Most people know me as Peter Dennis, though my full name is Peter Morlu Brima Sao Dennis. I am a Liberian-American, raised between the two continents, cultures and customs. I am alive, healthy, and relatively comfortable today because unlike so many of my friends and relatives, I had the opportunity to live in the US during the horrors of the Liberian civil wars, and most recently the devastating Ebola outbreak.
As many of you know, in the middle of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia we were able to set up a social funding campaign, and through the generosity of friends, religious organizations and complete strangers were able to provide aid to those that needed it most, in the form of foodstuffs, chlorine, buckets, and educational materials. While we may not be able to quantify exactly how many people were directly aided, the generous actions of all who gave was definitely responsible for the saving of lives and helping those most in need.
But as it would turn out the work is not complete ...
The funds we were able to raise were a great help, but unfortunately my father's two villages, Somalahun and Vahun are still home to approximately 120 Ebola orphans. These innocent children are being cared for by the communities, but the needs are great and the coffers dry.
The community leaders as well as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia (ELCL), contacted me about some very specific needs and I promised them I would do everything I could to assist. For these orphans to have a chance ... for any of these children to have a chance at a decent life, they need education. And more than anything else, more than toys, video games, i-devices, and all those things I see kids with today (including my own), they want a chance to go to school. Something I so often take for granted.
These are proposals that have been developed with the hard work of people who are in Liberia. The ELCL is monitoring and implementing the project, it is important to note that 100% of the project was developed by those in need and 100% of the proceeds from this campaign will be used for those goals. That said, the project has two parts:
Part 1 - Rehabilitation of the School Complex in Somalahun, Liberia
The six room school building was mostly destroyed during the Liberian civil wars. Before the time of Ebola parents were willing to send their children to attend school in the open yard surrounding the school ... Ebola put an end to that. School is set to resume in March and everybody recognizes the need, now more than ever, to have more permanent facilities. This school serves approximately 200 children, ages 5-14 from kindergarten to sixth grade.
Pursuant to the community proposal:
1. Re-roof the out-dated building, hang doors and windows, and plaster the building, and lay the floor.
Activities to Accomplish these Goals
1. Use the funds provided to purchase zinc, planks, nails and cement to do the work.
2. Make sure that the work is completed on time.
Short and Long Term Measurable Outcome
1. SHORT TERM: The short term measurable outcome is to immediately complete the building in one (1) month period when funds are available.
2. LONG TERM MEASUARABLE OUTCOME: This is to continue the use of the building.
The timeline for the implementation on this project is within one (1) month from the date of funds availability.
For the effectiveness of this project, the Coordinator [Philip Simbo of ELCL] and the Leadership in Somalahun will follow up to make sure it is properly done.
1. Zinc (roof): 10 bundles @ US 125.00 =US1250.00
2. Nail: All types = 300.00
3. Planks: All types = 850.00
4. Cement- 50 [email redacted] = 600.00
5. Workmanship = 450.00
6. Community contribution = -300.00
7. TOTAL: = US3,750.00
AMOUNT REQUESTED: $3,450.00 U.S.D.
Part 2 - Ebola Orphan Financial Aid
The people of Liberia have suffered so much during the Liberian civil war and continue to suffer especially during this Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia. Lives and properties were destroyed. Children were left as orphans while women were also left as widows with few opportunities to support themselves. The goal of this portion of the project is to provide aid to these 120 orphans so that they might be able to attend school (if we can get the school fixed). Education may be all they have left to focus their futures on.
Activities to Accomplish these Goals:
1. Purchase books, uniforms, tuition and shoes (yes ... shoes). [A note on tuition, teachers have to be paid something ... they have families as well. I'd love to have a corp of volunteers, but that is not sustainable. I am hoping we are building a foundation upon which the school can grown and hopefully become self sustaining ... this is admittedly a temporary solution at the moment, but time is short, and I am more than happy to discuss longer term solutions with anybody]
2. Make sure that the project is completed on time.
Short and Long Term Measurable Outcome
1. SHORT TERM: To immediately purchase the needed items for these children when the funds are available.
2. LONG TERM: For the children to continue to attend school.
The time line for the implementation of this grant is one year (2015)
For the effectiveness of this project, the Coordinator [Philip Simbo of ELCL] and the Leadership in Vahun and Somalahun will follow up to make sure it is properly done.
1. Tuition 120 children@ $25.00 = 3000.00
2. Uniform 120’children@ $25.00 =3000.00
3. Shoes: 120 children $10.00 =1200.00
4. Books: 120 children $10.00 = 1200.00
Amount Requested $8,400.00 USD
Grant Total for Entire Project: $11,850.00 (not including any admin fees from the gofundme site or wiring fees, but if we come anywhere close to that, I'll cover those expenses ... somehow.)
Please let me know if you have any questions. I will answer them as quickly as possible. Time is of the essense as the school year is scheduled to begin in March!
Thank you all for your consideration. Any ideas, suggestions, alternative ways to support, anything at all, don't hesitate to contact me. This is a project developed in Liberia for Liberians.