In an upstairs corner of a church on 5th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia sits Warrior Arts Christian Academy (WACA) Liberia, an initiative organized to ensure and empower young children, who would otherwise have become street sellers and breadwinners for their families, become more responsible and productive citizens in their society through their talents.
The founder and executive director, Latty Zarwu, an artist by divine inspiration, has been using his artistic skills to train and develop children in the areas of arts and craft in his community and beyond for over the period of eight years. A former model, Zarwu is also a Liberian journalist by training, a poet and a musician. He obtained a degree in journalism from the Abraham Lincoln College of Professional Studies and says he was inspired by God to establish WACA.
In 2014 he brought together 40 kids between the ages of 7-17 years in a 3 months intensive training in painting, crafting and sewing. Most of his students are children but he offers special classes to young adults who are also passionate about the works being taught.
Classes are offered three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-5pm at their local office 5th Street.
Since his project started in 2014, Zarwu has graduated many other kids and young adults in a certificate program. The youngest of them to receive a certificate was student Maryann Nassa, who is 7 years old but has passion for arts and crafts.
Zarwu has also worked with many schools and organizations teaching arts and craft to over 1,000 children in Liberia, some of who have become entrepreneurs and teach in their schools and communities.
WACA has so far been self-funded with in-kind support from local businesses including Alley Printing Press, the Daily Observer and the Royal Grand Hotel. WACA has a kiosk in the lobby of the Royal Grand, located on 15th Street, where crafts produced by students from the school are available for sale. Zarwu says the institution needs more financial and human resources to help hasten the institution to achieve its vision and goals.
He said the vision and aim of WACA is to build a unique kind Arts Theater in Liberia where everyone will have the chance to create, perform and demonstrate their artistic abilities and work with national, regional and international organizations for the well-being and human development of undeserved and disadvantaged children, youths and people.