Wednesday, October 15, 2008

young children the future of Liberia

A whole generation was lost to rebel fighting. The fighting was all about greed and power, and selling diamonds and gold. The rebels thought they could seize the best land and were often young men and women, who had no education, no job and they offered them the excitement of "taking" what they wanted by pointing a gun at someone.

Four new programs have been started by the United Methodist Church's Missionary, Frido Kinkolenge in Buchanan. In African culture girls grow up knowing that their role is to have children. One of the new programs helps young women get literacy skills, teachs how to sew, bake, so she can have a decent chance to earn some money. Ex-combatants (male and female) are offered an alternative to a life a crime and given typing lessons and computer training. Young children who are orphaned and living on the street are given daytime schooling and the last program is helping children at a refugee camp.

The "war" lasted over 10 years, while the then President Taylor piled fortune on fortune. He left before the election in 2005, with all the Liberia Government's money in a brief case.

This brings us back to Camphor Mission School and Frido's programs in nearby Buchanan. The enrollment in Camphor Mission school is increasing every year, and Frido has as many young people engaged in his program. The young people are happy to be structured and learning and getting one meal a day while at school. The drop out rate is minimul and the programs are succeeding.

The process will be slow, but there were encouraging signs of rebuilding and progress. For instance, a new agricultural program is hoping to grow all the food needed at Camphor Mission School. Sewing machines and computers have been donated and are used by many students. And you can see hope in the eyes of the students.

More later.

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