The Man who devotes his Life to Helping West Point Youth
Extraordinarily, there are some people who live under certain conditions in life that leave them distressed but people like Archie, do not stop helping others who are faced with the same situations that they were once faced with.
Archie for an example is one of the people who have never given up, not even during the Ebola time when he was seen doing so much to eradicate the deadly disease from his community.
Still today, he continues to help those who were deeply affected by the deadly disease that killed over 2,000 people in one year leaving hundreds of orphans behind.
Archie Collinious Gbessaym is the founder of ME and My People Charity in WestPoint. Recently, he began running a computer literacy training program for kids 7-17 years of age, a curriculum that Archie says,” is the first of its kind in the slums.”
According to Archie, his program is highly focused on fixing whatever situation the WestPoint children are in, around the way things are done in Liberia.
“ The world right now is being driven by technology and we intend to bridge the gap to provide the skills along with the academics for those who are in school and for those who aren’t. We want to provide the means of securing their future to learn what they are learning here today,” he added.
Archie maintains that his charity’s aim is to ‘grow a young breed of professionals’ who are considered as Liberia’s future leaders.
“We are creating the means so that they can be able to do whatever it takes to support the community and country in any technical way,”
Archie himself was raised as a child under extreme hardship and says he understands the essence and condition of the children whose parents don’t have. This has led Archie to construct something that has inspired so many children and build their confidence.
“ First I did not know about the computer, but since being here, I know about it and can even show you what I know. I am happy to be here,” said Edwin Nagbe, a student.
“I am very much thankful to Archie for bringing this program here because some of our families don’t have the hand and in some communities kids are wishing to have it but they don’t. I also pray that people out there will help us with more computers so we can have more time to learn skills for those of us who don’t have. Now I have access and even know how to save my work,” says Sarafina Koffi, another student.
Meanwhile, the computer training offers a variety of lessons including “citizenship learning”.
“They learn about their basic rights and their obligation to the state,” Archie explained.
They also learn about the Liberian culture.
“ This is associated with the third component of our charity, teaching them how to create our traditional stuff. We also reflect to them the importance of our culture and tradition as a nation,” he added.
Then there is leisure time.
“We have music added to help the kids relax from the toughness of their academic work, acquiring the technical skills and home related challenges. This is their joking time,” Archie added.
Meanwhile, the school is run by a staff of seven, including three instructors with IT skills, an instructor for the citizenship classes and the culture class is run by a female tutor.
“ The seven of us are moving along so we can handle the children. In the current cycle we have 40 students who are assigned to five computers.”
According to Archie, his computers were donated by Cecelia Dorbor, “who looked at WestPoint as a whole, believed in us as a person and gave us six computers sets,” Archie added.
For now, The 40 students are broken down to two sections, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday the other is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and we have been able to move on, and yes, its fruitful.
Archie wants his dreams of helping his community to come true and says creating something that will build their capacity is his main focus.
“ I decided that I have to do something that will benefit their future and the best option was to provide knowledge. The computer classes create more knowledge and since the kids have no means of survival we created this school to beef up what they have and to secure their future. It’s my passion to save and contribute continuously to the growth of this country, especially the children,” he added.
The challenge that Archie is faced with is the fact that he does not have enough supplies and computers to handle the demands that come with running the school everyday.
“We have no extra means of support, so providing these services is a real challenge but we know there are ways to overcome. We need assistance in so many ways. We need to expand, acquire more computers, keep our current running and the rest of our appliances maintained. We need a bigger space. We need printers, laptops enough for our 41 plus students. For now we can only help 5 at a time.