No Smoking, No Stealing, and No Fighting are rules for the men in the J.A.V. (Journey Against Violence) program. Their Former General, Joshua Milton Blahyi started the program for the men who fought for him as his warriors as young boys. J.A.V. is designed to give these men skills, structure, and purpose so that they can become contributing members of a new nonviolent society. Educational programs such as J.A.V. are essential to help transform the West African people and prepare them to create a better lifestyle. When Mitch and the Sahbu team visited the program, they were impressed by its impact! Watch as Mitch explains how he became compelled to support their cause.
It’s essential for parents and families to stress and prioritize education to their children Most children in Liberia grow up in extreme poverty and don’t even know if they will eat that day, let alone go to school. One young lady, Oretha Snyder Davis, shows us how education can change the future and break the poverty cycle. Oretha grew up in Liberia’s Montserado and Nimba Counties. Though her parents did not have much, they valued education and created a good foundation for Oretha and her 12 siblings. Her father died when she was only four years old, but Oretha’s mother raised all her children with a strong sense of core values, discipline and a firm foundation in the Bible. At the age of 18, Oretha completed high school and moved to the city of Monrovia to attend the University of Liberia where she obtained a bachelor’s degree. To pay her way through school, she sought work in the private sector. Oretha spent some time working in the oil industry, in the airline/travel industry, then eventually ended up spending 16 years working for the United Nations.
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.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave her State of Education speech earlier this month and although her plans are aggressive, she acknowledges that “…there are more out-of-school youth than we can currently reach.” That is why Sahbu and Lifting Liberia exist. Together we are helping to reach more youth by providing education as the key to a better future. Find out more about our cause here.
A powerful, highly accurate portrayal of the complete chaos that is life in Liberia. By taking you inside the action, this clip is not for the faint of heart, but will change your attitude and maybe your life!
At the end of an exhausting day, Karen Mathot sat down at her computer in her rented room nestled in the slums of Monrovia, and typed out the following list. Her frustration nearly overpowered her after spending all day struggling to keep teachers engaged and the lights on in her school. This little list of the top challenges for Liberian education is what keeps her awake at night and gets her out of bed and off to work each morning before the West African sun rises.