The successful rescue of over 400 street children and re-uniting them with their parents and guardians by Street Child of Liberia, (SCoL), through the assistance of Street Child UK was celebrated during its one anniversary last Tuesday in Monrovia with SCoL recommitting itself to children’s welfare.
Speaking at its Monrovia headquarters, Program Director Michael John Bull reflected on the difficult road he traveled to get the association started.
“I began with four volunteers in 2013,” he said, pointing out the challenges he accepted when he was requested to travel from Sierra Leone to Liberia to help organize the Liberian version.
Without funds, he said he accepted the challenge and after going through many difficulties, including spending four hours in a police detention in Monrovia for delaying a payment, the organization took off.
He told the gathering of volunteers and others that he had no regret for the sacrifices that he went through during the initial organization of Street Child of Liberia.
He expressed appreciation for the support of SCoL’s volunteers as well as Street UK and challenged them to recommit themselves to rescue the most vulnerable section of the Liberian society, street children.
Earlier, Street Child of Liberia’s Board chairman Thomas Blah briefly narrated the challenges before, during and after the organization was set up and commended program director Bull and the volunteers for their exceptional work.
He encouraged the volunteers to accept ownership of Street Child of Liberia to ensure that should Director Bull transition to another level in his career choice, “They will be able to grow to another level.”
Mr. Samuel N. Burnette, Jr, who served as the soccer coach and took nine young boys to participate in the Street Child World Cup in Brazil, expressed his excitement and the positive image built by the players during their two weeks’ stay in Brazil.
He noted that Street Child is not all about football, but the experience in Brazil rekindled his faith in the good that can come from children who are rescued from the streets.
“These nine players are our ambassadors to direct other Liberian kids to positive work,” Burnette said.
One of the early volunteers, Ms. Musu Rogers told the gathering the challenges inherent in the identification, recruitment, tracing and re-uniting street children with their parents and guardians and said it was worth the effort.
“I want to comment Program Director Bull and all the volunteers for our achievement,” she said.
Public Relations Officer, Ms. Tarsha M. Jackson described the one-year achievement as a milestone.
She recounted her initial uncertainty of the organization since there had been many organizations with similar dreams that did not succeed.
“In the course of time I regain hope and confidence of what we set to achieve and today I’m grateful that we reached a milestone,” Tarsha said.
Street Child of Liberia provides educational and business grants to families whose children are under its program. The children are mainly identified and collected from the streets of Monrovia and Buchanan and it plans expansion in its second year, a member said.