Vice President Joseph Boakai yesterday met with Alfalit International president, Dr. Joseph Milton and his team who are in Liberia for the tenth anniversary celebration of the organization’s Adult Literacy Program in the country.
VP Boakai and Dr. Milton held discussions on adult literacy issues with the hope of improving and expanding Alfalit’s endeavours in Liberia.
VP Boakai reiterated the Liberian government’s gratitude to Alfalit for the role it has played and continues to play in the education of adults, especially women in the country.
VP Boakai pointed out how the Alfalit education program has helped many Liberian adults change their way of thinking and has empowered them to make informed decisions and choices.
“We should always be grateful to Alfalit Adult Literacy Program in our country and such gratitude should be extended to you, Dr. Milton, because you and your team are the roving ambassadors in education,” VP Boakai said.
He assured Dr. Milton and his delegation that the Liberian government’s support to Alfalit International remains steadfast.
“Many of us have not taken note that many of our citizens who are of voting age should be educated and adequately informed so that they can make informed decisions at the polls,” VP Boakai said.
In his remarks, Dr. Milton expressed gratitude for VP Boakai’s endorsement for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to fund the project.
The budget to run the adult literacy and skills training program in Liberia is estimated at US$1 million.
Dr. Milton however regretted that for the past couple of years, funding for the program has not been forth coming, but said he was happy that the program had continued uninterrupted.
He reaffirmed Alfalit’s commitment to support the adult literacy, skills training and micro finance lending initiatives in the country, which have provided basic education to 100,000 beneficiaries since 2006.
For his part, Alfalit International Liberia’s executive director, Reverend Emmanuel J. Giddings, said the organization’s program has been consistent since it was launched in 2006.
Giddings recalled how VP Boakai donated several cartons of tuna fish to the entity during the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014 as part of the VP’s support to the organization’s outreach projects.
Alfalit International Liberia’s Board Chairman, Kenneth Y. Best also recalled how a few years ago, VP Boakai donated three mini generators for the smooth running of the adult literacy program.
Mr. Best said in 2006, he reminded the government and Liberians that it was possible to attain a 100 percent literate population in five years with concrete commitment from all stakeholders.
He regretted how many Liberians took his assertion out of context except for Rev. Giddings and Bishop John G. Innis of the United Methodist Church who understood that assertion.
“We are not yet there, but by the grace of God and support from the Liberian government and partners, we will one day
make our country functionally literate,” Mr Best said.
The Alfalit adult literacy since 2006 has targeted marketers and school drop outs in most parts of rural Liberia.
In addition to the adult literacy program, Alfalit International Liberia has added tailoring skills training in which marketers are enrolled.