Church in Liberia renovates public school in rural village


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 is associate director of the Department of Community Services of The United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

Adolphus Dupley is associate director of the Department of Community Services of The United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

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.

Members of the Mosaic Gospel Choir of Norway sample traditional African Kola nuts during the dedication of a new public school funded by Mission Alliance, part of the Church of Norway. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

Members of the Mosaic Gospel Choir of Norway sample traditional African Kola nuts during the dedication of a new public school funded by Mission Alliance, part of the Church of Norway. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

“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 newsdesk@umcom.org. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Mission and Ministry
Students eat in the cafeteria at Africa University, which serves about 1,200 people during lunch and dinner. To manage during tough economic times, the food services department has been stocking up on food and managing portions. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UM News.

Africa University ‘prunes and grows’ to stay afloat

United Methodist university looks for ways to save money as economic challenges continue to plague the country.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. Julius Sarwolo Nelson kicks the ball during a soccer match between youth and young adults in Monrovia, Liberia.  A scholarship fund to help young people in rural communities has been named after Nelson, who is an elder at Refuge United Methodist Church. Photo by E Julu Swen, UM News.

Young people in Liberia raise money for scholarships

The scholarships will target young people in rural communities and will help with the group’s efforts to recruit more youth to the ministry of the church.
Theology and Education
Peter Alfred Jusu, 15, works on a generator engine during hands-on training at the new Taiama Enterprise Academy in Taiama, Sierra Leone, on Oct. 15. Envisioned four years ago, the school is a hybrid of hands-on vocational and entrepreneurship training designed to address the problems of unemployment and poverty. Photo by Duramani Massavoi, Taiama Enterprise Academy.

Sierra Leone Conference opens first entrepreneur school

United Methodist Taiama Enterprise Academy offers hands-on vocational and entrepreneurship training to high-performing students.