Monrovia – Alfalit International beneficiary Mrs. Amelia Doeyou has urged the Liberian government and wealthy Liberians to remember the nations’ less fortunate and illiterate people, and to prioritize their advancement through the national education agenda.
Delivering the keynote address at a program marking the 10th anniversary of the adult literacy organization’s presence in Liberia, Mrs. Doeyou spoke on the theme: “Don’t Forget the Poor People” and hailed Alfalit for having transformed her life and enabled her to become a professional.
Recalling her “humbled Christian background,” wherein she “could not read and write a word,” Mrs. Doeyou said that after attending the Alfalit literacy classes, she is “now able to read and write in English.”
Describing education as “a sweet juice” and good education as a key to being able to “speak before kings and queens who have attained high academic excellence,” the pastor’s wife said that Alfalit’s adult literacy lessons have liberated her “from the disease of illiteracy to become light in the darkness.”
She charged Alfalit International to continue its expansion to all of Liberia’s 15 counties, and appealed to the partners of Alfalit International and Liberia-Ghana Missions to expand their scope to include vocational training in catering, exterior and interior decor, pastry making and other marketable courses, as part of their plans for the next ten years.
Addressing her fellow Liberians in government and society at large, Mrs. Doeyou said “it is disgraceful for many Liberians to have been deprived of basic education,” and urged market women in all parts of the country to take advantage of Alfalit’s adult literacy program.
She added that all wealthy and well-organized Liberians must replicate Alfalit’s impact, and “always think of the poor Liberians at the various market places and slum communities in the country.”
The seamstress then closed her remarks by sounding a clarion call to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai and other stakeholders in education to place adult literacy on the national agenda for education.
“Twelve years ago,” she said, “we were the same people who elected you as President and Vice President. We want you to double your support to Alfalit International in order to reach our people in all parts of our country with the adult literacy program.”
Mrs. Doeyou’s is but one in a hundred thousand similar stories across Liberia where Alfalit has spread its wave of free adult literacy over the course of a decade.
Reflecting on the organization’s legacy, Alfalit International Founder Dr. Joseph Milton of Cuba and the USA said after ten years of Alfalit Liberia’s progressive, sustained and consecutive work in the country, his organization will continue to reach out to benefit more Liberians.
“I continue to come to Liberia,” he said, “because it is my desire to see adult Liberians get that basic and professional education for the future development of your country.”
Echoing Dr. Milton’s commitment, Alfalit International Liberia Executive Director Rev. Emmanuel J. Giddings expressed delight for Alfalit’s success while stressing the mission’s resolve to build upon it.
Rev. Giddings reflected on the program’s impact over ten years of “uninterrupted provision of adult literacy lessons to 100, 000 Liberian adults at 83 centers and school dropouts.”
“Our mission over the years,” he continued, “has been to help Liberians wherever they are in our country and give our people the light of literacy that will free them from the disease of ignorance, neglect and manipulation.”
Earlier, the Bishop of the United Methodist Church of the Liberia Annual Conference (UMCLAC) John G. Innis thanked Rev. Giddings and his team “for upholding the spirit of his assignment for the past ten years in the adult literacy program in Liberia,” and thanked Alfalit
International for its commitment to its Liberia program for the past ten years.
“Alfalit has actually transformed many lives, especially our market women, chiefs and deprived sections of our population in our country,” he said.
The USAID Education Team Leader, Dr. Malcolm Phelps, expressed gratitude for Alfalit’s work and pledged USAID Liberia’s support to the program in its quest to spread adult literacy throughout the country.