The Senwah Foundation, a non-profit organization, has completed a US$10,000 modern latrine for the Mani Public School in Grand Cape Mount County, to help improve hygiene by addressing challenges faced by students and teachers when using the restroom.
The dedication ceremony, held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, was attended by citizens of Mani Town, District Education Officer Mambu Golafale, Cllr. Oswald Tweh, and other prominent citizens of the county. According to officials of the organization, the goal of this project is to help enhance students’ access to modern sanitary facilities in order to improve hygiene and help reduce the spread of diseases caused by open-air defecation in bushes and surrounding areas. This is in keeping with the organization’s mission to transform minds and rebuild lives. The goal is to enhance the school and the lives of children in improving sanitation and proper hygiene.
The students were excited when they saw the new modern bathroom. “This is my first to use a modern bathroom,” a student said. She added, “We have never seen anything like this before that looks like a sitting place.”
Deputy Labor Minister Atty. Phil T. Dixon, who served as guest speaker for the dedication ceremony, said the foundation has given back to the community and it is time for beneficiaries to play their role by maintaining the facility.
“As young people, especially students, we have the responsibility to keep our environment clean. Today, Ms. Jassie-Fredcia Senwah, Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation, wants you to have a good memory of this school while pursuing your education,” Atty. Dixon said.
He said parents also have the responsibility to determine their children’s future, urging them not to associate their children’s future with people who have failed in the family or in society.
“Many times, we align our children’s future to some of the bad people in the community by saying you will be like your silly uncle or aunt, or you will be a criminal and even say you are useless. What we tell our children is very important and also helps to determine their future,” Atty. Dixon cautioned parents.
He called on students to be studious as they continue to receive support for their education.
The school has an enrollment of 150 students, with three government-paid teachers, including the new and former principals, an increase from the last 3 years; and there are volunteer teachers who are supported by Senwah Foundation.
“Today, the Senwah Foundation has transformed the Mani Public School through the establishment of a reading room, distribution of copybooks to students, book bags, chairs, painting of the school, providing supplies for teachers and now a state-of-the-art bathroom,” Lisa T. Fahnbulleh, former principal of the school, said.
District Education Officer (DEO), Mambu Golafale said the Senwah Foundation continues to complement the efforts of the Ministry of Education in the county while calling on the Foundation to continue the support to better the lives of children and students in particular.
“This shows that Ms. Jassie-Fredcia Senwah has not forgotten her roots, even while in the US. We want you to do more as the school and students need you more,” Mr. Golafale added.
Mr. Golafale further called on the school’s administration not to send students home for lack of fees or tuition, as funds generated by the school will be spent on the students and not taken anywhere.
According to Ms. Jassie-Fredcia Senwah, a parent of one of the students will be responsible for keeping the bathroom clean and the Foundation will continue to cover costs and provide supplies.
Ms. Senwah has emphasized that it is important that we invest in children’s education and in the future of Liberia as well as the development of the world.
The project coordinator, Varney Freeman, said since the commencement of the project in mid-2016, Ms. Senwah has been instrumental in ensuring that the young people acquire better education and quality of life, especially having access to such a facility.
Mr. Freeman said the completion of the project has been very challenging for them, considering the location of the school.
Freeman said that the Foundation has been helpful in transforming and improving the learning environment of the Mani public school, an initiative that is being welcomed by parents and the school’s authorities.
Helena Fahnbulleh, a 4th Grade student, said the students were grateful to the Senwah Foundation for the support over the years and which she continues to provide for the Mani Public School.
Dr. Jeanetta Johnson, who is the mother of Ms. Jassie-Fredcia Senwah, said they continue to give back to society through initiatives that they are always pleased to undertake.
Dr. Johnson told beneficiaries that the foundation will continue to support them, because building minds and rebuilding lives are crucial to the development of Liberia, especially during these difficult times.
She said having a concrete elementary foundation at the Mani Public School would give rise to extending the school to a junior high level as well as to a high school in the future.
“We still have a lot of work to do. You just need to express gratitude to members of the board, the hard working team members on the ground like Rev. Varney Freeman, Mohammed Jeneka, Maier Goodrige, Utaf Howard, the team in the US, and the donor community for the level of support,” Dr. Johnson said.
Ms. Senwah would also like to thank and acknowledge Bryant Goll, Tom Pollee, Baba Building Supplies Stores, Serdou Passawe and Makiniko Arts.
Additionally, Mohammed Jeneka, Program Coordinator, will be speaking to students on how to use the bathroom, washing their hands and practicing proper hygiene.