HLF School Changes Focus: From Child Sponsorship to Teacher Sponsorship

Based on experience, observation, and well-thought-of advice, Help Liberia Foundation Community School has made a strategic change in one of its long-term focal programs – the Child Sponsorship Program.

Mr. Harry posing with staffers at the end of a teachers’ workshop held last year.

At the moment, we have nine staffers, and we are paying about US$200 per month on salaries, depending on the exchange rate at the end of the month. We are paying some staffers US$20 and others US$30 per month.

For now, it is only Lena Marner and Anneli Hammarström of Sweden who are helping with the payment of teachers’ monthly salaries. If we are able to get ten (10) sponsors, each committing himself/herself to paying US$20 per month, we can raise the US$200. Still, if we can get 20 persons who can commit themselves to paying US$10 per month, we can raise the US$200.

That said, our goal for the not-too-distant future is actually to pay each teacher at least US$40 per month, which might be around US$400 per month, if the funds are available through the Teacher Sponsorship. We know this will still be low, but it will be by far better than what they are being paid for now, which will help to keep them in the school, instead of applying to a new school at the end of the year because of better salary.

Therefore, we are, through this medium, appealing to all individuals and institutions of good will to kindly think about participating in the Teacher Sponsorship Program, as it will help us to retain our teachers, pay our teachers regularly, keep running the school uninterrupted, and have more kids in the school to learn without the school thinking about charging or collecting exorbitant fees from their poor parents, or about sending kids home because they didn’t pay fees on time.

Some Advantages Associated with the Teacher Sponsorship

Generally, we have decided to focus on Teacher Sponsorship because it has more sustaining and problem-free consequences for the kids in the school and its operation. Some of the advantages associated with the Teacher Sponsorship are as follows:

  1. The Teacher Sponsorship amount paid by any sponsor will go toward general salary payment, and not for a specific teacher. In a sense, every teacher benefits.
  2. There will not be a person-to-person relationship between the teachers and the sponsors, as it was the case with the Child Sponsorship.
  3. If a teacher leaves the school for any reason, it does not affect the sponsorship.
  4. All the teachers may periodically send a signed thank-you letter to each sponsor with a photo showing the staffers, instead of each teacher writing a specific and separate letter to a sponsor.
  5. A sponsor is not under any obligation to write letters to a specific teacher, as was done under the Child Sponsorship.
  6. The sponsor does not have to think about sending gift money for a specific teacher, as was done in the Child Sponsorship. And
  7. The Teacher Sponsorship not only helps teachers to stay in the school, it also helps us to give more and more students the opportunity to get and stay in school because if there is money to pay the staffers every month, no child will be charged exorbitant fees or sent home all because they didn’t pay the required fee on time.

In view of the foregoing, the school has, with immediate effect, cancelled the Child Sponsorship Program and replaced it with the Teacher Sponsorship Program. This new policy does not automatically cancel the status of the few children currently under sponsorship; it will remain in force until it naturally fades out.

Why the Change?

The change from Child Sponsorship to Teacher Sponsorship came about as a result of numerous problems experienced under the Child Sponsorship. For example, the following problems, among other things, were experienced under the program:

  1. Some sponsored children leave the school because their parents have moved to a new far-away location.
  2. Others leave because a relative of theirs in a distant location has decided to adopt them.
  3. Some kids leave because they went to spend time somewhere, and they didn’t return.
  4. Some female students leave because they got pregnant (teen-age pregnancy).
  5. Others leave the school because they finished the school.
  6. Some drop from school because they realize that they have out-grown the classes they are in and are ashamed of being in those classes with kids by far younger than they were.
  7. Some just decide to drop out of school for no apparent reason.
  8. Sometimes, some sponsors stop the sponsorship for many different reasons, putting the sponsored child and their parents in an awkward position.

When a child abruptly leaves the school as a result of one of the first six (6) reasons given above, especially where a sponsor has already started a relationship with the child, it creates serious problems. And writing a sponsor that their sponsored child is no longer in the school creates serious embarrassment and puts the school in an awkward position. At times, we write the sponsor to inform them that the child has left the school, while at the same time recommending a new child, only to find out in two or three months that the newly named child has also left the school. This sometimes creates doubts and affects the credibility of the school and those in charge. The Teacher Sponsorship will end these problems.

Of course, in conclusion, we wish to thank all of you who have sponsored needy Liberian children over the years, because your sponsorship helped a lot of kids to get their basic education. The focus is now teacher sponsorship.

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Kids Play

“All work without play makes Jack a dull boy,” it is said. So after academic work, the kids of HLF School decided to have some fun on their campus.

And of course, it was made possible by the humanitarian gesture of our friends and sponsors who visited Liberia in November of 2018 and donated various items, including sporting items.

We are grateful to all those who visited us and donated to our school.

European Guests Visit HLF School

On Monday, November 12, 2018, nine of the ten European guests, including some regular sponsors of the school, visited the campus to interact with students, staffers, and parents.

The guests posing behind the gifts

The visitors were headed by Lena Marner. Among the nine guests were seven Swedish, one Norwegian, and one Danish. A special program in honor of the guests was held, with students performing various activities to the delight of the guests, as well as parents who attended.

School choir singing during the program

It is worth noting that the visitors brought several, various gifts for the school and the kids, and the gifts included jerseys for our boys’ and the girls’ teams, footballs and various sporting items, games, instructional materials, books, food (rice), and many other items.

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The nine persons who visited the school were as follows:

1. Lena Marner
2. Gunnar Hammarström (husband of Anneli)
3. Anneli Hammarström (wife of Gunnar)
4. Liselott Larsson
5. Charlotte Larsson (Danish)
6. Emilie Ekengren
7. Kaisa Ellström
8. Mona Soerensen (Norwegian)
9. Lenita Björk

We are grateful to the guests for their visit and for the many gifts they brought for the school and the kids.

Ten Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Guests Arrive in Liberia

Ten guests from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are in Liberia, and they will visit our school tomorrow, Monday, November 12, 2018.

Eight of the visitors, along with Paul, at the Elizabeth Village and Resort

Eight of the visitors, along with Paul, at the Elizabeth Village and Resort

The visitors, who arrived in Buchanan on Friday, November 9, are headed by the school’s International Contact Person, Mrs. Lena Marner who makes a trip to Liberia at least once every year.

Visitors, along with Paul, at the Elizabeth Village and Resort

Visitors, along with Paul, at the Elizabeth Village and Resort

Those on the trip are as follows;

  1. Gunnar and Hammarström
  2. Anneli Hammarström
  3. Liselott Larsson
  4. Charlotte Larsson
  5. Emilie Ekengren
  6. Kaisa Ellström
  7. Klas
  8. Mona
  9. Lenita Björk

The Director of the School, Paul Yeenie Harry, and the guests had an acquaintance meeting at Elizabeth Village & Resort this morning.

Everyone – including students, teachers, parents and residents of the community – is excited about the visit and looks forward to interacting with the visitors on Monday. We are all grateful to them for including visit to our school into their plans.

They Need Your Help – Please Sponsor a Child at our School

Scores of needy kids in our school in Buchanan are in dire need of sponsorship from individuals and institutions of goodwill to enable them stay in school.

Chilldren at school 7

Our school caters to underprivileged kids, but for us to be able to continue to help them, you good individuals and institutions need to choose at least a child to sponsor. They need your help!

Chilldren at school 6

We used to post kids’ pictures and their profiles on the website under the section “Sponsor a Student,” but we have decided not to because, in most instances, when the children are placed there it takes time for them to be picked/selected and, when someone finally does, it is discovered that the child has already left the school for some reason.

Chilldren at school 5

So, for now, if you are interested in sponsoring a child – and we would like for all of the children to be sponsored by individuals or institutions – we would like you to kindly do the following:

  1. Indicate the sex of the child you want to sponsor;
  2. Indicate the age of the child;
  3. Indicate the class/grade of the child;
  4. Indicate the parental condition of the child – fatherless, motherless, etc
  5. Indicate the living condition of the child; and
  6. Etc

Chilldren at school 4

Once you do this, we will select a child for you to support. Remember these kids need your help.

Will you make the decision to support a child today? Your support could give them a better future.

It’s just US$7 per month. Help a needy child today!

Chilldren at school 2

Chilldren at school 1

Chilldren at school 3