The ELWA Academy in Paynesville, outside Monrovia yesterday launched the ELWA Academy Skateboard Club with 72 students from the lower and upper classes.
According to the club’s director, Pastor Arthur T. Williams, the launch is meant to offer the students a different form of recreation as “all work without play makes Jack a dull boy.”
“We selected students from the lower and upper classes,” Director Williams said, “to become members of the club. In fact we were interested in students who showed interest in the sport.”
Helping the students with materials for the sport is the non-for-profit organization, Foundation for Women, whose founder and chief executive officer, Madam Deborah Lindholm, donated 18 helmets and 18 skateboards to the club.
Madam Lindholm yesterday arranged the students and encouraged them to have fun, after national skateboard coach Nathaniel Williams introduced the sport with a lecture and demonstration.
Lindholm said the club is aiming to get 500 members. Yesterday’s presentation had two sessions. The first group was students from the 5th and 6th grades and the second session included students in the junior and senior high schools of the academy.
After Coach Williams’ lecture and demonstration, the students were helped to climb onto their skateboards, and as they struggled to gain balance, laughter filled the venue.
The Daily Observer learned that training is set for every Wednesday afternoon at the academy’s campus. “We have asked the students to let their parents agree for the kids to become members of the club and they would do this by committing their signatures to letters we gave them,” Ms. Lindholm said.
Foundation for Women (FFW) recently held its ten-year anniversary, under the theme ‘Fighting Poverty in Liberia.”
The organization worked in partnership with Edify, a Christian non-profit organization in San Diego, California, in the United States. FFW offered loans and adult literacy classes, including scholarships for children.
Madam Lindholm said 40,000 women in urban and rural communities benefited from the organization’s microloans that empower rural women.
Charles Naiwah – FFW’s program manager – said the lives of their beneficiaries, mostly women, were gradually transformed through their non-collateral, low-interest loans.
“We do not only provide money for women to do business we also teach them through workshops and our adult literacy programs how to manage their businesses, including opening their own savings accounts at various banks. There are many success stories associated with the FFW that can be counted as notable achievements over the years,” he added.
Mr. Naiwah said about 10,000 borrowers across the country, except Gbarpolu, benefitted from the program.
The foundation was established in 2007 and operates in 14 of Liberia’s 15 counties.