The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) recently dedicated the first ever high school constructed in Royesville, Lower Montserrado County.
The school is named Rebecca James High School in honor of the late Rebecca James, a daughter of Royesville who resided in Queens, New York, USA.
Prior to her demise, Madam James, in her will, instructed her lawyer to sell her estate in the US, and use the proceeds to construct a school in Royesville, Liberia as a gift to the children of the township.
“This development,” a resident observed, “represents another demonstration of the YMCA’s regular service to the needy, humanity, society and future leaders of the country.”
The dedicatory ceremony was headed by former Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Hawa Goll-Kotchi, who appealed to parents and community leaders to help government achieve its educational goals by ensuring that their children remain in school.
The government, she said, will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure that schools operate properly by providing quality education.
Madam Goll-Kotchi applauded the late Madam Rebecca James for providing her personal resources to construct the “Rebecca James High School.” “Madam James’ fine example is worthy of emulation by other individuals who can give back to their communities when it becomes necessary to do so,” Madam Goll-Kotchi said.
According to her, the Liberian government will continue to prioritize education through budgetary allocations for the proper running and maintenance of the sector.
She then urged citizens to work with the government and other well-wishers to achieve the development objectives of the country, adding, ‘It takes the joint power of citizens to accomplish such a vital mission of rebuilding a nation.”
Madam Goll-Kotchi said, “I really hope that this dedication ceremony will serve as an inspiration to many of us that have travelled to foreign lands not to forget our home.”
Mr. Edward Gboe, National General Secretary of YMCA Liberia in an overview of the project, told the gathering that one early morning while he was driving his son to his school, he received an international call from the late Madam Rebecca James’ lawyers in the United States.
The lawyer asked him whether he was the YMCA Secretary in Liberia, and then he answered in the affirmative.
“Another question that came from the lawyer was whether I knew the late Rebecca James; a daughter of Royesville in Liberia and a resident of Queens, New York. I responded in the negative since that was the first time I had heard that name,” Gboe explained.
The American lawyer said, “Madam James left her Will with me and said when she dies, her estate should be sold and the funds generated used to build a school for the children of Royesville.”
The following month, Gboe said he traveled to the United States to make all the necessary follow ups and at long last the estate was sold and the proceeds channeled through the YMCA of the USA and was implemented by the Liberia YMCA.
The school, which cost over US$22,000 dollars in construction, has six classrooms, two dormitory apartments and an elementary school.