The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Sime Darby Breaks Ground for School Building

Following two years of operation in Liberia, the world's oil palm giant, Sime Darby has broken ground for a modern six classrooms school building in Senii, lower Garwula District, Grand Cape Mount County. When constructed, the school will be the first ever in that part of the country.

The ground breaking ceremony took place over the weekend in Senii, one of the many towns playing host to the company's operation. According to the company's authorities, the school will enroll over 500 children from seven different villages within the Sime Darby Project Affected Communities (PAC).

Beaming with similes and joy, the Chairman of the Project Affected Communities Mustapha Foboi said the ground breaking brings to reality the long-awaited dream of the people of Grand Cape Mount County.

Mustapha and the elders of the PAC believe their children's future will be bright and some day they would become managers or directors of Sime Darby in Liberia upon graduate and getting the foundation the company is about to bring to the county.

The PAC chairman is a lead person in the negotiation with Sime Darby and the PAC dwellers. In remarks at the ground breaking of the school, Mr. Foboi noted that the expression of interest by the company to build a school in the area is a milestone in the history of the communities.

Speaking earlier, General Manager Mr. Azmi Jaafar said the company saw the need to construct a school for the kids of its operational areas after noticing that there was no school and the children in those communities were loitering during school hours.

He said the school will be run and operated by the Sime Darby Oil Palm Company, adding, the company will provide teachers and funds to run the school, and the community people and plantation workers are expected to send their kids to the school.

He said the Education Ministry will do the design of the building before the company begins the construction exercise. He promised that his company will continue to contribute to the lives of the community dwellers, adding, the communities should expect more from the company.

Towns expected to benefit from the project include Senii, Lain, Sengama, Dama, Johnson Town, Deneway and Timbo, among other villages. Town chiefs and other officials, who participated in the ground breaking also welcomed the initiative and gave the company the go ahead for the project.

When constructed, the facilities will include teacher's lounge, library, six classrooms, a football field, modern toilet facilities and water well.

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