Sahbu: adjective 1. Liberian slang for “bald head”
(and my Liberian boys’ first nickname for me)
My journey to adopt two boys took me to one of the most dangerous, impoverished and hopeless places in West Africa and, arguably, the world. Although I’ve traveled extensively and I thought I understood poverty, nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed in Liberia.
Starvation, child prostitution, slavery, kidnapping, child labor, war, rape, corruption and AIDS are all part of daily life in Liberia. It’s a place where 4 out of 5 schoolgirls resort to prostitution in order to pay school fees or even just to buy food. And yet, there’s hope. Namely, when a Liberian child becomes educated, they break the cycle and start emerging from it all.
When I returned home, I couldn’t get Liberia off my mind. Even with the two new additions to our family (and a new baby on the way) I couldn’t help wondering about all the children I saw, all the children I left behind. Obviously I couldn’t bring all the children to the States to live new lives, but I knew there had to be something I could do.
Over the next few months it became clear. I needed to provide an education for as many Liberian children as I could. I discovered Lifting Liberia – a local organization that builds schools and provides scholarships for children in Africa. And, I combined this new cause with my background in education marketing (for-profit colleges and universities have been my clients for years) and Sahbu was born.
Starting in April of 2012, Sahbu started providing scholarships through Lifting Liberia. Within months, we were able to provide 100 scholarships and our goal is to provide 1,000 before the end of 2012. Please join us in this effort today by using our search tool to find the right college for you, sharing us on social media and/or subscribing so we can keep in touch.