The story of Beulah Nimene, an aspiring poet
Not many young people in Liberia get involved into charity, but a 19-year-old Beulah Nimene is trying to change the narrative.
An aspiring poet since her graduation from school last year, Beulah has vowed to do all it takes this year to send 15 underprivileged kids to school and at a cost of US$3k to 4k. Although the money is not available yet, Beulah says she remains confident of rising such an amount from her upcoming fundraising event dubbed the “Night of Poetry.”
“If Liberia has to get better, it is everyone’s responsibility to invest in the education of the future generation. I don’t have to be old before contributing to national government’s effort of eradicating illiteracy. Education is the key to take this country out of poverty; therefore, I cannot sit idle without helping. It is not only government’s responsibility but the responsibility of every Liberian to make this country a literary society. God blesses me with a talent so I can help others,” she said.
The upcoming poetry night, the second she has held this year, is aimed at raising US$200,000 in the next five years to educate 2000 less fortunate children across Liberia.
Fund from a fundraiser event that took place in March, according to Beulah, has been used to purchase school materials for 20 students and currently sponsor two in schools. The success of the pilot project, she said, has inspired her to extend the program.
“The result from the pilot project was impressive, so I decided to take the initiative from just buying school materials to paying kids’ school fees. The kids are indeed smart. They might be poor but upstairs they are not. And that is why they need support to continue with their education. I believe that everybody should have an opportunity for a better future.
“We could sit and talk about how messy our educational sector is or listen to UNICEF tell us how many children are missing out on school, or we could do something to help. I have chosen to help because I have realized talking never solves a problem and never will,” she said.
Although still at work on her debut poetry book, which is expected to appear next year, the aspiring poet has so far started to gain huge recognition before becoming a published poet. The biggest opportunity came last year when Beulah performed at ex-Liberian President Ellen- Johnson’s legacy party.
Beulah, who is a former most eloquent speaker of the Liberia National High School Debate Competition, focuses most of her poems on history, education and women’s rights advocacy.
According to her, this area she focuses on is very important to the growth of the country, so more awareness about it needs to be created.
“Your past shapes your future; therefore, we need to focus on our history. There is a lot that needs to be learned and which the current generation has not been taught. Education for and women’s rights are an issue that is usually overlooked,” Beulah said, adding: “People might be talking about these issues but issues discussed are not really implemented. So more awareness needs to be created in order to bring about action.”
Alex Devine, founder and chief executive officer of Youth for Change, Inc., the organization that is the organizer of Beulah’s fundraising event, described her “as a youth with a serious passion to help unfortunate kids get an education.
“Since I started knowing Beulah, her quest has been to have more unfortunate children acquire an education. She believes in the power of education and wants to help. It pains her every day to know that half of the children in Liberia are not in school and nothing much is being done to solve the problem,” Mr. Devine said.
Alex noted that just in case the targeted amount is not raised, a backup plan has already been put in place by the young poet to send 15 underprivileged children to school.