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Growing Liberia's Children Responds
to Deadly Ebola Outbreak

Last summer, Growing Liberia's Children (GLC) was looking forward to the new school year and its seventh year of providing an education to children at St. Paul's school in Liberia, Africa. But no child in Liberia would return to school in the fall. Ebola had struck Africa, claiming the lives of more than 9,000 people, nearly 4,000 from Liberia alone. And in an effort to control the spread of Ebola, the Liberian government had closed all schools as well as many roads, businesses, and government offices.

These measures significantly worsened Liberia's already fragile economy and exacerbated unemployment, which before the outbreak was already at over 80%. Making matters worse, the cost of food skyrocketed in the wake of the virus, making it virtually impossible for many families to obtain even basic foodstuffs.

Out of work because of the government-imposed shut downs, many St. Paul's families and staff found it difficult just to put food on the table during the Ebola crisis. In response, GLC appealed to its supporters and hosted a brunch fundraiser on November 17, 2014, at the San Pasqual winery in La Mesa, California, catered by Terra Restaurant. The Ebola Relief Campaign yielded more than $20,000 in donations. These funds allowed GLC to provide two distributions of rice and palm oil to over one hundred families at St. Paul's school and church, as well as stipends for St. Paul's staff while the school was shuttered.

Members of the St. Paul's community shared their gratitude for this assistance. "We sincerely thank and appreciate GLC and our good friends in the United States for the grant approvals related to the Ebola crisis, which struck a deadly blow to the already drowning Liberian economy," stated J. Sando Momolu, Chairman of the Aiding Liberia's Children Board of Directors, which oversees St. Paul's school. One recipient of food stuffs wept as she received a hundred-pound bag of rice, exclaiming that it was as if the heavens had open up to pour down these blessings on her family.

GLC is also grateful to all our individual and business donors who generously donated during this time of need, as well as the San Pasqual winery and Terra Restaurant, who partnered with us in hosting the November 17 fundraiser.

News From St. Paul's School

With the apparent containment of the Ebola outbreak, Liberia's Ministry of Education announced the commencement of the school year on February 16, 2015. Still reeling from the devastating effects of the Ebola outbreak, St. Paul's teachers and students were excited to get back to the classroom. Upon their return, they were treated to St. Paul's new look, compliments of a new roof and paint job as part of a grant from GLC.

And along with a new look comes a new program structure at the school. St. Paul's has announced that the school day will now be divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session will consist of pre-school to fourth-grade classes while the afternoon session will consist of fifth through seventh-grade classes. The change will provide more room for teachers and students and contribute to a better learning environment. Looking forward, St. Paul's plans to add an eighth-grade class next year and a ninth-grade class in 2017.

GLC Provides a Helping Hand to School after Break-In

While schools remained shuttered to prevent the spread of Ebola, thieves broke into the Charles and Janet Memorial Institute, a small school serving preschool and elementary-school students in Brewerville, Liberia. The thieves stole all of the school's furnishings. Responding to an appeal by the school's principal, GLC provided funds to refurnish the school so that the children could return to school in February.

Thank You for Helping a Nation in Crisis!

Growing Liberia's Children wishes to thank you, our supporters, for making all of these efforts possible. Because of you, over two hundred children who may not otherwise be able to afford an education have been able to attend St. Paul's school since GLC began supporting it in 2008. And we have been able to lend a helping hand to other schools in need by providing school furnishings, books, and other supplies. Your ongoing contributions will help us continue to rebuild educational opportunities in Liberia.

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