Monthly Archives: April 2013

US$100 Feeds School For One Week

Until about three months ago, our school used to receive food rations from the World Food Program (WFP), however periodically it occurred. We used to receive burger wheat, oil, beans and salt.

However, since January, we have not received food rations from the organization. In a sense, the children had not been eating, and cooking at the school is one of the things that keeps the children in school.

Kids receiving food

Kids receiving food

Then when our Swedish guests were about to return to Sweden, Elisabeth Thorne, on behalf of the group, gave the school US$100 to cook for the kids.

The school used the US$100 to cook for the entire school – kids and staff – for one whole week, and everyone had enough to eat every day.  In fact, instead of cooking burger wheat for the kids, the school bought rice – Liberia’s staple food.

Staff members getting food from the cook

Staff members getting food from the cook

We wish to express our profound thanks to Elisabeth and the other visitors for donating the US$100, which fed the entire school for one complete school week.

If any individual or organization out there is willing to help the kids and the staff to eat at school every day, US$100 can do that for a whole week.  Yes, US$100 can feed the students and the staff for a week!

 

 

 

 

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Swedish Visitors Spend Day Three at Our School

After spending Day One and Day Two at our school in Buchanan, the third and final day of their visit and stay at the school came on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

The day was characterized by mixed feelings – joy and sadness. Joy because it was a day of additional interaction and fun among the students, the staff and the visitors. But the day was also sorrowful because it was the day on which our visitors – Elisabeth, Marianne, Lena and Anders – would be ending their visit and leaving from Buchanan.

Kids excitedly responding to a Swedish play performed by our visitors

Kids excitedly responding to a Swedish play performed by our visitors

“It is sad that we will be leaving you to go back to Sweden. We have had a great time at the school since we came here, and it is sad that we are ending our visit, but we can tell you that we will continue to remember you and interact with you,” our guests indicated.

“We will miss you a lot, too. We have been interacting as if we have known one another for years,” said a female teacher.

Our visitors doing a traditional Swedish play for the school

Our visitors doing a traditional Swedish play for the school

Anyway, we began the day with a series of activities, affording the school and the visitors to interact more before their departure. Additional games were played, songs were sung, farewell speeches were made, etc.

At the end of the activities mentioned above, the school carried out what is commonly referred to as “gowning” in Liberia. We attired the guests with African clothes – the ladies receiving African dresses, and the man receiving an African shirt.

Nancy, a teacher, gowning Lena

Nancy, a teacher, gowning Lena

Each speaking after the gowning ceremony, our visitors thanked the school for honoring them in such a way and promised to remain friends of the school. It was a moving moment for each of our visitors, as some almost cried from emotions as they made their remarks after being gowned.

Visitors Given Bassa Names

It is a tradition for Liberians to give Liberian names to their oversea visitors or guests at such an occasion. Therefore, following the gowning ceremony, the school gave Bassa names to our guests, and they are as follows:

  1. Elisabeth – Janjay (meaning “goodness” in Bassa)
  2. Marianne – Dyujay or Youjay (meaning “for the sake of children” in Bassa)
  3. Lena – Ah Deyh (meaning “our mother” in Bassa)
  4. Anders – Ah Bah (meaning “our father” in Bassa)
Our guests after the gowning ceremony

Our guests after the gowning ceremony

We are appreciative of the sacrifices Elisabeth, Lena, Marianne and Anders made to visit the school in Buchanan. Besides the expenses involved, there were other constraints they experienced concerning their trip. We expressed our sincere thanks to them all for making those sacrifices for the school.

Following the gowning ceremony, we entered the school building for a final meeting between the staff of the school and our guests, after which they departed Buchanan for Monrovia, spending about a week in the city before returning to Europe on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

Guests and kids interacting

Guests and kids interacting

Our school’s doors are always open to Elisabeth, Lena, Marianne and Anders. Not only that. Our doors are also open to all other individuals who may want to visit or interact with our school.

Pictures from the day are below (click on any picture to see a slideshow).

Swedish Visitors Spend Day Two at School

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, marked the second day of the guests’ visit and stay at the Help Liberia Foundation Community School in Buchanan.

And, like Day One, Day Two was characterized by various activities, some of which are as follows:

Lena and Veronica, a female teacher, playing knock foot

Lena and Veronica, a female teacher, playing knock foot

1. We had another interactive session where the staff and the children sang songs, gave recitations, told jokes and our guests also sang, danced and talked to the kids and staff more about Sweden.

2. Our female teachers and students taught the visitors how to play knock foot (a Liberian female game) and other plays.

Elisabeth and a child playing the jump-rope game

Elisabeth and a child playing the jump-rope game

3. There were jump-rope mini-competitions in which our visitors, staff and students happily participated, with each trying to prove that they could do the jumping rope for minutes without being entangled by the rope.

4. Lena and her husband (Anders) presented the gifts they brought for the school – football, notebooks, pens, telephones, a camera, some books, etc.

Paul and the students posing with Lena and Anders after receiving the gifts

Paul and the students posing with Lena and Anders after receiving the gifts

Of course, we could not just do all those activities without resting to put something in the stomach, so we all ended and went for a dish of palm butter rice, a typical traditional dish.

Watch out for the article and photos for Day Three.

Pictures from the day below (click for larger images).