It started with the sending of nine young Liberians, collected from the streets of Monrovia, to form part of its larger programs and sent them to participate in the second ever Street Child World Cup in Brazil, and according to Program Director Michael John Bull yesterday, “It was the remarkable life-changing experience for the young ambassadors of Liberia.”
This time, it was the provision of a total grant amount of U$22, 610.00 to the parents of 211 street children who have already been reunited with their them (parents), and attending schools regularly, “to ensure that they don’t return to the streets, hence the provision of the grants,” said Director Bull, at the assembly hall of the Educational Promoters in Chocolate City, Gardnersville, Monrovia.
“This money to you the parents,” director Bull said, “is not for you but to help you to engage in a profitable business to help the upkeep of your children.” The grant amount was provided by Street Child UK, and each parent received a modest amount of U$100.00.
“This grant is to supplement the already educational incentive that your children have benefitted,” he told the parents, almost 90 percent females.
“Originally each parent should have received U$104.00 but we are reserving the U$4.00 and after 20 weeks all of you will be reviewed and if you are successful, the money will then be used to open a bank account of your choice,” Bull said.
Street Child Liberia carried out last weekend, two days of refresher training about money and business management, he said, “Every Liberian child can be anything they want only if the parents give them the opportunity to learn.”
Director Bull said his next targets are 40 amputee children who will receive prosthetics and proper medical treatment; children who live their lives and survive on dumpsters and children who live in graveyards in the city.
“The family business assistance will also continue,” he said. “There are also efforts to get 3 teachers, under our sponsorship to train at the Grand Bassa Community College to take over educational facilities at Districts 3 and 4.” Similar arrangement is going in Grand Cape Mount County.
Bull appealed to Liberian businesses, entrepreneurs and other humanitarians to join Street Child Liberia to provide essential services to the children. Street Child Liberia board chairman Thomas Blah attended the ceremony.
The 211 children are scattered through 44 schools in Monrovia, including Abdullah A. Tunis Islamic School, Vai Town, George Weah Foundation School, Clara Town, Slipway Public School, St. Luke Community School, Battery Factory, and Little Bishop Institute, Topoe Village.