Monthly Archives: June 2014

Our Visit At Help Liberia Foundation School by Kerstin and Roland Florin

We will always remember the day we visited Help Liberia School Foundation. We came in a little bus together with other persons who had lived in Liberia as children. As we drove down to the school, we could see all the pupils waving, singing and clapping their hands with joy.

Roland and Kerstin

Roland and Kerstin

We could never have had a warmer welcome. It was difficult not to let our eyes get full of tears. The school had prepared for our visit and everything was very well-organized.

Unfortunately, Roland and I were not so well-prepared for our speeches, but we spoke from our hearts directly to the children, and we hope they appreciated what we said.

The school’s cook serving the kids with food (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

The school’s cook serving the kids with food (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

We talked about all the years we had been waiting and longing to go back to Liberia. We told the children that we had lived in Yekepa when we were kids and about how we loved that time. We also tried to encourage the children about the importance of education.

We were given Bassa names. Roland got the name Teedo – “one day”,  and I, Kerstin, got the name Dekontee – “everything has time”. Wonderful names.

The school hosting a welcome program in honor of our Swedish guests (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

The school hosting a welcome program in honor of our Swedish guests (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

After all the speeches, we had the joy of playing and dancing with the children to a Swedish song. Then it was time for all the gifts to be distributed. Once again, Roland and I were not properly prepared.

When we left Sweden, we had the intention to give most of our gifts to some school in Yekepa; therefore, we did not have so much to give that day. But when we saw the importance of the school (HLF School), the work they do and the needs the children have, we decided to give all we had to HLF School and the children. Our things – school equipment, toys, etc. – were distributed later on and we know that everything came to the right place.

We had a fantastic day, full of emotions. We will continue to follow the work and progress of the school and try to help the best we can.

Interior view of one of the classrooms in our school (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

Interior view of one of the classrooms in our school (photo by Kerstin and Roland)

Note from Paul, school director:

Kerstin and Roland are two of the Swedish guests who visited our school in April this year. They came with Lena and Anders. They are the ones who gave the special gifts that we wrote about here.

We extend our profound thanks to Roland and Kerstin for taking the time to write about their experience with the kids and the staff at the school. We encourage others who have visited our school to write something for publication on our site.

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Sponsor a Teacher

One of our biggest challenges is paying the school staff. They are a very committed group of people who work hard to give our students a better future. We want to pay them at least US$40 a month, and hope to increase this when we are able to do so. However, due to lack of funds, we are often unable to pay them even this minimum amount.

Staff members posing with visitors in March 2013.

Staff members posing with visitors in March 2013.

You can sponsor a teacher by making a regular donation of US$40 a month. Sponsors will receive a picture and some information about the staff member they are sponsoring.

For more information about how to donate and other ways you can assist the school, please visit the  How You Can Help page.

Death Hits HLF School Again

Death has once again hit our school. Our janitress, Mrs. Victoria Juludoe, passed away last week after a protracted illness. She has been buried.

Sis. Vicky, as Victoria was affectionately called, worked with the school for more than six years. She was one of the most hardworking staffers of the school. She controlled the school’s hand pump, cleaned the classrooms, brought drinking water for the kids and the staff, and so forth.

Victoria’s death brings to two the total number of staff deaths that have occurred in the school since its establishment in 2005. It may be recalled that the school’s Vice Principal for Instructions, Mr. Esau Wleh, died in January of last year.

We will miss Sis. Vicky. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

HLF Community School Celebrates Ninth Anniversary

Our school in Buchanan, Help Liberia Foundation Community School, celebrated its Ninth Anniversary on Friday, May 30, 2014.

The school’s cook dishing out rice for the country cook

The school’s cook dishing out rice for the country cook

The celebration, which was held at the school, was aimed at reflecting on the establishment of the school in 2005 and its existence since that time, and giving the kids the opportunity and the time to have fun. We are grateful to God for sustaining the school all these years. We are also thankful to all of our sponsors and friends for their encouragement and assistance to the school. The school continues to exist because of their involvement. We cherish their support very much.

The celebration comprised many different activities – country cook, dance show, indoor program, sashing the King and the Queen and crowning the King, etc. We all – students, staff and visitors – had plenty of food.

Students enjoying bean rice

Students enjoying bean rice

The school invited as keynote speaker Ms. Russeling C. Y. Goffa who is the Director of Scholarship of the Nyonblee Care Foundation, a charity foundation run by Senator Nyonblee Karngar of Grand Bassa County. However, because she had another engagement, she sent one Mr. Du-ben Cleon to deliver her message, which was on the topic: “Believe in yourselves.”

During the indoor program, the King and the Queen sat in front of the rest of the students. After the keynote speaker’s message, Ms. Elfreda Toquee, a special guest, sashed the King and the Queen, and Mr. Du-ben Cleon crowned the King. The title of the King is Mr. Help Liberia Foundation 2014/2015, while the Queen is Miss Help Liberia Foundation 2014/2015.

The King and the Queen posing with their subjects

The King and the Queen posing with their subjects

The Program Committee had originally planned to hire a marching band to play for the students as they parade with the Queen and the King in the streets of the city, but it would be expensive to do (They asked for US$75), so it was not hired. It is our plan to hire a marching band next celebration.

The current King and the current Queen will be in power from now to March or April next year (2015) at which time a new queen-king contest will be held.

Kids of the second grade class doing a song at the program

Kids of the second grade class doing a song at the program

We extend our sincere appreciation to all – students, staff, parents, sponsors, special guests, community residents, etc. – for their participation in the process that made us have a very wonderful Ninth Anniversary Celebration. Thanks to all.

Click on pictures below to see a larger version.