In an effort to ensure access to quality education, ‘The Gentlemen Club’, a group of Liberians based in Pennsylvania (USA), has donated textbooks valued at US$25,000 to the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine of the University of Liberia.
The donation ceremony was held Tuesday, December 11, at the campus of the medical school in Congo Town. The ceremony brought together officials of ‘The Gentlemen Club,’ students of the college and faculty members.
The Club’s Chairman, Jerry Yogboh, said ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ was delighted to be in Liberia and to make the donation to the country’s education sector, an initiative which, they believe, will positively impact society.
Mr. Yogboh said “We were able to raise funds to purchase over 500 different medical books. These books were not just purchased from the store or shelf, but The Gentlemen’s Club worked with the college’s authorities in Liberia who provided a list of the books they needed for the college.”
He said the organization worked with the Pennsylvania Medical School; one of the leading medical schools in the United States to assist ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ in selecting the books.
Mr. Yogboh called on the students to be good custodians of the books and ensure that other students also have the opportunity to use it in the years to come.
“We have various types of books and five cartons of reams of sheets. We hope that the papers will be used for printing of tests and others by the college,” Mr. Yogboh said.
According to him, the organization is also planning to make a donation of chairs to various schools in Monrovia and its environs, especially needy schools. “We intend to also focus on seating capacity of students, which is also important for students,” he said.
Sherman Adams, Dean of the Medical School and vice president of the Health Sciences, said he was honored by the donation, describing it as timely for the college and the student body.
Dean Adams recounted that the college of health sciences is fast expanding, which includes three schools and public health that is shortly expected to be launched, as well as other schools of health sciences.
“This gift of textbooks came at the right moment as the college will be transitioning early 2019. We are moving the pre-clinical division of the medical school from its Congo Town campus to the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia (UL),” Dean Adams said.
According to him, the dormitory and classrooms were already prepared but needed few things to make the lives of the students better, indicating that the delay was also due to the shortage of medical books for students who will transition on Fendell Campus.
“We need to set up a reading room, which can be expanded into a library. We will now use these books to begin the process, thereby addressing one of the major problems faced by the college,” he said.
“We have a plan of providing assistance to organizations back home and in the US. We also intend to serve as a role model for young people. We feel humbled to identify with the college and the students,” said Christopher Souh also a member of the Gentlemen’s Club.
According to Souh, the donation of the textbooks is the first major undertaking by the organization and there are further plans to make some huge donation in the upcoming year with a focus on high schools and colleges.
“We also intend to establish a bridge between the A. M. Dogliotti College and the University of Pennsylvania, which will create more opportunity for you. Again, we hope that the textbooks will be properly managed for current and future generations,” Mr. Souh said.
“I have seen the shortage of medical practitioners. We think it’s healthy for you to focus and be part of this profession. We are pleased that you continue to stand for the health sector of Liberia. I have been in Liberia for the past seven months doing research in the health sector,” he added.
Kodjo N. Tehoungue, vice president of the Liberia Medical Students Association lauded the organization and promised to ensure that the books are properly managed.