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.