30 November 2017

Liberia: 'Mend National Fabric ' - Asst. Education Minister Urges Citizens

Monrovia — Assistant Education Minister, Madam Monique Copper-Liverpool, has called on Liberians to be courageous and make an individual and personal commitment to mend the national social fabric of the country through service.

She said the social fabric of the country is the sum-total of our social norms and characterizes how Liberians interact with one another, whether good bad or ugly.

She made the remarks while serving as keynote speaker of the 2nd Annual Fundraiser of the Kids Educational Engagement Program, KEEP.

"Re-weaving the threads of our social fabric through service will require engaging others frequently and consistently, strengthening and supporting others, and fostering a spirit that encourages them to in turn do the same for those around them," she averred.

According to Madam Cooper-Liverpool, to become an agent of social change and to harness our quiet commitments into something meaningful for others will also demand something meaningful from us as individuals - be it our time, our talents, or our treasure.

She described it as a simple, yet serious challenge that will help re-stich the fabric of the nation, when people actively work on initiatives that involves humbly serving others around us and to do so with values that can further inspire others, adding that the only way to do that is by exploring your personal passion, and using it as an entry point.

The Assistant Education Minister asserted that it is now more urgent than ever that the topic be discussed.

"Liberia has passed many noteworthy milestones in our recent history, showing progress in our political, economic and governance landscape. We have leaders in politics that are peacefully testing the strength of our democratic institutions, proving our growth over the years."

"Our national planners and economists also routinely pontificate on the increased size of our national budgets, GDP figures and improved revenue generation since the end of our conflict.

However, when we think of individuals driving our social change, demonstrating leadership by dignifying others and showing positive and encouraging examples, who comes to mind? I certainly hope each of us can identify at least a handful of social leaders we genuinely respect, for the work they do, for how they do it, and for the impact we know their activities have" she added.

According to her, we are the hope for the future we want to see and enjoy, adding that she is of the belief that Liberia deserves a better future, and has vow to be committed to offer Liberia her talents, and treasure ad called on all Liberians join her, KEEP and others on the journey to mend and repair our social fabric through service.

Madam Cooper-Liverpool also outlined the work of the organization, and thanked its Founder and Executive Director, Madam Brenda Brewer Moore for the level of work done thus far.

"The pursuit of a passion is what gave birth to KEEP, through Brenda and her team in 2014."

" Today, you and I are here celebrating the rewards of 3 years of time, talents and treasures invested into the minds of children through the awesome wonder of books and a safe space to enjoy them."

" An inability to sit on the sidelines and the courage to serve others selflessly started KEEP's work during the ravaging days of Ebola, when our schools were shut to control disease transmission" she stated.

For her part, KEEP executive director Madam Brenda Brewer Moore, thanked supporters and sponsors of KEEP's work.

She said the goal of the organization is to help Children in Liberian be up-lifted through educational empowerment regardless of social and geographic status.

Madam Moore said, one of her biggest pride for the work KEEP did in 2017 was the construction and establishment of a Reading Room all the way in Grand Gedeh County.

"We are proud of this effort for so many reasons, but particularity, to note that this is only the second of such a facility in the entire county, in the history of the county. So many children for the first time now have a space not just to study, but where they can access books to read and even just have a space to play."

"I have been made to understand by the Ministry of Education County team that the first one was established back in the late 90s by the American Embassy and that was in Zwedru city. Ours is in a community outside of Zwedru in the Tchien district" she continued.

KEEP's executive directed asserted, there has been noted a marked increased not only in the usage of the rooms since they created the spaces, but, an increased interest in reading from many of the kids, noting that Change is a process and not an event and was happy that it is starting to sink in.

Moore disclosed that they have already started a no cost computer literacy training at its full first Learning Resource Center in Gbarpolu and also skills training for the mothers of the students in the school, with the goal of both providing them skills but also an alternative way to earn an income and sustain themselves other than farming.

The Kids Educational Engagement Program, KEEP, established in 2014, is an organization with a mission to provide various resources that would facilitate access to primary education by engaging with parents, community leadership, establish community structures, and to promote social justice and development of vulnerable children and youth by strengthening their capacities.

Report by Parnneh Mallobe, FPA Contributor

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