For each person who enrolls in college through Sahbu, the organization donates money to educate a child unable to afford an education in Liberia.
In Liberia, some estimates show that 80 percent of school girls – some as young as 10 years old – resort to prostitution to help their family because of the high unemployment rates in the war-ravaged country. Many of these girls are unable to afford the $120 needed to attend school and end up getting pregnant at a very young age, furthering the cycle of poverty in the country. Utah-based Sahbu and Lifting Liberia, a nonprofit organization in West Africa, have partnered to change that.
“Education is the most powerful way we can help bring young African girls out of poverty and prostitution and put them on a path to a better life,” said Mitch Weight, founder of Sahbu. “Starvation, child prostitution, slavery, kidnapping, child labor, war, rape, corruption and AIDS are all part of daily life in Liberia and we need to do something about it.”
A new infographic from Sahbu illustrates some of the daily difficulties children in Liberia face.
Sahbu has a goal to help educate 1,000 Liberian youth by the end of 2012. When a student in America searches Sahbu.com for educational information and enrolls in college, Sahbu donates money to Lifting Liberia to provide an education for a child in the country who would otherwise not be able to afford to go to school.
Lifting Liberia is working to help eradicate illiteracy, poverty and child prostitution. It has been estimated that AIDS and civil war have orphaned more than 340,000 children in the country.
The Lifting Liberia Girls’ Enrichment Program was launched last month to help young women gain the education they need, while helping stop the cycle of teen pregnancy.
Roseleane Kollie is one young woman who will benefit from the help of the Girls’ Enrichment Program. Kollie was only able to complete the ninth grade, traveling more than three hours each way just to reach her school. Unable to afford tuition and travel for high school, Kollie dropped out and had two children from different fathers.
The Girls’ Enrichment Program has given Kollie a second chance. She will now be able to attend high school, while her sister takes care of her children. The program will move her closer to the high school and take care of her school fees, uniform, supplies, food and housing. In return, she is expected to attend and work hard at school, get good grades and not get pregnant. Kollie dreams of taking her education even further and becoming a doctor one day.
“Over time we are hoping this will change the face of these villages as more and more of the women are educated and not bearing children at young ages,” said Karen Mathot, president of Lifting Liberia. “The potential for opportunity and change is huge here if we can find the resources to make it all happen.”
Sahbu contributes to the Lifting Liberia Girls’ Enrichment Program as part of the organization’s donation.
Representatives from Sahbu, including Weight, will travel from Utah to Liberia on Oct. 12, and will spend a week delivering school clothing and supplies, while meeting with children and parents who cannot afford an education. Weight hopes to gain a better understanding of the hardships faced by West African youth, while sparking the effort to provide education for 1,000 Liberian youth by the end of the year.
Sahbu serves people looking to further their education. For every person who enrolls in college through Sahbu’s education search tool, the company provides a year of education to a child in West Africa. Sahbu also offers essential tools and resources needed for prospective students to prepare for a prosperous educational experience. The company is guided by a mission to raise awareness of the crisis West African youth are experiencing and empower them through education. For more information, visit http://www.sahbu.com or our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/sahbusearch.