From Sitting in Poverty to Standing with the President
About a decade ago, Andrew Brown and I went to Liberia. I would like to share with you the article I wrote when we returned to the U.S. As you read about the young adults who pledged to change Liberia, you have to wonder—did they? On the next page, you will see where they are now. – Milt
I have a lot of hope for Liberia today. After returning from my recent trip to Liberia, I have hope because of the children that CRF sponsors there.
Things are changing politically in Liberia. Recently, Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, gave his final testimony at The Hauge in his trial where he was charged with crimes against humanity. He ran the country of Liberia like a crime boss more than a political leader. He not only committed brutal atrocities against all kinds of people, but he also ruined the country in the process with economic upheavals and wars. He is getting his just reward.
Now the country has a good leader, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. She is an astute leader, and she is a good example in leading the way with honesty and justice. Johnson-Sirleaf has changed the country from a place of war to a place of peace. Economic revival is beginning to be seen in most parts of the country. And her vision of a new Liberia full of peace and prosperity is being caught in the hearts of the people.
Maybe the biggest downfall of the war was the shutting down of schools. It is so hard to recover as a country when children are being neglected and uneducated.
During my trip, I met with ten students who had been sponsored through CRF at the beginning of the war and the start of the Ford-Madden Christian Academy, our school that emerged when most others were falling apart. They thanked CRF because not only had they gone to elementary and secondary school, but they also had been sponsored by CRF to attend Cuttington University, the Harvard of Liberia. They spoke about how they hoped to be the new generation who would change Liberia.
The morning after my meeting with the students I opened the main Liberian newspaper. As I looked at the newspaper, I saw a picture of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – the President who was taking the country into the future. And who was standing right next to her? It was Togar Tarpeh. Then I glanced to the right. Do you know who was there? Moses Zolue. The article said that these young men and women were being mentored in a special program by the President in order to become future leaders of Liberia. And who are Togar and Moses? They are two of the young men who met with me the night before to thank CRF for their education. Indeed, they had already been chosen to change Liberia!
Who would have thought that 14 years ago when a few people started sponsoring displaced, war-torn children in one of the most unstable places in Africa that they would be paving the way for a school that will likely become the best school in Liberia and is already producing the future leaders?
There are still many children there who need support. Can you help? You can already see where your support leads.
As it says on the door that leads into the compound that is the Ford-Madden Christian Academy in Monrovia: “It’s easier to build children than to repair men.”
Yes they did!
Those students kept their word. They are changing Liberia.
Here’s what four of them are doing now.
Johnny graduated in 2005 from CRF’s Ford Madden High School in Monrovia. After graduation, Johnny went to China and became a medical doctor.
“I am working as a physician in Liberia. I work at Redemption Hospital in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. I am also about to pursue a M.Sc. in sexual and reproductive medicine at the University of South Wales in the UK.”
TOGAR SAYE TARPEH
After graduation at Ford Madden High School, Togar completed a Master of Arts in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation.
I’m am currently working in Liberia as a Peacebuilding Project Officer. I support the strengthening of early warning and response mechanisms, county peace committees, and other infrastructures for conflict prevention by promoting conflict reduction in the 15 counties. Through organization and facilitation of political reconciliation dialogues, civic engagement, public participation in election related activities, and promotion of youth leadership in peacebuilding—I am helping bring peace to the historically war torn country of Liberia.”
GONDAH MOSES ZOLUE
Moses recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Soil Science from Texas Tech University.
I am currently working as a Soil Scientist at the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia. I plan on working with the University of Liberia to help set up a graduate program in Agronomy and revamp the plant and soil laboratory. I also plan on collaborating with other scientists to classify Liberian soils.
When the lab at the University becomes functional, soil and plant analysis will be conducted. The results will be used by local farmers to make informed decisions as to what to plant and what amount of nutrients are needed for optimal growth. This will be used to improve farming effectiveness in Liberia.
J WHYEAYEE T DIGGS
After graduating from Ford Madden in 2006, J Whyeayee pursued and graduated with a medical degree in 2019.
“I am a Medical Officer in psychiatry and will be starting my residency in September by God’s grace.”
Aren’t you proud of these students? Indeed, they are changing Liberia. We are thankful to the sponsors who helped to bring change to these four lives.
About Christian Relief Fund
CRF is a non-profit relief organization based in Amarillo, Texas with a focus on holistic programs to rescue orphans and vulnerable children from poverty.
CRF operates child sponsorship programs in over 25 countries and is dedicated to providing food, clean water, healthcare and disaster relief to the glory of God worldwide.