they witnessed the off-loading of these assorted items which included book-begs, copybooks, reading books, dictionaries, and bingo games among others.
The vision bearer of the US- based humanitarian organization, Mr. James Monxhwedy who is also the founder and President of the Gbawin Literacy Project told Journalists who have travelled with the team in Barsee-Giah Town that the donation of the materials to the struggling Liberian children was his own way of giving back to Liberian students, especially those from his native county, Grand Bassa County.
According to Monxhwedy, the learning conditions of school going kids in Liberia are terrible and disappointing, as such, his stay in the United States can never be considered as successful without immensely contributing to Liberia’s education.
The Liberian-American based humanitarian said the students in Garsee-Giah are the most vulnerable and left behind but noted that they can also be compared to other children around the world if the provision of quality education and a conducive learning environment is provided through the intervention of the Liberian government and its partners.
He added that knowledge is a universal human right, which should be acquired by every individual regardless of which part of the world he or she finds him/herself, but noted that such can only be achieved if they have access to the available opportunities.
“My dream and aspiration for kids in Liberia is to extend my humanitarian program to the fifteen counties of the country, which I foresee in not too distance future.We must all work together to put smiles on the faces of our kids and made them to feel like any other kids in the developed world, James Monxhwedy told the gathering during the donation ceremony.
Mr. James Monxhwedy who was accompanied by his wife, a Grenadian-American said as a non for-profit organization, the Gbawin Literacy Project received most of its funding from individuals and organizations in the United States of America whose desires are to see a world of equalities and opportunities for all, as such, he intends to wisely use all available materials for the development and benefit of Liberian children.
Also making remarks was Mrs. Margaret Thomas who expressed that her passion for education in Liberia is unquenchable, “my story is of no different from kids in Liberia, I see the many sufferings Liberian kids go through just to attain education as the same within my home and I am willing to go at any length in assisting my husband to invest into the education of Liberian children” she said in a very passionate mood.
I see myself as an African being birthed in Grenada and so I see quality education for Liberian children and their development into positive future leaders as my own priority. “I see them just as myself, I am from a very poor and small Island country, with black dominance population just like them; where we use the same outside bathroom, drink from the same creek and do almost everything they go through here. I believe that any child, when given the same opportunity as I had, can become a better person in the society” Mrs. Margaret Thomas said.
Madam Thomas said for the Liberian society to be transformed, government must invest more in childhood education and provide them the necessary opportunity to explore their talents.
According to her, as a professional classroom teacher, she feels passionate and committed to kids development in Liberia and to provide every necessary assistance in helping to transform their lives.
Meanwhile the Head Administrator of Baree-Giah Public, Mr. Ziba N. Kwenah lauded the American based couple, Mr. James Monxhwedy and his wife Mrs. Margaret Thomas for the establishment of such impactful charitable organization that has brought smiles and excitement to less fortunate children who will serve as the next leaders in the future.
Mr. Kwenah, on behalf of the school extoled the Liberian-American based philanthropists for the gesture and assured them that the materials being hand-delivered to the students will be highly monitored and be used for the purpose intended.
The program was graced by cross-section of citizens of Barsee-Giah Town, elders, school authorities, parents and guardians of beneficiaries among others.