Liberia Education Trust Fund-Raiser Nets Quarter-of-a-Million Dollars

Wednesday, 16th May 2007
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Billionaire Bob Johnson and Senator Hilary Clinton.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Billionaire Bob Johnson and Senator Hilary Clinton.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson/Executive Mansion

Washington DC, USA Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Tuesday led a  fund raising event in Washington, DC, the United States, raising 250-thousand United States dollars.  The event, graced by several prominent personalities including New York Senator Hilary Clinton, American billionaire Robert Johnson, Jordan Queen Noor, as well as a number of US congressmen and members of the American business community and philanthropists, was organized by the Liberian Education Trust (LET), to raise funds to support education in Liberia.

President Johnson Sirleaf thanked contributors for their continued support toward the educational objectives of government. The President, highlighting the development priorities of government and efforts being made to address the challenges, informed donors and contributors, that government was determined to address the educational needs of its citizens, particularly girls and women. The Liberian Education Trust, the President said, is intended to redress years of neglect of the girl child and to support literacy programs for mothers, to enable them read and write. “We must respond to their needs because they represent our greatest constituency,” An Executive Mansion dispatch from Washington quoted the President as saying.

Turning to Senator Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the US Presidency, the Liberian said, “I do believe women make good Presidents,” drawing loud applause from the audience.

Speaking earlier, Senator Clinton expressed support for the Liberia Education Trust. She hoped individuals and organizations would continue to support President Johnson Sirleaf’s efforts to provide education for the country. Amid standing ovation, the leading contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidency, said she loves the idea of a women President who is doing so well. This woman President, Senator Clinton noted, “is especially deserving of all we can do to help her as she struggles to create a better future for all of the children of Liberia.”

Supporting Liberia on a long road to a peaceful and a prosperous future, the former first lady of the United States, said “is not only important; it is the right thing to do for our country, given the history between Liberia and the United States. We should give whatever attention we can and whatever resources we can provide to assist Liberia,” Senator Clinton asserted.

Liberian Education Trust President, Debbie Harding, thanked all contributors and donors for identifying with the objectives of the Trust.  Dr. Harding said, during its first year of existence, the Trust has made significant progress, raising $US2-million United States dollars. She disclosed that the Trust has provided grants to Liberian NGOs to build eighteen schools; thirteen hundred scholarships for girls and a thousand scholarships for market women to enroll in literacy classes.

The occasion was also witnessed by members of the Liberian delegation accompanying the President to the United States, including Grand Kru Superintendent Roseline Sneh, Senator Lahai Lassanah, Representative Elijah Seah, Haja Siryon and Dusty Wolokollie, as well as Information Minister, Dr. Laurence Bropleh and Mr. Ramses Kumbuyah of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) and Liberia’s ambassador to the US Charles Minor.