Education Update April 2015

LIBERIA EDUCATION UPDATE

February, March, April 2015

 

Ebola must goMay 9, 2015 marked 42 days from the day the last confirmed Ebola patient in Liberia was buried. Liberia is now Ebola free! Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our neighbors in Guinea and Sierra Leone where there are still new confirmed cases of Ebola. The first case of Ebola entered Liberia from Guinea so we are being cautious and need to continue to observe the protocols for sanitation and infection prevention and control.

In March 2015, a team from the Liberia Annual Conference Central Office went to King William’s Town in Sinoe to complete the UMCOR project with food distribution and Ebola Awareness to vulnerable persons. Our Nana Kru District teachers at the Mary Allen United Methodist School (UMS) in King William’s Town and Francis Asbury UMS in Nana Kru Town helped with the identification of recipients and the distribution of food. My Associate Director, Rev. Sampson Nyanti; Rev. Samuel Quire, the Administrative Assistant to Bishop Innis; Rev. George Wilson, the Connectional Ministries Director; Liberia Annual Conference staff, Joe Malleh and Frances Porte were members of the team which traveled in canoe on the sea for over 5 hours to reach King William’s Town. They left buckets for hand washing, soap and bleach with the communities and provided information about Ebola and preventative measures.

Schools were officially allowed to begin classes on February 16, 2015 but most schools and parents were not ready to begin at that time. The Ministry of Education extended the start of classes to March 2, 2015 for schools that needed more time to prepare for a safe opening. 57 United Methodist Schools are now open. We have schools in 14 of the 15 counties and a school in Diecke, Guinea which has children from kindergarten through grade 13.

The Eric Scott Memorial UMS in Bopolu City (St. Paul River District) and Jemima Camp Freeman UMS in Voinjama City (Lofa’ River District) opened on March 2, 2015 as new schools. Shaffa Seward managed the building of the Eric Scott Memorial UMS and is serving as the principal. The Jemima Camp Freeman UMS was looted during Liberia’s civil war. Renovation work was completed with funds from the Government of Liberia and The Advance for Construction of New School Buildings.

The school permit process in Liberia was suspended for several years. This school year the Ministry of Education started a new permit process which requires that each school be assessed by the District and County Education Officers. The permit application form asks if the school has water, toilets, library, science lab, auditorium, ventilated classrooms, text books, teaching aids, Ministry of Education curriculum, adequate seating, a kitchen and sports facilities. Copies of all the teachers’ and administrators’ credentials are required.

We are looking at ways to meet and maintain standards in all schools. This is challenging, especially for schools in remote rural areas.Ganta UMS Zigbou Center

The Ganta United Methodist High School in Gompa District, is building the Rev. Herbert Zigbou Laboratory Complex to provide a space for students to conduct science experiments and practice computer skills. Funding is needed to complete this project.
The East Ohio Conference sent US $1,000.00 to replace the roof at Gbloryee UMS near Ganta and US$1,000.00 to repair the roof at J. S. Pratt UMS in Cape Palmas District.

I took these photos in April 2014 and March 2015.

 

S. Pratt UMS Cape Palmas District April 2014

S. Pratt UMS Cape Palmas District April 2014

S.PrattUMSCapePalmasDistrictMarch2015

S. Pratt UMS Cape Palmas District March 2015

 

 

We are thankful for the completed construction work and the progress that is being made at other schools.

Roof repair was completed on one side of the J. S. Pratt UMS building, however other parts of the roof need to be repaired. The principal submitted a proposal for US$10,000.00 for renovations on the school building.

The septic tank at the Bishop Arthur F. Kulah UMS in St. Paul River District collapsed. About $3,000.00 are needed for a new septic tank.

The toilet project at the Evelyn S. Chapman UMS in New Georgia (Monrovia District) is nearing completion. This project is being funded through gifts to The Advance for Construction of New School Buildings. The cost of digging a septic tank and building a toilet area with stalls that have flush commodes (not a latrine with pit toilets) is more than was originally estimated. We need about $2,000.00 to complete the plastering, painting and doors.

Water for Life visited the J. J. Dickson UMS in Barclayville (Kru Coast District) and plans to dig a well and install a hand pump at the school. This school has no toilet facilities.

In November 2014, I sent an update with the following needs of the Department of General Education & Ministry:

  • Computers and monitors for our office use and for school computer labs
  • Photocopiers and printers
  • Approved textbooks
  • Science laboratory equipment
  • Safe drinking water for schools
  • 4-wheel drive standard shift vehicle for visiting schools and carrying supplies.

I am adding toilets to the list. Many schools have pit latrines or no toilet facility.

I hope to be able to remove the vehicle from the list very soon thanks to the East Ohio Conference which sent $15,000.00 for the purchase of a vehicle. We are searching for a used Land Cruiser that is in good condition.

You may help our United Methodist Schools by donating to The Advance #3020670 for Construction of New School Buildings, The Advance #15125B for Scholarships for Elementary, Secondary, College & Seminary Education, The Advance #3021654 for Sheltering the Children of John Dean Town or The Advance #14488A Swords Turned into Plowshares.

You can also give to missionary support in my name by giving through The Advance to Advance #3021129.

How to Give to The Advance

By Mail:

Make your check payable to ADVANCE GCFA. Write the name of the ministry and the Advance code number on the memo line of the check.
Send your check to:

Advance GCFA
P.O. Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068

On Line:

Visit: http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/How-to-Give

 

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Blessings,

Helen Roberts-Evans

hevans@umcmission.org

micradon@hotmail.com