As an adolescent boy in Weasay, I would take my clothes and give them to ‘less fortunate’ playmates in this enclave where fenced in homes and zinc shacks bumped into each other along often puddled paths used by animals, humans and vehicles. We were mere blocks from Tubman Boulevard, the paved and lit central artery of Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, but we might as well have been in another country or century. My older Cousin Miatta would chastise me. “But I have so many and they hardly have any” I would say…
About six years ago, I returned to work on a documentary project for children. We shot for about three weeks around Monrovia, Grand Cape Mount County and departed for Sierra Leone on a projected three week trip. The project was supposed to take us to dozens of countries around the world focusing on children literacy and culture, but by the end of the first week in Sierra Leone; I decided to leave the project and return to Liberia. I couldn’t shake the images of what I had seen during our time filming.
I headed back to Monrovia where I experienced the holidays for the first time since my own childhood. Those three weeks were very eye-opening. Painful even….so many children with no organized activities geared towards a truly healthy childhood. On Christmas Day, I walked through the neighborhood talking to children, adults and getting to know them. Many wore just their underwear and maybe a t-shirt. I headed home, grabbed a duffel bag full of t-shirts, tank tops I had brought as a part of my initial trip and handed them out. I returned to the US shaken, but determined to assist in whatever way I could.
Since then, I’ve traveled to Liberia three to four times a year to organize a series of events that would revolve around education, recreational activity and environmental awareness. Like others, I have self-funded the program for the past five years. The conviction to address the human needs of this generation of kids where I grew up, especially the girls, fuels me. After fifteen visits over the past five years, I have enlisted a number of youths, mostly girls in our Read To Ride Program. I’ve also partnered up with a wonderful group of people and I’m excited to see what we’ll accomplish in the years to come.
We kindly ask your support to help us create beautiful memories for our kids. Memories that will inspire them for a lifetime!
To educate, nourish, and offer a range of livelihood opportunities for young Liberian youth through community outreach projects, sustainable farming and the establishing of a vocational-technical school
An evolved Liberia, with equal access to basic necessities, quality education and peaceful fulfilling livelihood for a Liberians
Respect. Honor. Education. Leadership. Integrity