LINKS Rescues Blind School

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Students at the School rendering selection .jpg

An American-based non-profitable organization-Links Incorporation, with a sense of sorrow and human feeling, has made a significant cash donation of US$4,000 to the School for the Blind (visually impaired persons).

The school, located in Virginia, Lower Montserrado County, is at the primary level. It is at present, undergoing a vigorous renovation exercise initiated by the government, through the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The money is intended to purchase additional teaching equipment for the visually impaired pupils and other essentials for the upkeep of the students and staffers.

Established over 35 years ago, under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW), the School for the Blind, like any other institutions in the country, suffered the devastating effects of the 14 long-year civil crisis.

Mrs. Rose Mends-Cole Sherman, who presented the cash on behalf of Links Inc, was then the Assistant Minister in charge of School Welfare, while Ms Sharon Richardson, through whose instrumentality the money was made available, was the director of rehabilitation.

By her position then, Ms Richardson played a key role in the establishment of the School for the Blind, and continued her interest and support to the school up to the time she left the MOH/SW.

Based on her conviction to help the visually impaired persons (blind), she became so involved in getting the Links Inc. to secure an initial amount of the US$4,000 to rescue the blind students from their present affliction (woes, misery).

Links Inc. is an organization of professional black women-who are spread across the United States of America (USA).

Fortunately for the blind students in Liberia, Ms Richardson is a physically–financially powerful member of the Links Inc. who is all set to assist the School for the Blind as well as other schools ravaged (damaged) in post-war Liberia.

 While presenting the money recently to the Minister of Education Etmonia David Tarpeh, Mrs. Sherman, among other things, disclosed that the Links Inc. has earlier provided funds for the renovation of the library at the School for the Blind and sent several boxes of books and teaching equipment (aids) to help augment reading skill of the visually impaired pupils.

According to Mrs. Sherman, through the effort of Ms. Richardson, the Links Inc. has also shipped a container of books scheduled to arrive in Monrovia ‘very shortly.’

The books, she said, are being shipped through an organization called “Books for Africa,” and are expected to be distributed upon arrival among other schools that the entity is lending support to in the country.

Minister Tarpeh who received the money before turning same over to the principal of the School for the Blind, expressed her Ministry’s gratitude to the management of Links Inc.

Minister Tarpeh was particularly grateful to Ms Richardson for her innovation in making sure to secure the money for the Blind School, and the books to improve their reading skill.

According to him, though the school is undergoing renovation, the challenges are enormous-some of which include, the lack of computer, “because the few set of manual typewriters have become outdated and even non-functional.”

 Another disappointing situation at the school as recorded by Mr. Suah is the lack of electricity, a situation that has caused most of the students to drop out of school.

  He said, it was also saddened that most of the blind students, who completed the primary level would have no means to secure scholarships as well as some kind of financial assistance to continue their educational sojourn, so they often drop from school, only to return to the streets and become virtually destitute street beggars.

Giving the statistical breakdown, he disclosed that the current enrollment is only 27; seven of them females.

The money donation ceremony was attended by several other senior staff at the MOE including two consultants, Olivia Shannor and Lauretta Reffel, who is responsible for “Special Education.”

The LINKS  INCORPORATED

This year, the Links Incorporated celebrated more than 65 years as a women's volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing services that change lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946 is alive and well.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision-makers and opinion leaders. The entity has attracted many distinguished women-who are individual achievers and, who have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers, who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.

With more than two million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually.

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