Monthly Archives: December 2013

HLF Community School Closes for Christmas

Our school in Buchanan, Help Liberia Foundation Community School, has closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Students singing at the closing program

Students singing at the closing program

The school closed on Friday, December 20, 2013. It is a two-week break that runs from December 20, 2013, to January 6, 2014. In short, the kids will return on Monday, January 6.

The closing was marked by a program that saw students singing Christmas carols, giving recitations and so forth.

Cross section of kids at the program

Cross section of kids at the program

During the program, our director, Mr. Paul Yeenie Harry, encouraged the kids to take care of themselves during this festive season, saying, “You have to take care of yourselves well so that you will be able to come back here on January 6.” He also encouraged them to be more respectful, studious and hard-working in 2014.

Students singing Christmas carols

Students singing Christmas carols

Our plan was to buy two bales of used clothes as Christmas presents to be distributed among the kids, but we did not have the money to bring Christmas smiles on the faces of the children. We hope we will be able to do this for the kids next year.

Students standing during the program; in the background are staff members

Students standing during the program; in the background are staff members

At this junction, we would like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those who are directly and indirectly connected to the school. As we end 2013 and start the New Year, it is our prayer and hope that the New Year will be more fulfilling for all of us.

Staff members sitting during the program

Staff members sitting during the program

Advertisements

David Turner Gives Christmas Gifts to His Sponsored Kids

One of the main sponsors of Help Liberia Foundation Community School, David Turner, who is a British citizen, has given Christmas presents to the kids he sponsors in our school.

David Turner

David Turner

David, a humanitarian living in the United Kingdom, is a committed sponsor of the school. At present, he is sponsoring four kids in our school and he has been doing this for seven years – that is, since 2007. When a child reaches grade 6 and graduates from the school, David selects a new child to complete the number to four.

Every year, besides paying his sponsored children’s school fees, David sends extra funds to the school to help with its operation. He also sends extra money for the kids’ school supplies, Christmas gifts and provisions and for other purposes.

David’s sponsored kids choosing their book bags, as a parent and Vice Principal Jarvis Krangar assist in the process

David’s sponsored kids choosing their book bags, as a parent and Vice Principal Jarvis Krangar assist in the process

The four children he currently supports are Jomo Peters, Blessing Bah, Ruth Roberts and Samuel James.

A few weeks ago, David sent some money to cover the kids’ whole-year tuition and to do some purchasing for them. As usual, there were extra funds to help with the school’s operational expenses.

L-R: Jomo Peters, Blessing Bah, Samuel James’ mother, Samuel James and Ruth Roberts

L-R: Jomo Peters, Blessing Bah, Samuel James’ mother, Samuel James and Ruth Roberts

So, the school took the kids to the market place in Buchanan and did some shopping for them. Items bought for each kid included food, shoes, belt, book bag, copy books, pens, clothes, washing soap, bath soap, toothpaste and other items.

The mother of one of the kids, Rebecca James, went with us during the purchasing. At the end, she expressed gratitude to David through the school and wrote a thank-you letter to David, which has already been sent to him.

The school’s director, Paul Yeenie Harry, posing with David’s students and Samuel’s mother

The school’s director, Paul Yeenie Harry, posing with David’s students and Samuel’s mother

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to David for his continuous support to the school and the kids. We thank him especially for putting smiles on the faces of these kids and their parents during this Christmas season.

We wish David and his family Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2014!

HLF Community School Plays Its First Major Football And Kickball Matches

Our school in Buchanan, Help Liberia Foundation Community School, last Friday, December 13, 2013,  played its first major football and kickball games since the school was established eight years ago.

The games, which were started around 11:am, were played between our school and another school called Kornonia Community School, also located in Buchanan.

Girls of both schools posing with the referee (in middle) before the start of the game. Our girls are on the right.

Girls of both schools posing with the referee (in middle) before the start of the game. Our girls are on the right.

Kickball Match

The first game was a kickball match between our girls and the girls of Kornonia. Kickball is a game invented in Liberia and mostly played by Liberians. It is played by girls.

Before the start of the kickball game, our girls were excited and jubilant about it, promising to beat the other school. Unfortunately, our girls couldn’t withstand the skills of the other girls. They beat our girls badly. They had 28 points, and our girls had 16 points. Students, staff and parents were dejected. In fact, some of the smaller kids started crying on the field.

One of our girls in a ready position to catch a ball kicked by our opponents

One of our girls in a ready position to catch a ball kicked by our opponents

“You should not be discouraged. You did well. This was your very first game, so you have to be encouraged by the fact that you scored more than 15 points against them. We are convinced that you girls will beat them next time. Besides, our boys will beat them,” remarked Mr. Paul Yeenie Harry, director of HLF Community School.

Our boys before the start of the football match

Our boys before the start of the football match

Football Match

Reflecting on the outcome of the kickball match, we were not that excited for the football match. It’s like we were hopeless hopeful, if that is the right way to say.

Just before the game could start, the students of the other school were jubilantly running all around the field, shouting and singing as if they were determined to annoy or confuse us. And, as if to increase our confusion, the Kornonia boys scored their first goal. Their singing increased, while our kids stood around the field sorrowfully.

Our boys shaking hands with the boys of Kornonia

Our boys shaking hands with the boys of Kornonia

While in this period of uncertainty, our boys scored their first goal, equalizing the scores.  In less than ten minutes, our boys scored their second goal. Our students, too, started running all around the place, shouting and singing. Staff members and parents could not hold their peace, too. An outburst of jubilation seized the sports ground. Before long, again, our boys scored their third goal. It was now 3-1. You have to imagine the ecstatic state we were in. Our boys were playing good football and most spectators began to praise them. The staff and the students of Kornonia became confused and silent. It was only our students who were shouting and singing.

Players in various positions on the field

Players in various positions on the field

Anyway, because of some mistakes, the other school managed to score two additional goals. So it was 3-3. Anxiety crept back into us, but our boys were ready to remove it. They scored their fourth goal and the game ended after a few minutes. In short, we won the football game by 4-3.

When the referee sounded the last whistle, we started the jubilation from the field and did not rest until we reached our campus. But who wouldn’t be jubilant in such a situation? It is as if their girls had not defeated our girls. The boys’ victory overshadowed everything.

Students in jubilant mood at the end of the game

Students in jubilant mood at the end of the game

A few things need to be remembered about the games last Friday, December 13, 2013. First, it was the kids’ very first time playing such matches in such a manner. Second, it was the first time ever that they used jerseys, which were brought by Anders and Lena during their visit in October and November. Third, our boys played better football than their boys played. Fourth, although they beat our girls, our boys beat their boys, and that beating lessened the impact of their girls’ victory.

We extend a very big thank-you to our boys, our girls, our staff, or parents, our Swedish sponsors and all other individuals and institutions that helped us to give the school a great day.

Click on photos below to see a larger version.

Swedish Guests Give Judo Lessons, Visit Future Site, Give Money for Food

Dear friends, I was down with illness and stayed in hospital for a few days before being released last week. I was down with typhoid and pneumonia. This is why the site has not been updated with new articles, especially articles about the recent visit by our Swedish sponsors, for some time now. Our apologies! We now continue. (Paul Yeenie Harry, school director)

During the visit of our Swedish friends, not only were many things done, but several, various activities went on as we indicated in one of our previous articles. And, because time is fast spent, we wish to mention four in this current article, for there are other things to write about.

P-O observing trainees practicing judo

P-O observing trainees practicing judo

Judo Lessons

When the guests were here in Liberia, one of them, P-O (who has a black belt in judo) gave some judo lessons to the kids and staff of the school. He brought many of the materials needed for the judo training and the kids and staff used them in their practice. Before the commencement of the training, P-O taught the participants some vocabulary, gave the history of judo, explained some basic rules and the philosophy behind the martial art called judo.

Students, staff, parents and community residents came around to watch the judo training, which took place on the school campus.  All, including the watchers, enjoyed it.

It was the very first time for the kids and the staff to have had such an experience. Many thanks to P-O for making our school have that first-time experience.

A trainee showing his newly learned skill

A trainee showing his newly learned skill

Gowning of P-O

As part of  the second day’s indoor activities, the school gowned P-O (put on him an African shirt, as it is usually traditionally done for foreign guests coming to the country) and gave him a Bassa name known as “Gar-mon-gar,” meaning: man is man.

P-O then expressed gratitude to the school and promised to always think about the school and help in whatever way he can. “I have had great time in Buchanan. You all have touched my heart and I will always think about you. The kids are special. The staff is special. I will always have you all in mind and help where I can. I will also tell other Swedish friends about the work you are doing with the kids in the school,” he said.

Anders and students walking to the future site

Anders and students walking to the future site

Visit to Future Site

At the end of the activities on campus on the second day, the guests decided to visit the school’s future home, which is located about twenty minutes’ walk from the current campus. They were all excited to have seen the huge land, which is strategically located – on the main road of a place called Bassa Community. They were shown the cornerstones of the land, and they all expressed their desire to help the school build a structure on the new site.

“Paul, this is a very good place. I like the trees all around. Do not cut them down. The place is really great. We can help to build a school here for the kids,” remarked Anders.

Students eating outside

Students eating outside

Money for Food

Before their departure from Buchanan, our guests donated US$100 to the school, saying the money should be used to cook for the kids, which we did. We are grateful to them for the financial assistance that helped the kids to eat soup and rice for days.

View more photos below (click on a photo to see a larger version).