– Rev. Samuel Enders
At a recognition ceremony organized by PUSH – People United to Save Humanity – over the weekend, Samuel Enders, the founder and executive director of the African Dream Academy, who is aspiring to represent the people of Monsterrado District 6 in Paynesville, said Liberia can do better than where the country presently finds itself.
Enders said that the time has come for Liberians to ask themselves what have the people that represent them done for them in real terms since being elected.
Whether elected or not, Enders said he would like to see the lives of people improve. “As your representative, I will not be able to do everything, but together we can get a lot accomplished,” he said at the event held at the LBS Park in Paynesville.
Detailing a life that started with rummaging through the dumpsters of Bong Mines as one of nine kids who started primary school at age 15, Enders said the harshness of life coupled with his experiences during the war led him to ultimately become a humanitarian. He said politics would not have been his natural course had he not been petitioned five times, four of which he declined, by the people of District 6.
Known for his African Dream Academy which he started with 144 kids but now educates over 1,000, most of whom study at the school gratis (free of charge), his clinic that provides free postnatal care to mothers and children six years old and under, and the institute that provides free education to women, Enders is an ordained Baptist minister with a Master’s in Divinity. He is a former staff at the Indiana Community Hospital in the USA. During the Ebola crisis, Enders is remembered for converting a bus into an ambulance that he donated to ELWA hospital.
The District 6 representative aspirant said that he focuses on women for the free education because apart from being sidelined in society, he found out that these mothers of the majority of the children who attend his academy were not working, but were keenly interested in empowering themselves through education. “So I decided that since I have helped the fathers by taking care of the children’s school fees, let me also do something for the mothers,” he said, to make his largesse evenhanded.
Enders was invited to speak by PUSH in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the people of District 6. According to members of the organization, they also invited Enders to see how he can bolster their efforts to reclaim wayward youth and abused women back into society through an active partnership. Enders, who was open to the suggestion, said he would like to help Liberians more and that his election as representative of Montserrado District 6 would see the district’s budget allocations go to development projects that would help create jobs, especially for the youth and women.
During the event, Enders was implored by the crowd that had gathered at the LBS Park to hear the humanitarian turned politician, to consider opening a drug rehabilitation center to cater to “us who are traumatized but receive no help from the state.” The District 6 hopeful said that he would look into it and call up a few favors from friends in the Diaspora who are willing to help Liberians. He said that drug rehabilitation is a holistic process that requires the commitment of the addict and the service provider for real healing to take place. Asked about his plans for the disabled, Enders said that the disabled are a part of society and should have the necessary assistance to make a contribution to the development of not only the country, but also their lives.
The recognition event ended with the aspirant making a small donation to PUSH to help further the aims of the organization.