Meet Jefferson. Like many other young men in Liberia, he spends a lot of his time
roaming the streets with very little supervision. School days here are short, ending around 1:30 p.m. and that’s when you will find hundreds of teenagers just hanging out. There is very little in the way of extracurricular or supervised after-school activities. Thus, the country’s teenage pregnancy rate is one of the highest in Africa.
Jefferson, at 17 is currently in the 9th grade at Peaceful Baptist School near his home. He is one of four children. His father was killed during the country’s long brutal civil war. Jefferson’s mother, Assata, is often in the interior leaving Jefferson and his younger brother in the care of an aunt. He has dreams of being a scientist one day, specializing in chemistry. His dreams can only be accomplished through determination, hard work and of course the opportunity to continue his education.
Each child that is sponsored and provided an education, the hope is to instill a sense of personal responsibility and a strong work ethic. Jefferson is expected to attend school, study hard, and not contribute to Liberia’s high teenage pregnancy rate.
Jefferson is among the lucky ones. He is on scholarship and because of this, he has more of an opportunity to control his destiny. Sahbu and Lifting Liberia hopes to help Jefferson become a scientist one day, as well as a respected leader and citizen of his country.