Monthly Archives: March 2012

Help Liberia Foundation Community School Clears Site

Help Liberia Foundation Community School on Friday, March 23, 2012, carried out a clean-up – or rather, a clearing – campaign on the one-acre site on which the school’s proposed thirteen-classroom structure is to be built.

Although the school paid a group of men to do a two-week clearing and cleaning of the site, the kids and the staff participated in a one-day clearing exercise – weeding and cutting grass, raking the grass and helping to collect and pile it up.

It was wonderful and interesting to see the kids happily and possessively cleaning the land which they know and believe is their property – the future home of their school. It was moving. Some of them, responding to a question posed by a curious passer-by, said: “We are cleaning our future campus.”

Perhaps the most interesting was the presence and full participating of Catherine whom some thought would only come and sit somewhere to observe the process. However, to the surprise of many, and to the delight of all, Catherine joined the kids and started weeding the grass – and weeded it very well for almost an hour without stopping to sit down and rest. Some of the grass was thorny, but Catherine didn’t mind. She intermingled and interacted with everyone. It was great.

At one point, Paul, thinking that Catherine was tired, said, “It’s okay, Catherine. You may want to rest for awhile.”

“Why, Paul? I am not tired. I’m having fun doing it with the kids and the staff,” responded Catherine.

Encouraged by Catherine’s down-to-earth participation, all the little ones joined in the process, even if their fingers lacked the strength to weed out any grass from the ground. It was fun – real fun.

Interestingly, also, at the rear of the land where the hired men were brushing, they (the men) killed a black snake, cut its head off and placed the body in a plastic bag near them.

“Don’t go over there, Catherine. Those men just killed a snake, and it is right somewhere near them,” Paul tried to caution her.

She smiled and said, “I’m not scared. I want to see it and touch it.”

Quickly, the guys took out the snake and handed it to Catherine who was only willing to receive it. Paul, who is afraid of snakes, could not believe what his eyes were seeing. First, Catherine held it in her hands, and then she laid it on her left shoulder, smiling in the process. You should have seen Paul’s face.

One of the teachers named Elwood also held the snake for a few seconds before giving it back to the men, but Paul could not and would not try it.

Paul gazed at Catherine and only said, “You are really brave, Catherine!”

A day after the clearing, a gigantic billboard indicating that the spot is the future home of the Help Liberia Foundation School was put up.

It may be recalled that the school bought a one-acre piece of land last year for the purpose of constructing a thirteen-classroom school building. The proposed school is estimated at US35, 000. We do not have the money to build the school, but we are hopeful that individuals and institutions of good will come to the aid of the school.

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Catherine Visits Help Liberia Foundation Community School

Ms. Catherine Gill-Jamieson, a British citizen who with her husband currently resides in Liberia, was on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, the guest of our school, Help Liberia Foundation Community School.

Catherine (the kids and the staff now affectionately call her “Sis Catherine”), who had earlier communicated with Paul and Mary and had expressed her interest to work with the school a few weeks earlier, was welcomed by the kids and the staff.

Before her arrival on the school campus, a few of the students and the staff had already assembled outside to await and welcome her. When she came down from her car and saw the group, she said, “No, no, Paul. I didn’t expect this.”

“Yeah, I know, but now that it is like this, you just have to brace yourself for it,” Paul joking told her. She laughed.

A little girl named Patricia Chea officially welcomed Catherine and presented her some flowers on behalf of the school, saying: “Sis Catherine, you are welcome to our school, the Help Liberia Foundation Community School. We are your friends, and you are our friends. Once again, we say that you are welcome.”

In response, Catherine, who was thrilled to have seen the kids and the staff, remarked, “I am overwhelmed by the great welcome. Thank you for warmly receiving me.”

From there, Catherine was taken on a tour of the school building, viewing the classes, one office and one storeroom. She also had a meeting with the staff. At the start of the meeting, Paul introduced her and also introduced the staff.

“You guys are doing wonderful work here for the kids, especially considering the limited resources you have to work with. I can’t promise to do this and do that, but I will definitely do my best to help where I can. We all will work together to help these wonderful kids.”

Help Liberia Foundation in Poland

We wish to inform everyone, especially our sponsors and volunteers, that Help Liberia Foundation, the Poland-based charity foundation that helped establish the Help Liberia Foundation Community School in Buchanan City, Liberia, is no longer in operation in Poland. The foundation’s operation was closed last year.

It’s worth noting, though, that our school in Buchanan is still operating and will continue to operate.

All money in the foundation’s Polish bank accounts has already been transferred to the school’s Liberian bank account. Mr. Paul Yeenie Harry who served as the Executive Director of the Polish organization from 2003 to 2010 when he returned to his home country Liberia has decided to stay in Liberia to help manage the school. He has no plans to return to Poland to live as he did before.

As many of you may be aware, our school was established in 2005, and has continued to operate since, helping scores of underprivileged kids through the generosity of many individuals and institutions, many of them in Europe. We now have about 150 students, aged between 3 and 15.

We would, therefore, like to thank members of the HLF Polish management team and all our sponsors and volunteers in Poland and around the world. We profoundly thank you all. You are the ones who have made it possible for our students to receive their primary education. We hope that many of you will continue to support us!