In 2015, I traveled to Liberia to work on a documentary series focusing on children literacy and culture. Seeing the plight of these girls, I redirected my project, taking what little savings I had to help them.
I’ve been funding Seenajah Community Outreach Program in Liberia for over four years. Our goal is to provide mostly young girls with skills that will help them become confident, well rounded, thoughtful and independent contributors to their communities.
We’ve now put together a team of selfless individuals in the US and Liberia who are committed to seeing our mission through. Since over 70% of our participants are young girls, our staff is also composed of a majority women
We’ve also started a farm that will help provide funding to expand our program to more communities, help provide food security in Liberia and in the long run provide well paying jobs at highly skilled positions for the young women after college. Our goal is to plant crops that will yield thousands of byproducts creating multiple levels of jobs and products that we’ll sell locally in the West African subregion and to the international marketplace.
Initially, I traveled to Liberia four times a year and we donated clothing, footwear, books and organized events for hundreds of children to assess their needs and see where we could help the most effectively.
Even with the pandemic raging, we’ve been able to ship fifteen barrels of footwear, clothing, art supplies and about 30 bikes for children. These will go to children who best exemplify the qualities we strive to teach.....volunteerism, selflessness, hard work, competitiveness, academic achievement and positive contributions to their communities. The idea here is to make these children role models that other kids can follow. Some of the clothing and footwear will go to children who are well behave and whose parents aren’t able to send them to school or buy decent clothing for them. Our entire program is focused on motivating, skill development, encouraging good behavior, developing good habits, creative thinking and allowing children to believe in a brighter future.
About 98% percent of Seenajah program funding has come from me with the remaining 2% from small cash donations from a few good friends and my parents. We’ve also been blessed to have some wonderful friends who have donated clothing, footwear, bikes, books, and toys.
We’re excited about launching our READ TO RIDE PROJECT in a few rural communities and one urban neighborhood this holiday season. Kids are better motivated to learn when you add fun activities to their learning. Girls that read one or two books per month, write a book report on each and present them at our tutorial sessions, will be able to use our bikes free of charge. Girls who are motivated to learn, but cannot read will have the opportunity to attend reading and writing workshops we will organize. In Liberia, sadly to say you rarely see a child reading leisurely unless they’re from a well off family. We want to provide our girls with some of these opportunities that they otherwise would not have.
Our Read To Ride project will motivate kids to read more, become better writers, help their creative thought process and in the long run develop a more thoughtful, problem solving, less violent society. Your generous contributions will go towards buying more bikes for more communities, spare parts and maintainance of our current
We will also be launching our Online Science classes taught once a week from the US via the Internet, Computer Skills for beginners taught by our local instructor and Young Women Empowerment lessons which will focus on teaching our young girls good personal hygiene, develop their confidence and organize workshops to explore concerns young girls deal with locally.
All donations will go towards launching these programs that are all tailored to empowerment and education. The donation you give will greatly impact the lives of the girls allowing them to see a bright future as opposed to working in the market place from the tender age of 6 or becoming teenagers and engaging in careers young women in poor countries are pressured into just to feed their families.
You’re welcome to view some of our work at our Instagram account @read2ride101
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