Former Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai has cautioned young children, especially school-going children to prioritize education despite the hard economic challenges coupled with the high cost of living that has engulfed the country.
The Former VP Boakai made the assertions on November 21, 2020 when he served as the keynote speaker at the well-attended program marking the official launch of the Penny Worth Foundation (PWF) in Paynesville outside Monrovia.
The Former Vice President told the gathering that in these difficult times, some parents have encountered more than they can afford. “This is not the end, as there is a better tomorrow,” he warned.
The Ex-VP Boakai said the initiative that PWF has to embark upon to provide school materials and scholarships for hundreds of underprivileged children to acquire quality education is a brilliant idea worth commendation.
“I see myself in what you are doing here because I myself went to school barefooted, without copybooks, pencil, and on an empty stomach, and for people to think about this and help you, it’s worth commending,” he said.
According to him, living in a country that is becoming extremely difficult by the day, is something that is gradually affecting the minds of the younger generation for them to learn.
Former VP Boakai then admonished the students that there is a need for them to have mutual respect, discipline, honesty, morality, accountability, and commitment for everything they do so as to become successful in their educational sojourn.
Frank S. Suku, Procurement Director at the Liberia National Commission on Small Arm (LiNCSA), also told the students that their minds are unlimited in their potential to create whatever they so desire, as prosperity is not determined by their geographical locations, rather what they can produce academically.
Mr. Suku, who proxied for LiNCSA’s Chairman, Atty. Maxwell Grigsby, noted during the event that what a person becomes in life is largely determined by the content and quality of their mind.
Mr. Suku who officially launched the PWF program on behalf of the LiNCSA Chairman, said in order to help young children acquire quality education, he was horned to perform such a duty. “And on behalf of my boss we will like to launch this great program with the initial amount of L$50,000,” he declared.
Meanwhile, giving the overview of the foundation, PWF Chief Executive Officer, Wilsona Peace Wilson asserted that the formation of the institution came into being when she was at home (in the USA) watching a movie, in which she saw a child being put out of school just for US$5 (five United States Dollars). According to her, this sparked in her the motivation to return to her native Liberia, where there are plenty of similar problems, needing solutions.
According to her, knowing that she an many other Americans usually throw their pennies away, “I decided that, why can’t I just put together these pennies that are usually thrown away, and try to help save that one child who is in dire need of education, and then maybe I could move forward with another aspect later,” she narrated.
She said the idea was initially intended to help one child get access to quality education but, after much thought, she decided to expand the idea by establishing the “Penny Worth Foundation” (PWF) to help underprivileged children across Liberia.
She disclosed that during the 2017-2018 academic years, PWF made the first donation to 60 students, providing them with stationery and other materials. Penny Worth Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to address the issues of education and abuses of all forms against children.
She also added that during the 2019-2020 school year, when she came to Liberia, she was able to be a part of the team and they increased their donation to 150 students. However, Madam Wilson did not disclose the names of beneficiaries including their intuitions.
She said the PWF is currently targeting 500 students for the 2020-2021 academic school years, who she said are expected to receive school materials along with scholarships. She has further appealed to Liberians at home and abroad to see the reasons to work together in building Liberia.
The PWF Chief Executive Officer noted that at the institution, every penny matters, as it will help the less-privileged families to keep their children in school.
She noted that the goal of the organization is to strive to ensure that every child remains in school with no worries to them or their parents.
The objective of the organization, she said, is to provide social and economic opportunities to improve the lives of students through advocacy, education, and health-related programs. The organization’s focus is to have every child in school with no worries to their parents by helping young students achieve their educational goals.