YALI Liberia Cohort 15 Gives Orphanage a Facelift

YALI Liberia Cohort 15 after painting several structures at the Martha Sayklon Orphanage School

Saturday, January 25, 2020 was a joyful day for the children and Founders of the Rev. Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage home on Bong Mines Road, Kakata, Margibi County when they gladly received a group of Young African Leaders alumni who recently returned from the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) training in Accra, Ghana, to give back to their community.

Prior to the team’s visit, Jacob Jomah, team leader for YALI Cohort 15-Liberia, went and assessed the 1st Sherman community on the Bong Mines Road and discovered that the Peter Sayklon Orphanage home was one of the orphanages desperately in need of a facelift.

Upon arrival, he met Martha T. W. Sayklon, Founder of the orphanage, who told him that the Orphanage has not been painted since 2006.

“You didn’t come here by yourselves; it was God who directed you. People usually say our Orphanage is too far and hard to locate, but as long as the world was made by God, this Orphanage is ideal because God knows us by name”, Madam Sayklon said.

girls' dormitory at the Rev. Peter Sayklon orphanage
The girls’ dormitory at the Rev. Peter Sayklon orphanage, before the painting

The Peter Sayklon Orphanage caters to children, most of who are between ages 1 thru 17 and some ages 18-20. Mother Sayklon said though they are adults, “we are still responsible for them.”

Rev. Peter Sayklon Orphanage was established on October 10, 1993, with the aim of rendering services to humanity through the Orphanage home. “Our own contribution to society is to bring together missing children, orphans, and wayward children. We cannot keep waiting for the government to do everything”, Mother Sayklon explained.

11-year-old Ronell Toe, in her welcome remarks, said during the war; some of the children were overlooked, hopeless and left alone but, because God cares for mankind and His children, “We are seeking refuge at Rev. and Mot. Peter Sayklon Orphanage Home.”

Ronell continued: “If we have no feeding, medication, education, and protection, we will remain vulnerable and become violent in the society, but if we are given proper training and have the fear of God; tomorrow, we will be people of integrity.”

During the welcoming ceremony, Mot. Sayklon lauded the team for remembering them and bringing resources to upkeep the Orphanage.

Mot. Martha Sayklon cried on her knees: “Oh YALI, you are so special!”

Crying on her knees, she said: “Oh YALI, you are so special!” You left your homes and came to paint ours. You need these resources, especially in an economy like this, but you chose us. God bless you!”

Some of the items donated were: Rice, soap, oil, cooking cubes and paint, among other items.

The orphanage has two dormitories (one for boys and the other for girls) and a school building. Both buildings received a new coat of paint by the YALI team who also encouraged the children to accept education and practice home training because they are the leaders for tomorrow.

Korpo Jensen, one of the young leaders, thanked Mot. Sayklon for her tireless efforts and resources used in instilling moral values and ethics in every child. “No child was made accidentally, there’s an internal purpose in the life of every child because they are destined characters”, she added.

The YALI Liberia Cohort 15 team were trained not only as entrepreneurs and policymakers but as servant leaders who care about others and are willing to go the extra mile for the sake of others, while developing their communities and developing people. This is Servant Leadership which is akin to African concept of ‘Ubuntu’, which is “the essence of being human.”

The team later assured the founders of the orphanage that they will return because there is much more to be done with the children and the school.

Rev. Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage
After painting: The girls and boys dormitory at Rev. Peter W. Sayklon Orphanage on Bong Mines Road.

The YALI Liberia Cohort 15 comprises 13 Liberians who were selected by the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Accra, Ghana to participate in the 15th Cohort of transformational leaders in November 2019. The community outreach is one of the requirements for the YALI program, when young leaders return to their respective home countries.

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Lisa Lumeh is an emerging communications personnel. She holds a B.A. degree in Mass Communication from the African Methodist Episcopal University in Liberia. She joined the Daily Observer in 2012 as an Administrative Assistant. Since then, she has enhanced her personal and professional development in the field of communications. Lisa loves writing and reporting on issues that concerns the development of youth and women in Liberia and Africa. She has certificates in Media and Communications from the Journalists and Writers Association Foundation in New York, USA; Civic Engagement from the Young African Leadership Initiative-Regional Leadership Center, YALI-RLC, Accra, Ghana along with several others in women's Leadership and community engagement.


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