Liberia Education Trust Receives More Support

Tuesday, 4th September 2007
President Sirleaf Displays Check for US 15,000 Thousand Dollars Donated To Liberia Education Trust
President Sirleaf Displays Check for US 15,000 Thousand Dollars Donated To Liberia Education Trust
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the vision of the Liberia Education Trust (LET) comes from the desire to address the many years of neglect of the girl child. The President said the initiative represents efforts of by family friends, professional associates and institutions that recognize that Liberia was far behind in meeting the Millennium Development Goals for the enrollment of children. The initiative, the President recounted, is intended to support government’s efforts, recognizing the resource scarcity that government faces.  By putting together their own personal resources, contributions, donations and through fund raising events, the Chief architect of LET noted, they have been able to support government in this area.

An Executive Mansion release says the President spoke on Tuesday at the Foreign Ministry, when she received a check for U.S. 15-thousand (fifteen thousand dollars) from the World Food Program (WFP) to support the activities of the Liberia Educational Trust. The amount represents proceeds generated from the recent 2007 ‘Walk the World’ event held in Monrovia.

The President thanked the World Food Program for the support and called on beneficiaries to continue to take advantage of the opportunities being offered. The grant by the WFP, the President noted, sends a powerful signal that others are prepared to assist once efforts are made in taking the first steps. The President said government’s educational goals could be enhanced if individuals or institutions with the financial capacity agreed to individually contribute to the education of a Liberian child.

The President said the challenge facing the NGO is to ensure that in three years, the Liberia Education Trust would have met its objective to build 50 schools, train five-hundred teachers and provide scholarships to five-thousand school going girls and women in literacy programs throughout the country. President Johnson Sirleaf expressed the hope that by then, government’s own budgetary resources would have enable it to be able to assume the responsibility and continue programs of a similar nature that would support not only the building of schools or the training of teachers, but ensuring that a robust scholarship program is in place, that would reach all females whose parents can not afford to send them to school.

Meanwhile, the Liberian President has warned that beginning this academic year, government will not allow street selling by young children of primary school age. “If we see them, we will confiscate their goods; we will find their homes and we’ll put them back in school where they belong,” the Liberian leader cautioned.

LET Monrovia Office Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Kandakai welcomed the gesture, adding that it goes far beyond the amount presented. The LET Board emphasized that the Trust supports Liberia’s efforts to improve educational efforts. LET, Dr. Kandakai said, has provided 1200 scholarships for girls, with 490 benefiting primary school girls, 338 for secondary school girls and 181 to university female students. The Program, she said, is working toward extending its programs to all parts of the country.

For his part, Education Minister Dr. Joseph Korto thanked WFP for contributing to the educational programs of government. He described WFP has a trusted partner. He praised the educational initiative of LET and noted that it is in line with the government’s education objectives. The education Ministry, Dr. Korto said remains supportive of the program. The Education Minister dismissed recent media reports that he was unhappy over the activities of LET on grounds that the Trust was usurping the Ministry’s functions.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-general, Mr. Jordan Ryan, also witnessed the program which brought together beneficiaries of LET scholarship program.