Latest News from the Villages

WELCOMING NEW NEIGHBOR- JANZY

I wish to welcome you to our village.
Janzy, feel welcome, learn more about us & share with us what you think can improve our projects.
Your are most welcome.

Invite your other friends to join our village
to learn about GHc & share with us and link us.
Regards,
Josephat.
Projects Manager.

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Government Introduces Confusion in 2015 School Year

The current academic year, which started in March this year and was to last until December, is plagued with serious confusion and uncertainty, causing misunderstanding or bad blood between the Executive and the Legislature of the government, between the government and school authorities, between the government and parents, between the government and students, and so forth.

This is how it all began. As you may very well recall, after schools had been closed for about eight (8) months as a result of the presence of the Ebola virus disease in our country, the Executive Branch (headed by the President of Liberia) announced in January that all schools should reopen in February. This was after many parents had been without jobs and money for months, with many people surviving on money sent from caring friends and relatives abroad. This was compounded by the Christmas and New Year’s Season during which parents went through a lot of expenses for Christmas food and clothes and other activities for their families.

Reflecting on their own condition, parents appealed to the President and the officials at the Education Ministry to postpone the reopening of schools, but they refused. Parents begged and begged, but the government was not willing to listen. Having no other choices, some schools opened according to the February schedule, while others opened in March. Most parents were grieving as they paid their children’s tuition and fees, as they went through tough – and, sometimes, pitiful – conditions to get the money for that purpose. Those parents who could not afford just told their kids to sit at home, and they have not entered school up to this time.

Then in early April, the President appointed a new Education Minister named Mr. George Werner. He and his team pre-maturely announced in mid-June that all schools should close on June 30, that no students should be promoted and that a completely new school year should start in September because, according to them, the government would like to use July and August to institute some improvement measures in the education system before reopening in September.

Parents, students and school authorities got furious over the government’s pronouncement, with most parents asking: “Then what becomes of our hard-earned money we have already paid for our children? If the government knew that it would not be able to continue a full school year, why did it force us to find money to pay our children’s tuition and fees? The government should not make fool of us. If this government is not careful, this could bring about serious social unrest in the country.”

The pronouncement from the Education Minister angered the lawmakers of the Lower House of the Liberian parliament. And sensing the inherent danger of the pronouncement, the lawmakers summoned the Education Minister to their session to question him about the decision to close schools in that manner. During the session, the Minister was told to rescind his decision and allow schools to continue to run, which, it was believed, he agreed to. He left the lawmakers’ presence with that understanding.

However, about a week later, the same Minister announced that all schools should close on July 31 and reopen on September 7. Of course parents, students, school authorities and the lawmakers of the Lower House oppose it. And as if to add insult to injury, the President wrote the Education Minister to ignore the words of the lawmakers.

Furious over the President’s letter, the lawmakers cited the President and two of her ministers – the Minister of Education and the Minister of Information – to the Capitol on July 6 to explain their words and actions. Many expected a clash between the Executive and the Legislature. But the President sent a letter to the lawmakers, saying that there was a need for them to dialogue because, according to her, she knows that they (the lawmakers), too, have a role to play in the process.

On Monday, July 6, the day on which the President and her two ministers should have appeared before the lawmakers, she had a trip to the United States to attend a donor conference on the three Ebola-affected countries. On that same day, it was reported on radio that she had called and informed the lawmakers, through the Chairman on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Wesseh Blamo, that schools would remain open while consultations go on concerning the way forward and that the Minister of Information would publicly inform the nation about this latest decision. However, the President took the Information Minister with her to the United States on the same Monday, and so no clear-cut announcement has been made from the Ministry of Information.

And, as if the situation was not already more confusing, journalists of the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation (state radio station) called Mr. Jerolinmek Piah, the Press Secretary to the President, and asked him if he was aware of any such communication from the President to the lawmakers. Mr. Piah said he was not aware of any such decision or communication coming from the President.

Most people are confused, not knowing exactly what the real situation is: whether schools will close on July 31, as was announced by the Minister of Education, or whether schools will remain open as the President is believed to have told the lawmakers during a telephone communication shortly before her trip.

Meanwhile, many schools have already closed, while others are planning to do so at the end of the month. Others have not taken any definite decision.

Help Liberia Foundation Community School has just completed its first semester exams, and we are studying what course of action to take concerning the closure of our school. We will provide you with more information later.

Written by
Paul Yeenie Harry
Director, Help Liberia Foundation Community School

Website: http://helpliberiaschool.org
Facebook: http://facebook.com/helpliberiafoundation

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NEW NEIGHBOUR KAREN ELLY- WELCOIME TO THE GHC SITE

Karen, you are most welcome to the Grapevine Hope Centre.
Invite your friends to join us.Join our online fund raising.

I ask all our neighbours to campaign for the GHC online fund raising to enable us achieve our noble goals.
Those with credit cards/paypal can make their contribution at anytime.
The fund raising ends on 30/6/15.
Make your contribution within this period.
Thank you very much.

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Inviting Volunteers, Tourists & interns

The Dutch Good Samaritans, Friends, Educationists & partners are very instrumental in the support of the children at Benamos School hence you're encouraged to participate in the program.

Some Partners in Education development, interns, tourists, volunteers, good Samaritans & wonder how they may spend their Vacations & holidays in Africa.

Do not just sleep in a hotel, avoid boredom, Volunteer/work with these Orphans for even just three hour a week during your vacation or holiday in Africa-Uganda.

You can volunteer with these orphans at Benamos School of Orphans just like how previous tourists & Volunteers have done (see photos below)

During this period, you can teach any of these subjects: - English, Reading, sports & games, train teachers, bible teaching or Evangelism.

At Benamos School, you will also enjoy local music, dance & drama actions by the Orphans.
As you volunteer on some day, then other days you will make excursions to go for boat cruise, water rafting on the Nile river, go to see the line of Equator, game drive, bird viewing ( over 200 bird species ), see Mt. Gorillas, Mountain climbing, village touring, bicycle riding etc.

If you’re interested, we can avail you with contacts/email of previous Development partners, Educationists, visitors, from The Netherlands, Arkansas, North Carolina, and who have been at Benamos School of Orphans here in Africa – Uganda so that you can hear from them.

The Dutch Good Samaritans, Friends, Educationists & partners are very instrumental in the support of the children at Benamos School.

Or you can write to me directly.

We will be grateful to hear from you

Kyayi Moses
Benamos Nursery and Primary School
P.O. Box 437 Jinja - Uganda (East Africa)

Email:- kyayimoses@yahoo.com

PLAN FOR YOUR TRIP IN TIME

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Annex Construction Going On

We wish to inform all sponsors, donors and friends of Help Liberia Foundation Community School in Buchanan that the construction of the annex for which funds were raised last year is going on.

Before going further, we wish to inform you about two very important changes we have made in the original plan. First, we are constructing a two-classroom annex, instead of the one-room annex originally announced. Second, we are constructing a concrete structure (a more guaranteed structure) instead of the mat structure originally mentioned. (See http://helpliberiaschool.org/2014/07/28/urgent-fundraising-appeal-for-ne...)

Because of these changes and others, the construction requires new materials which were not needed for the original mat structure, causing us to enter additional expenses for such things as:

1. Blocks/bricks
2. Crushed rocks
3. Two panel doors
4. Steel rods
5. Colomos for the windows
6. More cement for the foundation, for the elevation, for the fixing of concrete leanto, for the plastering of walls, and for the fixing of the floor.
7. Etc.

The two-classroom structure, whose construction started last month, contains two doors and six windows. We decided on the six windows because we wish to use colomos at the windows, instead of timber. In this instance, more windows would be needed for proper lighting and ventilation.

This is a quick breakdown of what we have been able to use or obtain in terms of materials and money:

1. 1200 blocks @$0.55 ================== $660
2. Sand =========================== $75
3. 20 bags of cement @$10 =============== $200
4. 15 Steel rods @$7 =================== $105
5. 15 bags of crushed rocks @$2 =========== $30
6. 12 pieces of wawa @$5 =============== $60
7. Part payment of Workmanship =========== $150
8. Lease agreement for use of land for annex ===== $200
9. Transportation of 1200 blocks @$0.06 ======= $72
10. Other transportation costs ============== $45
11. Wire nails ========================= $3
12. 15 bags of crushed rocks @$2 =========== $30
13. Tying wire ======================== $5

TOTAL ============================ $1,635

In short, we have already expended $1,635 on the two-classroom structure being constructed. We also used $210 on the kitchen; meaning, we have used $1,845 on construction altogether.
However, as you will recall, the total amount raised for the original annex construction was $1,825, from which PayPal deducted $68.40 as service charge, making the actual balance on hand to be $1,756.60 (see http://helpliberiaschool.org/2014/09/08/fundraising-target-reached-and-p...).

The foundation and the elevation, including the concrete leanto above the doors and windows are completed. However, we are still left with the following jobs: placing the colomos in the window slots, roofing and zincing the structure, plastering the walls, fixing the floor, and painting the structure.

As things and prices stand at present, we need the following items to finish the construction:

a. 16 bags of cement (for plastering and floor) @$10 ======= $160
b. 20 pcs of ceiling @$7 ========================= $140
c. 10 pcs of (2 by 6) planks @$5 =================== $50
d. 20 pcs of (2-by-4) planks @$4 =================== $80
e. 20 pcs of (2-by-2) planks @$2 =================== $40
f. 3 bundles of zinc @$125 ======================= $375
g. 2 pks of zinc nails @$5 ======================== $10
h. 130 Colomos @$1 =========================== $130
i. 2 doors @$75 =============================== $150
j. balance workmanship ========================= $175

TOTAL =================================== $1,310

Many thanks to all those who helped us raise the first amount. At this point, we are NOT going to launch another fundraising campaign for the completion of the two-classroom annex; however, we will appreciate any assistance anyone provides in this direction.

Donation may be sent to our PayPal account managed by our Swedish sponsors or directly to the school’s bank account at:

Help Liberia Foundation Community School
129-200-050-420-19
ECOBANK Liberia
Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, Republic of Liberia
Swift Code: ECOCLRLM

Once again, we extend our sincere thanks to all of you who are helping us to provide education to scores of needy kids in Buchanan. We are all partners in progress.

Written by
Paul Yeenie Harry
Director, Help Liberia Foundation Community School

Website: http://helpliberiaschool.org
Facebook: http://facebook.com/helpliberiafoundation

Construction in progress 3.jpg
The walls are complete 3.jpg
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HLF Community School Conducts Teachers’ Workshop

Help Liberia Foundation Community School in Buchanan conducted a one-day teachers’ workshop on Friday, March 6, at the school’s premises.

The primary purpose of the exercise was to refresh the professional minds of the teachers and prepare them to properly impart knowledge to the kids in the school.

Three lecturers were invited – Mr. Aaron Diggs, Supervising Principal, Grand Bassa County; Mr. Ihoha Blama, and Mr. Joseph Garnio. Mr. Diggs lectured on Teaching Methodologies; Mr. Blama lectured on Lesson Planning, and Mr. Garnio taught on Testing and Evaluation.

It was an interactive and practical exercise. The participants were served lunch – potato greens and rice – after the first two speakers. After the participations had rested for an hour, the last lecturer came in.

Written by
Paul Yeenie Harry
Director, Help Liberia Foundation Community School

Website: http://helpliberiaschool.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelpLiberiaFoundation

Mr. Diggs lecturing on Teaching Methodologies.jpg
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HLF School Receives Ebola Prevention Materials

In an effort to train school staffers to ensure Ebola safety measures on campuses, the government, in collaboration with a local NGO, organized a one-day workshop before the reopening of our school. Three of our staffers attended.

Two days after the workshop, a local NGO known as MAP presented some Ebola prevention materials to our school. The items, which were provided by UNICEF and distributed by the NGO, included the following:

1. Two towels
2. Two barrels
3. Two buckets
4. Two brushes
5. Four brooms
6. Four boots
7. Seven gloves
8. Three cartons of soap
9. One chlorine bucket
10. One spraying container
11. Two spoons
12. Three Ebola safety measure booklets
13. Three electronic thermometers

When our school reopened, the staffers who attended the Ebola prevention workshop carried out a two-hour awareness session at the school, educating both students and staff who did not have the opportunity to attend the workshop.

Our kids and our staff have begun observing and practicing these Ebola prevention measures so as to help continue the fight against the Ebola virus, which has not totally left our country.

L-R - The Registrar (Miss Annie Dayugar) and the Principal (Mr. Varney Gibson) posing behind the donated items.jpg
Kids washing hands.jpg
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kiserian football team

kiserian football team is a boys team for under 14 and all the boys are from grade 4 to 8

we needs a facilitator or a sponsor for a football team ,under 14 yrs ,football ,jersey and training kits needed ,we are located in kiserian ,kajiado county ,Kenya ,anybody willing is welcome and feel free to ask any question

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HLF School Reopens

Our school in Buchanan, Help Liberia Foundation Community School, has finally reopened its door to students, teachers and parents for the resumption of normal academic activities. The school reopened on Monday, March 2.

As you may recall, we closed the 2013/2014 school year in June of 2014 and had remained closed until March 2, primarily because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in our country.
The kids are quite happy to be back in school after staying out of school for more than eight months. Many parents and educators, too, are happy to see the kids back in school.

On the other hand, the reopening of our school is not without problems. For instances, we have fewer students than expected, because not many parents have registered their children due to financial difficulties engendered by the Ebola crisis. Many of them are unemployed and doing nothing.

In addition, some of our old teachers left the school for employment in other schools that pay better than we do. So we have new teachers and are still in search of additional new teachers. We are running a radio announcement for that purpose. Paying teachers well and paying them on time is one of our major challenges, as the fees parents pay are little and only a few of the kids are on sponsorship.

Besides, we are in need of some start-up funds for the purchase of instructional materials and other school supplies, for food for the kids, as the world Food Program (WFP) has not started distributing food rations to schools, as well as for other things.

Overall, in spite of the problems connected with the opening of the school, we are happy that the school has once more opened its door to the kids. We are also happy that the Ebola virus did not take the life of any of our students or staff.

Before ending, we wish to indicate that we are thankful to all who helped make the reopening possible at this time. Many thanks to all of our friends, sponsors and donors for their continuous involvement with the school in Buchanan.

Written by

Paul Yeenie Harry
Director, Help Liberia Foundation Community School

Website: http://helpliberiaschool.org/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HelpLiberiaFoundation

Cross-section of kids and staff on the first day of school.jpg
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SHORT SUMMARY

Dear Neighbours and Friends!

It is incredible that it has been more than two years since we have been in contact on this page. I have to give you a short summary of "Matopeni news".

The BCC team worked hard over the past two years as well, but we were communicating most through email and through other social media.

2014 was an extremely difficult year because of many children at BCC had lost their sponsors. There was not enough money for food, school supplies and school uniforms for the children. The biggest crisis was affecting the rescue home and the 15 kids there. Because of lack of money BCC could not pay the rent and the landlord threatened the children with eviction. Friends of BCC in Australia, Holland, Hungary and Finland tried together to at least temporarily solve the situationt and save the children from a life on the streets.
Finally, thanks to friends and organizations in Holland a new shelter has been built and the children could move in there in the beginning of January.

Positive developments have been the two borehole projects, now both the primary and the secondary school are provided with water. The schools also sell water to the village and get some revenue off that. The girls' hostel for high school students is another important milestone.

Big challenges await BCC also during this year. The schools need more sponsors, both for children in the primary school and for students in high school.
There is an urgent need for additional rooms for girls' boarding as well as a fence around the boarding school for the students' safety and to prevent robbery.

I saw that Nabuur is now also available on Facebook. I sometimes miss our discussions both within the "village" and between different villages. Perhaps the interconnection of Facebook and Nabuur could lead to a revival of the village community.

Enclosed please find some pictures of the events over the past two years.

Warm greetings,
Ildikó

Boston High School 2014.jpg
The new rescue home building 1.jpg
Rescue home 2.jpg
Girl hostel.jpg
Selling water.JPG
New beds and mattresses in rescue home.jpg
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