SHIFSD Liberia

Nursery/KG School Construction for Vulnerable Children Project

Background & Introduction:

Liberia is a small country situated on the West Coast of Africa with a population of approximately 5 million people. The National Census of 2008 indicates that more than 60% of the population is very young. Most of Liberia’s youth have little or no formal education.

With specific reference to the Joe Town/Lee Hill Community in which SHIFSD is based, the situation concerning young people & children isn’t unique. The target community, Joe Town also known as Lee Hill, has 1,998 vulnerable children of lower primary school age. There’s no public or government school in the Joe Town/Lee Hill community; the only government school nearby is situated on the ‘Johnsonville Turning Point’ which is a walking distance of about 45 minutes from Joe Town. The public school is extremely overwhelmed in terms of student population.

SHIFSD

A 2018 baseline survey conducted by the community leadership, indicates that the Lee Hill/Joe Town community comprises 999 households and an average household size of 7 inhabitants. Many of the single headed households in the community find it very difficult if not near impossible to send their children under 8 years of age to school. The security risks of children (especially girls) walking long distances to school plus the high motorbike fares to reach the nearby public school is also a big challenge. On average, there are 2 most vulnerable school age children per household in Joe Town while with a rapidly growing community population above 6,993 since the last survey was completed in 2018. At the moment, said population has only three properly functioning hand pumps to serve them with safe drinking water; one of which is at the SHIFSD Center.

The Self-Help Initiative for Sustainable Development (SHIFSD) was established in the Central Region of Ghana, West Africa by a group of Liberian Refugees on November 11, 2000.

Following years of serving refugees at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana, the institution finally moved to Liberia in August of 2008. SHIFSD was duly registered in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with the government on May 30, 2005.

SHIFSD

Presently, the organization is headquartered at the SHIFSD Center located in Joe Town, lower Johnsonville, Montserrado County.

SHIFSD envisions a just society, free of illiteracy and poverty. Its mission is to reduce abject poverty through access to integrated education, demand driven vocational skills training, and entrepreneurship.

Currently, SHIFSD is working on livelihood of activities in five counties in Liberia; namely Montserrado, Margibi, Bomi, Gbapolu and Grand Cape Mount in partnership with a Dutch NGO called ZOA Refugee Care-Liberia.

In an attempt to help mitigate, to some extent, the enormous Child Right to Education problem faced by the Joe Town/Lee Hill community, the decision to undertake the Nursery/KG School for Vulnerable Children Project was faithfully reached by the Board & Management of SHIFSD.

Hence, this narrative progress report is intended to give LY2NK Foundation and other readers of this report an overview of the project objective; planned activities, expected outcomes; activities carried out, and challenges amongst others. SHIFSD wants to particularly give specific explanation on how the LY2NK Foundation grant was used towards the ongoing nursery / kindergarten school building project at the SHIFSD Center.

SHIFSD

Project Objective:

The Nursery / Kindergarten School Construction for Vulnerable Children Project is intended to provide quality and affordable primary education, with special focus on Nursery & Kindergarten (KG) levels, to the most vulnerable children between the ages of 3 – 7 years in Joe Town/Lee Hill Community, Johnsonville, Montserrado County.

Project Objective:

The Nursery / Kindergarten School Construction for Vulnerable Children Project is intended to provide quality and affordable primary education, with special focus on Nursery & Kindergarten (KG) levels, to the most vulnerable children between the ages of 3 – 7 years in Joe Town/Lee Hill Community, Johnsonville, Montserrado County.

Progress:

The expected outcomes of the aforementioned project are as follows:

  • A standard size (i.e. 22 ft by 20 ft) five-classroom nursery/KG school building constructed & being used;
  • A latrine facility for the newly constructed nursery / KG building established and being used;
  • Pupils’ desk, tables for teachers/pupils, & blackboards available & being used;
  • Electrical materials for electrification of the building bought, installed and satisfactorily functioning;
  • Plumbing materials bought, installed & being used;
  • Steel rods, steel plates for the fixing of window bars & doors secured; windows bars & doors made, installed with proper locks;
  • Window glasses procured, installed & properly functioning;
  • Assorted buckets of paints bought; painting and decoration of the school building done beautifully;
  • Opening program for the newly constructed 5-classroom Nursery/KG facility held with County Education Officer (CEO), local authorities and community leaders in attendance at the SHIFSD Center with LY2NK Logo in full view & building named in honor of LY2NK’s Co-founder Tatiana Mersiadis; etc.

The project activities planned include but not limited to the following:

  • Construction of a standard size (i.e. 22 ft by 20 ft) five-classroom school block;
  • Construction of a latrine facility for the nursery / KG section;
  • Procurement of pupils’ desk, tables, blackboards, etc.
  • Purchase of electrical materials & electrification of the school building;
  • Purchase of plumbing materials & their installation;
  • Purchase of steel rods, plates and the fixing of window bars, doors and locks;
  • Procurement of window glasses and their installation;
  • Purchase of assorted paints; painting and decoration of the school building
  • Opening program for the newly constructed 5-classroom Nursery/KG facility; etc.

Actual activities carried out under the nursery and kindergarten building construction project include but not limited to the following work done thus far as indicated below:

  • Assorted wood/planks for the roofing work were purchased, delivered & being used for the project;
  • Assorted cartons of nails for the roofing were purchased, delivered & being used;
  • Twenty-one (21) bundles of Aluminum Zinc/roofing sheets were purchased and used to build the roof the school building;
  • 1740 pieces of 4 inch cement blocks were purchased for use to do parts of the building superstructure, and for use to construct the latrine facility;
  • Two truckloads of rough sand, and one of plastering sand were bought and delivered to project site (at the SHIFSD Center) for floor works, plastering & other block laying works;
  • Two truckloads of No.2 sized crushed rocks meant for concrete and floor work;
  • Forty (40) pieces of steel rods for plating of steel pillars and marts;
  • Fifty (50) bags of Portland cement for general cement work;
  • Labor costs as well as transportation for materials such as wood, steel rods, cement, etc.. for the construction of the school building;
Other work completed / achieved thus far:

  • The SHIFSD management was also able to give the SHIFSD Institute’s Agriculture Department a little boost by hiring a consultant to do the following:
    • repair two mini-tractors, and train both the trainer & trainees on how to setup and operate the equipment;
    • repair/service one cassava grater and accessories and show staff how to operate the cassava grater;
    • develop an agriculture business plan with specific reference to poultry and cassava processing, amongst others.
    • An experienced agriculturist was also hired to head the department and as well provided a room at the SHIFSD Center to stay and do agricultural work.
      Note that the business plan development is still in progress, and the equipment repair work including training of staff/students to operate the equipment has been slowed down due to the COVID-19 appearance in Liberia. 
  • An LCD projector for the SHIFSD institute IT Department was also bought to make teaching/learning easy, and to enable students to properly view lessons.
SHIFSD
SHIFSD

Progress:

The expected outcomes of the aforementioned project are as follows:

  • A standard size (i.e. 22 ft by 20 ft) five-classroom nursery/KG school building constructed & being used;
  • A latrine facility for the newly constructed nursery / KG building established and being used;
  • Pupils’ desk, tables for teachers/pupils, & blackboards available & being used;
  • Electrical materials for electrification of the building bought, installed and satisfactorily functioning;
  • Plumbing materials bought, installed & being used;
  • Steel rods, steel plates for the fixing of window bars & doors secured; windows bars & doors made, installed with proper locks;
  • Window glasses procured, installed & properly functioning;
  • Assorted buckets of paints bought; painting and decoration of the school building done beautifully;
  • Opening program for the newly constructed 5-classroom Nursery/KG facility held with County Education Officer (CEO), local authorities and community leaders in attendance at the SHIFSD Center with LY2NK Logo in full view & building named in honor of LY2NK’s Co-founder Tatiana Mersiadis; etc.

The project activities planned include but not limited to the following:

  • Construction of a standard size (i.e. 22 ft by 20 ft) five-classroom school block;
  • Construction of a latrine facility for the nursery / KG section;
  • Procurement of pupils’ desk, tables, blackboards, etc.
  • Purchase of electrical materials & electrification of the school building;
  • Purchase of plumbing materials & their installation;
  • Purchase of steel rods, plates and the fixing of window bars, doors and locks;
  • Procurement of window glasses and their installation;
  • Purchase of assorted paints; painting and decoration of the school building
  • Opening program for the newly constructed 5-classroom Nursery/KG facility; etc.

Actual activities carried out under the nursery and kindergarten building construction project include but not limited to the following work done thus far as indicated below:

  • Assorted wood/planks for the roofing work were purchased, delivered & being used for the project;
  • Assorted cartons of nails for the roofing were purchased, delivered & being used;
  • Twenty-one (21) bundles of Aluminum Zinc/roofing sheets were purchased and used to build the roof the school building;
  • 1740 pieces of 4 inch cement blocks were purchased for use to do parts of the building superstructure, and for use to construct the latrine facility;
  • Two truckloads of rough sand, and one of plastering sand were bought and delivered to project site (at the SHIFSD Center) for floor works, plastering & other block laying works;
  • Two truckloads of No.2 sized crushed rocks meant for concrete and floor work;
  • Forty (40) pieces of steel rods for plating of steel pillars and marts;
  • Fifty (50) bags of Portland cement for general cement work;
  • Labor costs as well as transportation for materials such as wood, steel rods, cement, etc.. for the construction of the school building;
Other work completed / achieved thus far:

  • The SHIFSD management was also able to give the SHIFSD Institute’s Agriculture Department a little boost by hiring a consultant to do the following:
    • repair two mini-tractors, and train both the trainer & trainees on how to setup and operate the equipment;
    • repair/service one cassava grater and accessories and show staff how to operate the cassava grater;
    • develop an agriculture business plan with specific reference to poultry and cassava processing, amongst others.
    • An experienced agriculturist was also hired to head the department and as well provided a room at the SHIFSD Center to stay and do agricultural work.
      Note that the business plan development is still in progress, and the equipment repair work including training of staff/students to operate the equipment has been slowed down due to the COVID-19 appearance in Liberia. 
  • An LCD projector for the SHIFSD institute IT Department was also bought to make teaching/learning easy, and to enable students to properly view lessons.
SHIFSD
SHIFSD

Challenges:

Key amongst challenges identified is inadequate project funding. With the exception of the highly appreciated LY2NK Foundation’s grant contribution (US$8,565), and that of SHIFSD’s financial contribution (US$7,840) as well as in-kind contribution, no other funding for the project under review is available at this time for the construction of the school building in a timely manner to full completion.

There’s a lot more construction related work needed to be done (as can be seen in the aforementioned list of planned activities) to have the brand new nursery and kindergarten school building completed and operational as we strive to address the educational plight of vulnerable children in Joe Town, semi-urban Montserrado County.

In order to address the inadequate funding challenge, SHIFSD will make in-kind a contribution in the tune of four thousand four hundred seventy dollars (US$4,470) towards the completion of the ongoing nursery / kindergarten construction project at the SHIFSD Center in Joe Town, lower Johnsonville.

Challenges:

Key amongst challenges identified is inadequate project funding. With the exception of the highly appreciated LY2NK Foundation’s grant contribution (US$8,565), and that of SHIFSD’s financial contribution (US$7,840) as well as in-kind contribution, no other funding for the project under review is available at this time for the construction of the school building in a timely manner to full completion.

There’s a lot more construction related work needed to be done (as can be seen in the aforementioned list of planned activities) to have the brand new nursery and kindergarten school building completed and operational as we strive to address the educational plight of vulnerable children in Joe Town, semi-urban Montserrado County.

In order to address the inadequate funding challenge, SHIFSD will make in-kind a contribution in the tune of four thousand four hundred seventy dollars (US$4,470) towards the completion of the ongoing nursery / kindergarten construction project at the SHIFSD Center in Joe Town, lower Johnsonville.

Conclusion:

In summary, the ongoing nursery / kindergarten school construction for vulnerable children project is intended to address the plight of disadvantaged, out of school children in the Joe Town/Lee Hill Community located in the lower part of the township of Johnsonville, Greater Monrovia following repeated appeals from residents of said community to SHIFSD.

Our experience has shown that many children are staying with grandparents, extended family members, and persons other than their biological parents. It is shocking to note that this community of well over 1,998 children has no such early learning facility for children whose parents or guardians are poverty stricken to the core. The nearest public school is 45 minutes away; over jammed with students despite having both morning and afternoon sessions in operation.

The aforementioned school construction project is approximately 50% completed, including roofing of the building; thanks to LY2NK Foundation for its timely intervention, having funded the project thus far.

SHIFSD’s major challenge now has to do with the raising of funds to close the remaining funding gap necessary for accomplishing its stated objective for the ongoing school construction project.

** Here are photos of three vulnerable kids collected to help explain the pitiful condition of children & education in the Lee Hill/Joe Town Community:

From right to left, they are Joseph Murphy, he’s age 12 and in 3rd grade; his sister, Lowena Reeves is age 9 and hasn’t started school yet; and lastly Joseph’s friend Emmanuel Boimah, age 10. Boimah is in Kindergarten.

Joseph-SHIFSD
Lowena-SHIFSD
Emmanuel-SHIFSD

Conclusion:

In summary, the ongoing nursery / kindergarten school construction for vulnerable children project is intended to address the plight of disadvantaged, out of school children in the Joe Town/Lee Hill Community located in the lower part of the township of Johnsonville, Greater Monrovia following repeated appeals from residents of said community to SHIFSD.

Our experience has shown that many children are staying with grandparents, extended family members, and persons other than their biological parents. It is shocking to note that this community of well over 1,998 children has no such early learning facility for children whose parents or guardians are poverty stricken to the core. The nearest public school is 45 minutes away; over jammed with students despite having both morning and afternoon sessions in operation.

The aforementioned school construction project is approximately 50% completed, including roofing of the building; thanks to LY2NK Foundation for its timely intervention, having funded the project thus far.

SHIFSD’s major challenge now has to do with the raising of funds to close the remaining funding gap necessary for accomplishing its stated objective for the ongoing school construction project.

** Here are photos of three vulnerable kids collected to help explain the pitiful condition of children & education in the Lee Hill/Joe Town Community:

From right to left, they are Joseph Murphy, he’s age 12 and in 3rd grade; his sister, Lowena Reeves is age 9 and hasn’t started school yet; and lastly Joseph’s friend Emmanuel Boimah, age 10. Boimah is in Kindergarten.

Joseph-SHIFSD
Lowena-SHIFSD
Emmanuel-SHIFSD