More than 350 children in Butaw Community and its surroundings are enjoying a new High School and a teacher’s residence with a full sanitation facility valued at USD$128,000 constructed and dedicated recently by the oil palm company in southeastern Liberia, Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc. (GVL).
According to a GVL release, the projects are in fulfillment of many project commitments made to the people of Butaw in the Memorandum of Understanding Incorporating Social Agreement (MOUSA) signed between GVL and Butaw District Communities on February 10, 2017.
The construction of the High School in the area which is the first of its kind, now avoid students from traveling long distances to acquire a high school education.
Prior to the dedication, the company provided 350 pieces of armchairs and several teaching and learning materials to support the school and rescue students from sitting on concrete blocks, and baboon plated chairs.
Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony held on the school campus, GVL Vice President for Sustainability, Strategy, and Stakeholder’s engagement, Elvis G. Morris, lauded his team and the people of Butaw for the collaboration and said that the company is faced with many challenges but remains committed to fulfilling the promises made in the Memorandum of Understanding and Social Agreements signed between the Butaw Community and Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc.
“Thanks to those who made us to be here today to present valuable infrastructure that will bring life to our children for the future. The company will continue to work with local communities to improve social and economic opportunities,” said Mr. Morris.
Mr. Morris further disclosed that GVL has been spending over US$290,000 this year to support schools in its concession areas in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties under its GVL Educational Support (GES) program.
The GES Program is intended to support the educational needs of both GVL employees’ dependents and pupils from the surrounding communities. He added that the program will run for three years beginning academic 2020/2021.
Stressing the importance of education, the GVL Vice President for Sustainability, Strategy, and Stakeholder’s engagement called on the community to take advantage of the facility by encouraging their children to make use of the opportunity, as they are the future managers of the company.
He then thanked the Ministry of Education for the support and collaboration.
For her part, the Regional Coordinator for Basic and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education thanked GVL Management for constructing such a modern facility and the support to education.
Madam Evelyna Kandakai who represented the Asst. Minister for Basic and Secondary Education said the decision by GVL to invest in education was never a mistake as education helps in the development of personalities, personal standards and transform the living standard of the life of every individual.
“your decision to invest in education was never a mistake” she cautioned. Madam Kandakai called on the community to support the GVL investment in order to benefit more developments, urging them to properly Manage the School for its longevity.
Chairman of Butaw Abloateh Committee, Mr. Benedict Manawah, the Chairman of the Butaw Community Development Fund Committee, Mr. Doegmah Teah thanked the Management of Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc., for being committed to the MOU signed with the community and acknowledged the many contributions GVL have made in Butaw citing the construction of the Butaw seaside road, Cedar Road as some of the many developments implemented by the company.” GVL is doing a lot of good things here in Butow and if anyone says GVL is doing nothing, that person is ungrateful. “he lamented.
Mr. Manawah further assured that the people of Butow are willing to provide more land to the company for oil palm development as there has been peaceful co-existence between the two parties.
Receiving the keys to the facility, the principal of the Butow School, Charles Tarpeh thanked GVL for the facility and pledged that the School will be properly managed and taken care of for community children’s benefit.