Happy Family Center For Children With Disabilities Lifting Liberia first met Kerbbeh, now 6 years old, over a year ago at Happy Family Center. “Hap Fam” is a place I make a point of visiting each time I am in Liberia. The staff and children are truly unforgettable. I had not remembered Kerbbeh from my previous visits and inquired to the director about her. The director told me Kerbbeh’s father brought her to this school because she was deaf. Kerbbeh’s mother died in child birth with her younger sister and Jallah (her father) is struggling to raise the two young girls on his own. Apparently Kerbbeh lost her hearing at a little over a year old. She suffered a severe case of malaria and was given an overdose of quinine which is blamed for her hearing loss. I asked if Kerbbeh had ever seen a doctor and was told no.
An Education with No Strings Attached Roselane Kollie is 19 years old and has sacrificed nearly everything just to get to a 9th grade education. Her mother is dead, her father is not in her life and she lives with her sister. For Roselane, getting an education was important, but it didn’t come easily. Like many young women, to maintain her basic needs, Roselane had to resort to prostitution at the age of 15. She is now raising two small children, ages 3 and 1, from different fathers. To get to the nearest junior high she walked two hours to a river, crossed it in a makeshift canoe, then traveled another hour by foot. Unfortunately, her story is the same as thousands of other young women throughout Liberia. Roselane had to quit school after junior high because the high school was just too far away and she did not have the means to pay her school fees. But now, all of that has changed. With the help of Sahbu, Lifting Liberia has enrolled Roselane in its Girls’ Enrichment Program in Bong County!