Children in the rural Tonglaywein community will no longer have to carry their own chairs to school thanks to the efforts of The United Methodist Church in Liberia, which recently unveiled a newly renovated public school in this northern Liberia village.
Students also now will have access to clean water and working toilets at the new $130,000 school, which will serve about 500 children in Nimba County. The previous school accommodated half as many students.
Adolphus Dupley, associate director of the church’s Department of Community Services, said the school is fitted with modern facilities, including offices, a library and flushing toilets.
“You must insist that the children go to school or else the new building that we all invested in will be a waste,” Dupley urged parents.
He stressed that the school building by itself will not change the lives of the children unless the people of Tonglaywein community use it.
“Your investment in the rehabilitation of the school can only be realized when the children utilize the building through learning.”
Tonglaywein Public School was selected to be renovated in 2016 through The United Methodist Church’s collaboration with Liberia’s Ministry of Education. It brings to 11 the number of school buildings either renovated, rehabilitated or constructed by the Department of Community Services of The United Methodist Church in Liberia through its partnership with Mission Alliance, a nonprofit ecumenical organization in Norway.
The United Methodist Church locates the communities in need, finds sponsors and provides the labor throughout the implementation phase. Mission Alliance funds the rehabilitation.
Dupley said the health of the children was paramount during the renovation of the school, so builders installed a well for safe drinking water and flush toilet facilities instead of pit toilets.
“We want the children to come to school and learn in a healthy environment,” Dupley said.
Rune Oygard, country director of Mission Alliance, challenged parents to ensure that their children go to school.
“I am challenging you, so you can challenge your children and the children will challenge the teacher. Education makes lives better, that is why we want the people of Tonglaywein to send their children to the school,” he said.
The Rev. Joel Gould, administrative assistant to Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., speaking on the bishop’s behalf, called on The United Methodist Church and Mission Alliance to remain steadfast in doing good.
“Don't give up in doing good for the Liberian people,” he said.
By doing good, both institutions will be manifesting the true reasons for their existence in Liberia and to the people of Liberia, he said.
Town Chief Lawrence P. Yargao thanked The United Methodist Church and Mission Alliance for meeting the needs of the children and their parents. He said the school building will now take education to another level in Tonglaywein and the surrounding communities.
“Our children will now learn in a building that will make learning better and safe,” he said.
Swen is a communicator in Liberia. News media contact: Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tennessee, (615) 742-5470 or [email protected] To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.